Curriculum Knowledge Objectives for
Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings

By the end of the curriculum, students should:

1. be able to discuss The Lord of the Rings thoroughly and intelligently. However, due to the vast nature of Tolkien’s world, a student will still have much to explore when the curriculum is complete, should he or she wish to do so.

2. have a basic understanding of over 130 literary terms introduced in the curriculum and have experience in applying that knowledge in identifying literary elements for themselves.

3. be acquainted with over 600 vocabulary words and have a thorough knowledge of over 450 of them which are covered in quizzes. The student will also have significant practice in determining
the meaning of words from context.

4. understand more about Tolkien, his life, and his many of his thought processes in creating this work. The purpose of this is to demystify the writing process and to encourage students to create for themselves.

5. be better able to interpret and write about literature and other topics through the numerous writing assignments included.

6. have a basic understanding of the history of the English language and the field of linguistics.

7. understand how an author creates a marvelous setting for a work of literature.

8. have a basic understanding of the background of the ancient epics (The Iliad, The Odyssey,
and The Aenied) and of the epic conventions that define them. This would be an excellent introduction to a more thorough study of these works and would at least allow students to be able to discuss these works intelligently in future literary discussions.

9. have a basic understand of Old English Literature through examining significant portions of Beowulf and learning more about its background and influence on Tolkien’s works.

10. have a basic knowledge of the Arthurian legends, including the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Students will also be introduced to the works of Thomas Malory, Sir Edmund Spenser, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson in this context, though these works are not thoroughly examined.

11. have a working knowledge of the basic elements of traditional poetry forms and know how to scan a poem.

12. know about various genres of literature with particular emphasis on the benefits of fantasy literature as defined by Tolkien in his landmark Oxford lecture “On Fairy Stories.” Students
are also taught guidelines for discerning literature that is appropriate for their situation.

13. have practice in interpreting maps, chronologies, and genealogical tables and be able to make inferences from these reference materials.

14. be able to identify a theme and a leit-motif in a work of literature.

15. understand the limitations and advantages of converting a literary work to a movie and be able to compare the two forms for themselves. (optional study)

16. examine important issues such as war, ecology, and the cooperation between cultures and races in order to develop his own ideas on these topics.

17. know more about the positive character qualities expressed in The Lord of the Rings such as loyalty, devotion to duty, pity, persistence, and sacrificing for the good of others.



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