Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 5!

We started class looking for symbols in the Fellowship of the Ring.  Tolkien said he didn't like allegories, but he also said,

"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism."
There is a ton of Christian symbolism in this series!  I tried to get their wheels turning about what Christian, and specifically Catholic, symbols that are in the story by having them say something they know about Catholic beliefs.  The mission of Jesus Christ, special celebration dates, and clergy was brought up, but not much else.  How about purgatory?  I told them to think about it and watch for anything as they read.  

I loved the rest of the discussion we had. I asked them to watch how Aragorn develops as a leader, as he made some blunders and had some good moments.  

For this week, hopefully they are researching who is Tom Bombadil and who is Sauron. Also, they can be researching the meaning of names in the LOTR.  (hint: There is a pdf of a document Tolkien wrote about it.) We will discuss what they find this week. Next week, have the Two Towers read for discussion.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Fellowship of the Ring

We started discussion of the Fellowship of the Ring.

We talked about all the main and sub themes that Tolkien used.

We described all the races of middle earth (well, the good ones) and which one the students would like to be.  The answers were interesting and very insightful.

I explained what motifs are by using the star motif Tolkien used for the elves.

For the next class, we will get more into the discussion questions.

I will also have their binder covers ready, yay!

We will start discussing the two towers in about 2 weeks.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

We're Going on an Adventure! Or There and Back again.

To the Shire!  

The Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard has created a hobbit house replica and welcome people to come in costume and take pictures.  

Obviously, we had to go. 

I am not ashamed to say that there wasn't much of anything educational about this field trip.  It was pure fun and the results are even more fun.  

It is no contest that now the Literature class has the coolest binder covers ever.  ;)  

Monday, October 3, 2016

One Class to Rule Them All!

Just kidding!  All classes are GREAT at FILA, but a Lord of the Rings literature class just begs for it to be used.

I am so excited to lead this class!  I love fantasy and I love this story.  

For the first two weeks, we laid the groundwork necessary to study literature.  First, we learned about the life of JRR Tolkien.  The students were encouraged to annotate, and we learned about archetypes, in the spirit of this:

The 2nd week we learned about the hero's journey with this video:

And these diagrams: 

Then we went over some popular literary devices, like allegory, alliteration, foreshadowing, backstory and eucatastrophe (Tolkien's favorite).

This week we are going on a field trip to the Brother's Nursery in Gorst where they have a life size hobbit house!  The students are encouraged to wear any LOTR costume for pictures for their binder cover.  If they don't have anything, that's okay, I am bringing some cloaks and sword/bow props.
See you on Thursday!