The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Grade Level
High School
Reading & Writing
Length of Time
45 minutes and homework

The students will read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. As they read the book, they will select the main character, Bilbo Baggins, and one other character such as Smaug, who is evil, and compare and contrast their character traits.


To learn about comparing and contrasting two characters
To search for characteristics of the main character, Bilbo Baggins, and another character, such as Smaug
To write an essay comparing and contrasting the two characters.

Materials Needed

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Notebook paper
Pens and whiteouts


Students will need a copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Before you begin having them read their book, you can explain to them how to compare and contrast two characters. For example, you can use two people and write down different characteristics under each one. You can even circle the character traits that they have in common. This will help the students learn about different people and what they have in common and their contrasting personality traits.

When they understand the assignment, you can have them read The Hobbit. As they read the book, they can write a list of the character traits they locate. This will help them organize their thoughts about the main character, Bilbo Baggins, and another character in the book. They might want to choose Smaug, who is evil and compare and contrast those two characters. After that, they can write an essay comparing and contrasting the two characters.


You can grade them on their list of character traits and then on their comparison and contrast essay. Besides checking for accuracy of their characters and their personalities, you can check for correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph structure.

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