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Teen Book Study: the Fellowship of the Ring, the Lord of the Rings #1

Rebecca Baumgarten, MA
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A 12-week class where we read, discuss, and write about the first volume of The Lord of the Rings. Taught by a teacher who wrote her masters thesis on J.R.R. Tolkien.

Class Experience

US Grade 9 - 12
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
12 lessons//12 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Week 1: What’s Hobbitses, Precious?
Read before class: • Concerning Hobbits • Concerning Pipe-Weed • On the Ordering of the Shire • Of the Finding of the Ring • Note on the Shire Records
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Week 2: My Birthday Present (Book 1 begins)
Read before class: • Ch 1. A Long-Expected Party • Ch 2. The Shadow of the Past
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Week 3: Home is Behind, the World Ahead
Read before class: • Ch 3. Three is Company • Ch 4. A Shortcut to Mushrooms
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Week 4: Farewell We Call
Read before class: • Ch 5. A Conspiracy Unmasked • Ch 6. The Old Forest
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Week 5: Hey Dol, Merry Dol
Read before class: • Ch 7. In the House of Tom Bombadil • Ch 8. Fog on the Barrow-Downs
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Week 6: The Cow Jumped Over the Moon
Read before class: • Ch 9. At the Sign of the Prancing Pony • Ch 10. Strider
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Week 7: With Foes Ahead, Behind Us Dread
Read before class: • Ch 11. A Knife in the Dark • Ch 12. Flight to the Ford
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Week 8: To Rivendell, Where Elves Yet Dwell (Book 2 begins)
Read before class: • Ch 1. Many Meetings • Ch 2. The Council of Elrond
 Week 9
Lesson 9
Week 9: Speak Friend and Enter
Read before class: • Ch 3. The Ring Goes South • Ch 4. A Journey in the Dark
 Week 10
Lesson 10
Week 10: Upon the Bridge Alone
Read before class: • Ch 5. The Bridge of Khazâd-dûm • Ch 6. Lothlórien
 Week 11
Lesson 11
Week 11: The River Flows Away
Read before class: • Ch 7. The Mirror of Galadriel • Ch 8. Farewell to Lórien
 Week 12
Lesson 12
Week 12: Upon This Hither Shore
Read before class: • Ch 9. The Great River • Ch 10. The Breaking of the Fellowship
  • In this class, students will learn to: • Write short answers in response to their reading • Use textual evidence • Understand characterization • Analyze the purpose of poetry in a novel • Define, analyze, and explain the purpose and techniques of metafict
I have a bachelors and masters in English and graduate certificate in Digital Humanities from Texas A&M University. My thesis was titled "Endurance and Hope: Christian Heroism in Tolkien's Legendarium." I examined the interplay between Tolkien's fiction, his scholarship, his faith, and the old Germanic stories he loved so much. I have also written on Tolkien's work on mythology, fairytales, and medieval literature.

I am currently an adjunct professor of English composition at Collin College in north Texas. I have also worked as a graduate assistant teacher of college English classes and freelance tutor for learners from elementary through college level, and I have many years of volunteer experience working with and teaching children in extracurricular activities.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Frequency: 1-2 per week
Feedback: as needed
Details: We will read 2 chapters per week. The exception is Week 1, where we will read the prologues. Be aware that number of pages will vary. Students should come to class having already read the material listed for that week. After reading, students will write a 300-500-word reading response to that week's prompt.
Letter Grade
Frequency: 1 after class completion
Details: Assessment is based on reading responses. There are 12 of these, each worth 10 points, for a total of 120 points in the course. At the end of the course, students will receive a letter grade corresponding to the total number of points they have earned, as follows: A = 90-100% = 108-120 points B = 80-89% = 96-107 points C = 70-79% = 84-95 points D = 60-69% = 72-83 points F = 0-59% = 0-71 points
Students must have a copy of the book, any edition.
The Lord of the Rings includes:
•	Magic
•	PG-13 violence: never glorified or described in graphic detail
•	Character deaths and lasting grief
•	Addiction: to the Ring, not to real-world substances
•	Use of alcohol and tobacco

It may occasionally be necessary to touch on Tolkien’s own biography, including his linguistic and literary expertise, experience as a World War I veteran, and Catholic faith. These are not the focus of the class, though.
I have read most of Tolkien's work and a wide variety of scholarship on his writings. These will inform my instruction, but I will rarely talk about them.
Joined October, 2021
Teacher expertise and credentials
Master's Degree in English from Texas A&M University
My name is Rebecca Baumgarten. I have a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Texas A&M University, focusing on the fiction and scholarship of J.R.R. Tolkien (hence my headline).

I am an adjunct professor of English at Collin College in... 
Group Class


weekly or $240 for 12 classes
1x per week, 12 weeks
55 min

Live video meetings
Ages: 14-18
1-6 learners per class

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