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©  2003 by Amelia Harper. All rights reserved

Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings


In Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings Amelia Harper presents thorough scholarship in a delightful format and winsome style. Her excitement for Tolkien is contagious. She demonstrates an astonishing grasp of Middle Earth, Tolkien, and relevant works of literature that inform and enhance The Lord of the Rings. I have read her book while teaching The Lord of the Rings in my Great Books Seminar, and I have found her work to be insightful and stimulating. It is also very teacher-friendly.

I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Jim Scott Orrick, Ph.D. Ohio University, Professor of Literature and Culture, Department Coordinator for General Studies, Boyce College, Louisville, Kentucky.
 

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Amelia Harper’s Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings introduces students to the enduring power and lyric beauty of a classic work. This thirteen-unit study is surprisingly comprehensive, for Harper uses Tolkien’s work as a vehicle for exploring the myriad linguistic and thematic threads that have defined our Western literary tradition. In addition, the work is eminently “teacher friendly.” The reproducible study sheets, vocabulary exercises, and comprehension questions make mastery of the factual material easy while the introductory essays, additional notes, glossaries, and writing assignments encourage probing discussion and provide opportunities for life application.  Harper’s extensive research and genuine appreciation for this work, indeed marks her as one of Tolkien’s “good friends:”

"Of course, The Lord of the Rings does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world, though naturally I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent would of a child. I am comforted to know that it has good friends to defend it against the malice of its enemies." J.R.R. Tolkien (Letters 413-414)

Reviewed by  Donnalynn Hess,

            Author of Fundamentals of Literature and Excursions in Literature

Professor of Adolescent Literature, Bob Jones University

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As a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, and self-motivating series of activities, the quality of the material is worthy enough to be considered a curriculum epic in its own right. I found the lessons versatile enough for novice and expert readers alike while containing numerous opportunities for self-exploration and extension into the areas of arts and humanities, mythology, history, and current events. This curriculum is simply a must have for anyone who is serious about the teaching of reading and literature.

               Rhonda M. Horn, M.A. as Reading Specialist from University of Kentucky

                    Literature & Drama Instructor, Nelson County High School

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 As a high school special education teacher, I struggle to find materials written at a reasonable reading level for my students.  While they are interested in the same kinds of literature as others their age, they have a tough time with the reading complexity of the works they find interesting. The curriculum for The Lord of the Rings that has been developed by Amelia Harper has made this very popular work accessible to my students. The simple and easy to follow worksheets lead my students to the essential understanding of each chapter in a way that allows them to work independently.

Reviewed by Jim Braun
Summit High School, Frisco, Colorado
 

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Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings is unrivaled in both its content and brilliance.  Amelia Harper has taken a much-beloved work of fiction and given us the ability to reap of its bountiful harvest for ourselves. Without a doubt Mrs. Harper’s exceptional efforts will benefit the many homeschool families looking for superior literary resources. 

Kate Kessler, Lead Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

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I am an ardent Tolkien fanatic, and so when I received a review copy of Amelia Harper's literary study, I was a excited as a child opening a brightly wrapped gift! I was not disappointed. On the title page is the statement "A complete literature curriculum for secondary level students." TRUE. The 600+ page student guide takes the student through each chapter of of the three book series. Chapter studies include a summation of the reading selection for the student to complete, vocabulary exercises, a comprehensive and fascinating literary analysis of the chapter being studied (which includes some readings from other classical works), a thorough explanation of literary terms, and thought-provoking questions for discussion.

                Jane Boswell- Editor of Home Educator's Family Times

                Reviewed in the Sept/Oct. 2004 issue

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As a homeschooling mother of six, any curriculum I use has to meet several criteria.  It needs to be thorough, it needs to be interesting, it needs to be worthwhile, and be usable for more than one child.  It needs to be affordable, and, if wishes could come true, teach me as well as the children. This curriculum does all of the above. Most of the work is done for me!  Hurray!  Best of all, in my opinion, are the Additional Notes, which teach so much about Tolkien; the man, his life, and his motivations for writing.  Amelia Harper's writing style is conversational and fun, while conveying some very important ideas, and, at times, challenging the students (and teacher) to ask themselves some pretty tough questions.

 Reviewed by Tammie Butt- homeschool mom

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This delightful walk-through of The Lord of the Rings explains anything left unclear. More enthralling than most literature books, this is the kind of book that makes learning fun and interesting.

