Kathy writes: It’s my pleasure to inform TORN that Houghton Mifflin recently posted online secondary school lesson plans (grades 9-12) for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These curriculum units were written by my husband James Morrow and myself.
My husband, a former educator, is also a novelist (so he was especially interested in highlighting Tolkien’s achievement as a writer); I’m an English-major-bookseller type with a lifelong interest in folklore, myth, and epic (including, of course, 30+ readings of LOTR and familiarity with most of the critical works). We also enlisted four talented young teachers as consultants.
We designed the course to last for nine weeks. As you might imagine, we would have liked to include a great deal more content, but lesson plan structure (perhaps like filmmaking in that respect) has demands of its own.
There are still a few data-entry errors sprinkled throughout the plans, but since these are rather obvious — misplaced attributions, typos, and the like — we don’t think anyone will be led seriously astray before the corrections are made.
As you might imagine, this was a real labor of love, and we emerged from it with more admiration than ever for JRRT and his accomplishments!