The Hobbit: A Unit Study


We have just finished a study of The Hobbit.  

What fun we had!

The culmination of my son's study was a book report, research report, display board, and hands on project for a local Homeschool Literature Fair.

This book was quite an undertaking for my 8 year old.  First of all, I read the book aloud to both of my children.  It took about a month, but what great reading times we had!

After reading the book my son did the following activities:

Hobbit Copywork from Walking by the Way 

I was so proud of Grant.  He completed every single page of the copywork.   We three hole punched the set and tied it together with black yarn, which looked quite spiffy on the burlap which covered his display board.


Making a String of Dwarves

I found some cute graphics online of Thorin Oakenshield and Company, printed them, and let Grant cut and paste them onto little triangle cardstock penants.   This was all good for his fine motor skills.



Researching Dragons

After reading about Smaug, Grant was intrigued with dragons.    We used two great resources.   

Dragonology - Take it with a grain of salt, or not.   I think the lore of dragons is fascinating and my kids did, too.

Ancient Mysteries:  Dragons:  Myths & Legends - available on Netflix Instant

Grant went through his Dragonology book and found facts that interested him, wrote them on sticky notes, and then I typed them.   We printed these out for his display board.  (Download the Ringbearer Font for free.)

I just love how rustic everything looked with the burlap backing.  Covering display boards with fabric of some kind makes the whole project look so much neater.


Hobbit Runes

Have a little fun writing your name in Hobbit Runes.   

Here's an automatic name generator.  We printed out Grant's full name and put it on his display board.

Make a Salt Dough Map of Bilbo's Journey 

Thanks to my friend, Kris, I had the instructions for a salt dough map.

I found a map of Bilbo's journey and enlarged it to 11x17.

Grant studied an online map of the journey, too.  This was a great visual for him before we started the map!    He sat with me while I typed the key for the map and made sure I had everything right (he's my particular child!)

Grant did almost the whole map by himself... it was an exercise in me sitting back and just letting him do it the way HE wanted to.   He learned so much and wants to make more salt dough maps!

By the way, all of these ideas are cataloged on a board I created on Pinterest:  The Hobbit.



Adding LEGO to the Project

Of course Grant wanted to include his LEGO set - Escape from Mirkwood.    He also made Beorn's house, where the dwarves take shelter for the night.   

There are a lot of Hobbit LEGO sets which I'm sure would enhance the story even more!  

Character Sketches

I created simple character sketch notebooking pages for Grant to complete.   I downloaded a picture of the character and added lines for writing.   Then I asked Grant to write his description of the character. We added these to the board.


Dressing the Part

I admit it.   He suckered me into getting the Bilbo Baggins costume and Sting, the sword.   Oh, what fun he's having, though.   I also told him this will be a Halloween costume, too!   

We had to give him hairy toes, as well.   Just get a brown boa from the craft store and wrap it around some flip flops.

"May the hair on your toes never fall out!"

The real joy came in watching Grant proudly speak about his project at the literature fair. 

He was interviewed by two judges and I could see him talking their ears off out of the corner of my eye.  (Parents were encouraged to stand back and let their child do this all by themself - excellent!)

I honestly think Grant thought he was Bilbo Baggins for the day!

And guess what?

My little guy won second place in his age group!

The next time I am inclined to tell my child that something is too hard for them (I might have suggested he use a different book for the literature fair - boy, was I wrong!) I'm going to bite my tongue and let them reach for that lofty goal.

The Hobbit was a perfect unit study for this age and we're all sad it's over!