 Reviewed by Jeremiah Joyner- student

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Maybe your reluctant reader is intrigued by the Hollywood craze of The Lord of the Rings movies. Maybe your struggling writer doesn’t understand prose or poetry or even know what they mean. Possibly, like me, you just have children who love to read the fantasy works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and others. Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings can bring all these types of students together in one setting. It stretches the reader, grows the writer and deepens the appreciation of the fan.

As a parent you may feel ill-equipped to teach on a subject like this, do not fear! I truly feel Amelia Harper has included nearly every help and aid that any teacher, in a home or traditional school setting, could possibly need within this curriculum. To even better serve you, she has linked the web site to include more aids, lesson plans and student helps. She has definitely covered every base for this wonderful adventure.

These enjoyable and flexible lessons allow for greater expression in the student's written word. Plus, the student’s compositional or critical writings will improve greatly. In the end, your student will be better prepared for college, whether studying literature, preparing study notes, or test taking.
 

Intrigued? Step into Middle-earth where J.R.R. Tolkein’s mastery comes to life before your eyes. Delve into worlds unknown, exploring this novel in a way not touched before. Learn who Tolkien was, and the things that influenced his writings in the world around him. Deepen your knowledge of linguistics, etymology, philology, setting, mapping, fantasy genre, theme, and motif. The trilogy The Lord of the Rings brings together over 130 literary terms within a single work: allegory, epic, fantasy, metaphor, and poetry, along with coding, genealogy and more! No other novel does this, making this a unique study.

If you desire your students to have a greater understanding of quality literature, to increase their ability to analyze and dissect an author's work, and to gain character and academic growth, I have found no other study that does it to this extent. Coupled with nearly 600 vocabulary words, comprehension questions, writing, artistry, and many additional unit studies, this curriculum will give you more than a semester's work for your high school literature student. Literary Lessons not only delves into Middle-earth with J.R.R. Tolkien, but it also explores other Old English and medieval works such as The Three Great Ancient Epics, Beowulf, and Arthurian Romances. An additional study addresses movies and the classics, through viewing the recent movies of this trilogy and analyzing them. Lastly, an optional Religious Elements study is provided for those desiring to research this topic further.

Each unit is laid out as follows:

The student will read a chapter from The Lord of the Rings, then complete a chapter summary by filling in the appropriate words. Afterwards there is a series of vocabulary exercises, additional notes and comprehension questions for the student. Challenger questions are provided for older students. The Teacher’s Manual will then direct to additional writing, mapping, or other assignments. It also tells when to give quizzes and tests and whether additional study would be beneficial on a certain topic. Please do not let your student view the movies after beginning this study until told to do so. This will inhibit their remembering the actual written work.

This study can be used by one family in a home school setting, one student with the aid of a parent/teacher, or in a traditional classroom. Throughout the Student Text the author refers the student to the times that parent/teacher instruction or correction is required. The Student Text is invaluable to this study, and a copy should be purchased for each student. The step-by-step Teacher’s Manual is perfectly laid out, allowing you, the teacher, to be involved as much or as little as you want. It includes chapter summaries and answers to all vocabulary, questions and tests. Another plus is the alternative assignments that you can use to round out this study to meet your child’s needs. You will definitely need a copy of the Trilogy. The author refers to page numbers that coordinate with the ISBN numbers of the edition she recommends. My preference is one copy per student, but it is not required by the curriculum. The additional works studied can be easily borrowed from the library, unless you desire to have them for your personal library.

I hope that your family enjoys this study as much as I did just reviewing it! I have gained a new appreciation for J.R.R. Tolkein, his works and the Old English writings. I cannot wait to dig into this study and reveal this new world to my children!

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Reviewed by:

Dawn Dill, wife, mother of six, home educator, businesswoman and curriculum review specialist. Her joys and passions include her children and their educating lifestyle; the rewards of seeing them grow spiritually and academically; providing help to other home educators in there pursuit of Godly education for their children. She is also a local business owner and feels blessed to be able to minister to her community through this avenue. Her business also caters to the local and global home school community through the consigning and selling of used curriculum.

This is Sharon from Thailand speaking.  We have received the curriculum via our friend and it is wonderful!  We are off to NZ for three months next year to re-connect and rest etc, My son wants to take school work with him - ie your curriculum!!!

So, once again, thank you so much for all the work you've put into this curriculum and your enthusiasm which oozes out of it!

                                                Sharon L.-- Thailand

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Thanks for a great curriculum. My sons, Isaiah and Josiah, are loving it and doing great. I am enjoying teaching it learning more along with them.

                                                 Paul E. -- NC

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