High School

Lord of the Rings

0.5 Credits
18 weeks
Open

The Lord of the Rings: An Exploration of the Films & Their Literary Influences

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular stories in the modern world. In this course, you will study the movie versions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy and learn about the process of converting literature into film. You will explore fantasy literature as a genre and critique the extended versions of the three Lord of the Rings films. You will also read some British Literature and learn about Tolkien’s scholarly work.

Competencies

Creating a Fictional World

Students will demonstrate an understanding of creating a fictional world by summarizing the influence of life experiences on an author’s work, explaining the influence of past literature on future literature, and describing characters within a genre.

Creating a Fictional Language

Students will demonstrate an understanding of creating a fictional language by analyzing the history of the English language and describing the development of fictional languages.

Medieval Influences

Students will demonstrate an understanding of medieval influences by summarizing the influence of tales and legends on modern literature, and relating tales and legends to modern literature.

Film Adaptation

Students will demonstrate an understanding of film adaptation by describing the cinematic background of the film, explaining the advantages of presenting a book as a film, and summarizing how the film affects the story.

Heroic Culture

Students will demonstrate an understanding of heroic culture by describing heroic culture in literature, explaining the epic hero concept, and summarizing character development.

Old English Poetry

Students will demonstrate an understanding of Old English poetry by explaining features of Old English poetry, and analyzing the connection between an Old English epic and contemporary work.

Fantasy Literature

Students will demonstrate an understanding of fantasy literature by describing the genre of fantasy literature and summarizing the benefits of fantasy epics.

Journey’s Hero

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the hero’s journey by explaining the themes in specific genres, evaluating the film versus the movie, and evaluating the fate of characters.

Major Topics and Concepts

 

Segment 1:

  • Discuss the cultural impact of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Report on J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the book.
  • Discuss the writing of The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
  • Give an overview of the basic story of The Hobbit and understand its connection with The Lord of the Rings.
  • Outline the first part of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Recount details about the characters in The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Discuss Tolkien’s career as a philologist.
  • Develop new vocabulary related to the study of language.
  • Explore the evolution of the English language.
  • Analyze how the creation of the Elvish language impacted the creation of Middle Earth.
  • Outline the background of The Lord of the Rings as it appears in the second part of The Fellowship of the Rings.
  • Retell the basic story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
  • Develop a new vocabulary related to the study of King Arthur and the period in which the stories were set.
  • Discuss Tolkien’s scholarship as it relates to the stories of King Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  • Explore the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  • Describe how the concepts in the stories of King Arthur impacted the creation of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Describe the process of converting a book to a film.
  • Explore the advantages of presenting a classic book as a film.
  • Outline the advantages of reading the story in book form.
  • Explain how the movie changed some elements of this portion of The Two Towers.
  • Describe the heroic feudal culture of comitatus.
  • Explore how this heroic concept is developed in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Define the concept of the epic hero.
  • Discuss the concept of the epic hero as portrayed in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Analyze how Tolkien used The Lord of the Rings to express his own views on conservation and ecology.
  • Discuss character development in The Two Towers.
  • Discuss the background of the epic poem Beowulf.
  • Describe features of Old English poetry.
  • Outline the story of Beowulf and its view of heroism.
  • Explain Tolkien’s view of the value of monsters in fantasy literature.
  • Analyze how Tolkien’s scholarship concerning Beowulf affected the writing of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Describe some of the genres of literature.
  • Discuss fantasy literature and its relation to science fiction.
  • Define mythopoeia.
  • Discuss Tolkien’s famous essay “On Fairy Stories” and the advantages of fantasy that Tolkien described in that essay.
  • Outline the background material of the first half of The Return of the King.
  • Describe the themes and motifs in the movie.
  • Discuss conflict in a story and how this adds interest to the tale.
  • Define the differences between dynamic and static characters.
  • Compare the differences between the book and movie versions of The Return of the King.
  • Discuss more about the basic elements of plot development.
  • Outline the development of all the major characters in the story and where the story took these characters even after the film was finished.

 

Course Materials

Note: Students will need to have access to the Extended Editions of the following movies to complete this course. Typically movies can be accessed at local libraries for free.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King