The Hobbit – Planning Overview

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Dan

Do you have students who love fantasy stories? The Hobbit is a classic adventure story that millions of readers worldwide have enjoyed for nearly one hundred years.

With its charming characters and thrilling plot, it’s sure to capture your pupils’ imaginations – but it can also be intimidating for teachers!

Fortunately, with careful planning, you can help make this journey through Middle-earth an unforgettable experience for you and your classes.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of what you need to consider when preparing a reading of The Hobbit: activities, worksheets, resources – plus lots more!

Related: For more, check out our article on Why The Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo  here.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit is an epic tale of adventure by J.R.R. Tolkien, chronicling the journey of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and his quest to reclaim a treasure stolen from him by a group of dwarves.

Bilbo’s journey begins when he is suddenly visited by the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, who seek help to reclaim their lost treasure.

Intrigued, Bilbo agrees and sets out on an unforgettable journey across Middle-earth. Along the way, he encounters danger and magical creatures as he battles trolls, meets elves, visits mystical cities, and faces a mighty dragon.

On his quest for adventure, Bilbo also gains courage, learns important lessons about friendship, courage and trust, and gains possession of a magical ring that grants him power – but at what cost?

Ultimately, Bilbo recovers the treasure – but will it be enough for everyone?

Key Themes in The Hobbit

Adventure:

The Hobbit tells the story of an adventurous journey undertaken by Bilbo Baggins and his allies. Readers are taken on an exciting quest of danger and magical creatures throughout the book.

Courage:

This journey requires courage from those involved, as it takes them to places they have never been before and puts them against seemingly impossible odds.

This theme is explored through Bilbo’s experiences as he learns to overcome his fears and doubts to achieve his goals.

Friendship:

Along with courage, friendship is another important theme found in The Hobbit.

Through the trials and tribulations that Bilbo and his companions face, we learn about the power of friendship, loyalty and trust between friends.

Growth & Maturity:

Throughout the book, we observe how Bilbo matures as a character through learning valuable life lessons such as taking risks, finding strength within himself and understanding that nothing is ever certain.

These lessons shape him into a brave hero who is ready to take on any challenge that comes his way.

Characters in The Hobbit

Bilbo Baggins:

The story’s protagonist, Bilbo, is a hobbit chosen to join an adventure with a group of dwarves. At first reluctant and unsure, he eventually finds courage and strength within himself and uses it to help save his companions from peril.

Gandalf:

Gandalf is a powerful wizard who helps guide and protect Bilbo on his journey. He is wise, resourceful and knows much about Middle-earth – including information about the dragon Smaug that can help them reclaim the lost treasure.

Thorin Oakenshield:

Thorin is the leader of the dwarves on their quest for treasure. Despite being exiled from his home kingdom many years before, Thorin hopes they can reclaim their lost legacy.

His determination and loyalty are inspiring to those around him.

Smaug:

Smaug is an ancient dragon living on a mountain that guards over a large hoard of stolen treasure – part of which belongs to Thorin’s people and must be reclaimed to take back what was taken from them.

This powerful creature is one of Bilbo’s main obstacles on his journey.

Teaching Opportunities from The Hobbit

Courage:

The story of The Hobbit allows teachers to explore the importance of courage in life.

Through Bilbo’s experiences, readers can learn about the power of overcoming obstacles, taking risks and being brave in the face of danger and uncertainty.

Friendship:

Teachers can use this book to discuss the importance of friendship, as it is a powerful theme throughout.

From Bilbo and Gandalf’s relationship to Thorin’s loyalty to his people, friendships are shown to be critical in times of need.

Growth & Maturity:

The journey taken by Bilbo allows students to explore what it means to grow and mature as a person.

By learning lessons such as understanding that nothing is ever certain, being courageous and finding strength within oneself, readers can gain valuable insights into their lives.

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1 – Courage

Objectives:

  • Recognise courage’s power and how it can help us overcome difficult times.
  • To understand that it is possible to find strength in ourselves even when we feel scared or uncertain.
  • To explore scenarios where taking risks or being brave can lead to success.

Introduction:

Begin by introducing students to The Hobbit novel and its themes, focusing on courage and how it plays a part in Bilbo’s journey. Ask the students what courage means and allow them to share their answers.

Explain why it is essential for everyone to have courage, especially during challenging times.

