English 9 Regents: The Hobbit WebQuest (The Dwarves)

Welcome members of Thorin Oakenshield’s group!  You will need to collaborate on each of the following to complete your web quest.

Day 1:  Characterization

Each member must complete ONE of the following for Thorin Oakenshiled’s character:

–  A physical description of Thorin Oakenshield (with hand-drawn, labeled picture based on textual information)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing the basic characteristics of dwarves

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two positive character traits of Thorin Oakenshield (use parenthetical documentation)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two negative character traits of Thorin Oakenshield (use parenthetical documentation)

Thorin Oakenshield  http://www.tuckborough.net/thorin.html

The Encyclopedia of Arda: A reference Guide to the Words of Tolkien   http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/d/dwarves.html

Dwarves  http://tolkienics.com/tolkien/dwarves.htm

Day 2:  Creature Features

All members of the group will do the following:

Using the links below, find out all you can about Trolls.  One person in your group will illustrate a troll based on your findings (not the same artist for the characterization!).   The remaining members will EACH write a two chunk paragraph describing the various characteristics and habits of Trolls.  Make sure to consult with one another so that you have different responses! 

Encyclopedia of Arda: Trolls


The Grey Havens: The Origins of Trolls  http://tolkien.cro.net/else/trolls.html

Day 3:  Specialties: Ah, those hard working dwarves!  Although they can be a little gruff around the edges, they create some of the most beautiful objects with the gemstones they mine and through their skillful metalworking. 

Each member will complete ONE of the following activities:

– Celebrations: Select (or create) a holiday that would have been celebrated by Dwarves.  In at least three two-chunk paragraphs, describe the significance of the holiday as well as activities that all good Dwarves would engage in!

Celebrating the Seasons

*NOTE: this site lists ancient, earth-based holidays such as those that would probably have been celebrated in Middle Earth.  The information is for accuracy of the setting of the novel and is not intended to support or challenge any religious beliefs.  http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/PaganHolidays.html

– Map Making:  Fortunately for the company, Thorin had a map to get them to Lonely Mountain, complete with clues about how to get inside.  Examine the links below and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the history of map making and what goes into making an accurate map.

Fantasy Maps: Map Making  http://www.fantasymaps.com/101/

The Mathematics of Cartography http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/pres/map/maphis.html

Map Making for Gamers   http://www.profantasy.com/

     – Gem Stones:  Dwarves are known for their mining skills and their knowledge of precious gems.  Look at the links below and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (do not forget an intro and a conclusion) about gemstone mining and the symbolic significance of two types of gems that might have been mined by the dwarves.

Mineral Miners  http://www.mineralminers.com/

Gemstone Symbolism  http://www.jewellers.net/gemstone_varieties.htm

     – Metal Working:  Not only are the dwarves excellent miners, they create beautiful metal works!  Examine the links below and then write at least three two-chunk paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about early metal working and what jobs that the dwarves might find today with these skills.

Metalworking Career Guide  http://www.khake.com/page29.html

The Bronze Age: A Guide to Early Metalworking http://www.templeresearch.eclipse.co.uk/bronze/intro.htm

Early History of Metalworking http://www.dartfordarchive.org.uk/early_modern/industry_me.shtml

Day 4:  Riddles and Songs

Each member of the group will do ALL of the following:

–  In Chapter 5, Gollum and Bilbo have a riddle contest deep in the underground tunnels of Misty Mountain.  Their riddles use clues and hints to try to describe a specific thing.

Read and, in a one-chunk paragraph, explain each of the following riddles from Bilbo and Gollum’s contest:

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,

                         Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.

                         It lies behind stars and under hills,

                                            And empty holes it fills.

                         It comes first and follows after,

                                          Ends life, kills laughter.

Alive without breath,

                        As cold as death;

                        Never thirsty, ever drinking,

                        All in mail never clinking.

     –  Choose a common object and brainstorm as many qualities as you can about it.  Then, using rhyme, devise a four-lined to eight-lined riddle using the traits of the object that would stump even Bilbo! 

Looking at Riddle Formation  http://www.geocities.com/d_champions_hall/ezine/article2.htm

– The dwarves certainly love to sing!  Re-read the songs of the dwarves from The Hobbit listed below.  For each, summarize the message/central idea of the song and relate the idea to the dwarves.  Does each song support what we as readers know about the dwarves’ characters?  What does each demonstrate about them?

– Define each of the following poetic terms and use them to analyze both the dwarves’ songs: assonance, repetition, imagery, onomatopoeia, tone, structure, and rhyme scheme.  Demonstrate how these elements in his songs add to the characterization of the dwarves.

Glossary of Poetic Terms  http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/poetterm.cfm

           page 14-15             at Bilbo’s house

                                   page 263-264        before the battle

Day 5:  Symbolic Objects/Tools

– Each member of your group must decide on a different specific object or tool that would best represent or support Thorin Oakenshield’s character.  For example, in The Odyssey, Athena’s wisdom could be represented by an owl.  While the members will draw each of the symbols on one collective poster, each individual will write a two-chunk paragraph explaining why the symbol is appropriate for Thorin.

Explore a World of Symbols  http://www.symbols.com/

Dictionary of Symbolism  http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/

–  Each member will select a different season of the year and write a two chunk paragraph that demonstrates how his/her particular season mirrors the journey of Bilbo Baggins.

Day 6:  Travel and Tourism: Lonely Mountain

Each member will do ONE of the following:

Now that the dwarves have reclaimed Lonely Mountain from Smaug, travel and tourism to and from The Lonely Mountain and nearby Laketown has been booming!  Your group is compiling promotional information (including re-naming Lonely Mountain to something more pleasant and dwarf-ish) in order to attract visitors to come and spend their gold in the area.

  –  Create an overall guidebook to Lonely Mountain that includes:

* a detailed map of the region

* enticing reasons why the Lonely Mountain area is the place

for anyone’s next vacation

* climate information

* transportation available

* quotations from previous visitors praising The Lonely Mountain


* coupons to local attractions, restaurants, and


–  Create a hotel brochure that includes:

* accommodations listings

* amenities

* prices

* promotional package deals

* what’s nearby to do/go to eat

– Create a restaurant menu that includes:

* appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, desserts with descriptions

* lunch/dinner specials

* background information about this family-run business

– Create a museum or recreation brochure that includes at least three “must see” attractions in Lonely Mountain and Laketown.

                  * what makes each attraction so special?

* prices

* special discounts

– Create a local newspaper’s sports section that describes various sporting events available in The Lonely Mountain and Laketown areas.  Write at least one article reviewing a particular event that includes players’ names and some kinds of statistics.

Day 7:  Thorin’s Journal

Each member will do ALL of the following:

Each member of your group will create a series of journal responses for Thorin Oakenshield.  Do not merely write your responses on lined paper or type them on a word processor… neither of these would exist in Middle Earth.  Use your imagination and create a journal that would not look out of place in Thorin’s home. 


1. Each response must be at least 150 words in length. 

2. Each response must contain at least three appropriately used vocabulary words from the unit.

3. Each response must create an appropriate “voice” for Thorin.

Respond to each of the following:

     –  Thorin’s reaction to Gandalf’s recommendation of Bilbo as a burgler

     –  Thorin’s reaction after meeting Bilbo and preparing to leave on the journey

     –  Thorin’s thoughts while in the Elvenking’s dungeon

     –  Thorin’s search for the Arkenstone

     –  Thorin’s deathbed journal entry (final thoughts)


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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Regents

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