Comparing Two Fantasies by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
Homework Assignment

The students will compare The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and another fantasy they have read by Tolkien. They can focus on the plot, characters, settings, or another element of fiction when they compare the two books.


To learn about comparing two books by the same author
To search for details while reading
To write an essay comparing specific element of writing in two books

Materials Needed

Two books by J.R.R. Tolkien
Notebook paper
Pens to take notes
Computer to type final copy


Students will need a copy of each book they want to compare. Before you begin having them read their books, you can explain to them how to compare books. For example, you can have the students compare the plots, characters, themes, writing styles, or other elements. Let's say they want to compare characters. They can do this by writing down the characters and some information about each character. If they want to use the main characters, they could. They would locate each character's personality traits that the author mentioned in both books. Then, they can look at those traits and compare them. They would write those down under each character, so when they are ready to write their essay, they will have their notes handy. This is just an example. They can choose any fictional element and write down the similarities in both books.

When the students start reading their books and taking notes, they will look for similarities. Once they understand the assignment, you can have them read their books or review the books they have read. Before they read their books, they need to know which element of writing they want to write when they compare the two books.

Then, as they read each book, they can write a list of examples and the pages they found those examples on so they can return to the pages later. This will help them organize their thoughts about the elements and the books. After that, they can write their essays for you to grade.


You can grade them on how well they wrote their essays and the accuracy of information in comparing the fictional element. 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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