Main Teaching Points:

Explain that courage isn’t just about physical bravery but also having the mental strength to face difficult situations without giving up hope. Provide examples from the book as you discuss this further with your class.

Focus on scenarios where Bilbo has to take risks or show determination despite his fear, such as when he faces Smaug or chooses not to give in to Gollum’s demands to save his friends.

Ask students questions such as “How do you think Bilbo found strength within himself?” and “What can we learn from him about being courageous?” These discussions help your students better understand the courage and its importance in life.

Reflection:

At the end of the lesson, give students time to reflect on what they learned about courage from The Hobbit.

Ask them if any specific moments from the novel helped them understand the concept better or opened their eyes to new possibilities about achieving success or finding strength within themselves.

Allow for open discussion between your students, so they can share their thoughts and provide advice based on their experiences with similar situations.

Key Questions:

  • What does courage mean?
  • How did Bilbo show courage throughout his journey?
  • How can we apply what we learned from him in our own lives?

Lesson Plan 2 – Friendship & Growth/Maturity

Objectives:

  • To understand how friendship and loyalty are essential elements in our lives.
  • To identify lessons related to growth and maturity that can be learned from The Hobbit stories.
  • To explore how taking risks and facing challenges can lead us towards self-discovery and personal growth.

Introduction:

Introduce themes like friendship, growth/maturity and risk-taking by asking students how these concepts interact by providing examples from The Hobbit novel (e.g., the relationship between Bilbo & Gandalf, Thorin & his people, bravery needed for Bilbo’s quest).

Ask what these relationships taught them about themselves (e.g., discovering hidden strengths, understanding that things aren’t always certain etc..) This introduction should help establish a framework for further discussion throughout the lesson plan.

Main Teaching Points:

Discuss key events where characters had opportunities for growth & maturity due to relying on friendships (e..g., the rescue mission at Mirkwood Forest). Ask students questions like “What lessons did Bilbo learn through this experience?

Outline character development through story narrative (growth of hero). Highlight the last few chapters of the book – emphasising the role of friendships as an integral part of success & process of self-discovery/fulfilment.

Reflection:

During this lesson plan, give students time to reflect on what they have learned regarding friendship/loyalty & personal growth/maturity before concluding it.

Ask students questions such as “Have you ever experienced something like this yourself…? What did you learn?” allowing room for open discussion.

Key Questions:

  • What themes emerged when examining friendship & growth/maturity in The Hobbit? What advice would you offer someone struggling with building relationships & gaining confidence in themselves?
  • How does taking risks to help us grow personally?

Website Resources

TES:

TES is a web page offering teaching resources related to The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. It features lesson plans, activities, worksheets and more for educators who want to explore the novel’s themes with their students.

It also includes detailed guides on using this resource to get the most out of it for your classroom.

Teaching Ideas:

Teaching Ideas is a website that provides activities and resources for students learning about The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, including fun games and puzzles that can be used as an introduction or finale to a lesson plan about this classic book series.

It also offers ideas on using art and craft projects to explore various aspects of The Hobbit in the classroom environment.

Happy Homeschool Nest:

Happy Homeschool Nest is a website featuring teaching resources specifically designed for homeschooling families studying The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien together.

This page features various worksheets, games, discussion questions and activities that can help bring this classic book alive in the home school setting!

Teacher’s Pay Teachers:

Teacher’s Pay Teachers is a site dedicated to providing free materials from teachers worldwide related to The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, such as lesson plans and activity ideas perfect for classrooms or homeschooling sessions!

FAQ

Q: What resources are necessary for teaching The Hobbit to my students?

A: You will need access to a copy of The Hobbit novel by J.R.R Tolkien and any relevant supplementary material you deem necessary for the lesson plan. This may include slideshows, worksheets, activities and more that can be found online or created yourself.

Q: How can I ensure effective student engagement during this lesson?

A: Incorporating activities and interactive learning into your lessons is critical to ensuring effective student engagement while teaching The Hobbit. For example, you could have students create art projects based on a scene from the book or collaborate and work together to complete tasks involving problem-solving and creative thinking.

Allowing each student to present their ideas and conclusions at the end of the lesson will also help generate productive discussions in the class.

Q: Is there any other material that could supplement my lesson plan?

A: Yes! Many websites offer free teaching resources related to The Hobbit, such as TES, Teaching Ideas, Happy Homeschool Nest and Teacher’s Pay Teachers – all with multiple activities and games perfect for lessons about this classic book!

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