Surfing the Net with Kids: Lord of the Rings

Surfing the Net with Kids: Lord of the Rings

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January 16, 2002

Dear Reader,

After a bit of a delay, I’m pleased to announce that the
2001 Surfnetkids Newsletter Archive is now shipping. If you’ve
enjoyed the Surfnetkids newsletter in your email box, but wish
there was a simple way to search past issues for that perfect
Web site you absolutely must find again, help is here! Or if you’ve
ever wanted to print out an issue without the clutter of ads, you
are going to love this:

And remember, Martin Luther King Day is Monday. If you’re looking
for site suggestions, try these:

Today’s Lord of the Rings topic is accompanied by the following game:

Lord of the Rings Word Search

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Lord of the Rings

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Although I was a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan in my youth, neither of my kids has read his books. Maybe the release of the first “Lord of the Rings” movie will inspire them (and countless others) to explore the magical world of Middle Earth found in his books. Whether you’re a fan of the books, the movie or both, I found the following sites worthwhile.

J.R.R. Tolkien in Oxford


British author and Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” in 1937. The three-volume sequel “The Lord of the Rings”, which weaves a tale of good against evil in imaginary Middle Earth, was written between 1954 and 1955. This fan site is an excellent Tolkien resource, with a special focus on his tenure at Oxford University as both a student and a professor. Highlights are the Tolkien biography, timeline, Hobbit maps, Tolkien Alphabet, five quizzes and a printable crossword.

Lord of the Rings: Official Movie Site


The official movie site from New Line Productions is a multimedia extravaganza. Visit for cast interviews, soundtrack clips, movie trailers, screensavers, e-cards and a fan message board. But the best reason to stop by is the interactive Middle Earth map. As you mouse around the map, you can explore Hobbit culture and characters, as well as view video snippets from the film. A fun mix of story line and movie promotion!

National Geographic Beyond the Movie: Lord of the Rings


This edition of National Geographic’s Beyond the Movie is my pick of the day (for middle school students and older) because it includes the author, the book, and the film in its scope. Although the topics (such as the historical, cultural and mythological influences on Tolkien) sound very academic, National Geographic excels at making it very approachable. So is the evil ring a reference to the atomic bomb of World War II? “‘An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience,’ Tolkien acknowledged, but he strongly denied that his story was an allegory for World War I or II.”

The New York Times: The Tolkien Archives


There are so many Tolkien goodies here, I will simply highlight my favorites. Number one goodie is the collection of original New York Times news articles starting with a 1938 book review of “The Hobbit.” I also liked the audio snippets of Tolkien reading, the complete first chapters of “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Rings,” the nine interactive Tolkien quizzes, and the interdisciplinary lesson plans for grades six through twelve. That should keep you busy for awhile!

The Tolkien Trail


Our last site of the week is a fan-created journey through Middle Earth led by the wizard Gandalf. Along the way you can stop to play a few games (including a word search, paddle ball, and hangman), read the Tolkien-inspired fan fiction, view the fan art gallery, and join the very lively discussion board. There is even a One Ring musical in development, which is being posted one scene at a time.

Surfing the Calendar

Ben Franklin’s Birthday
Jan 17, 1706
U.S. Presidential Inauguration
Jan 20, 2001
Martin Luther King Day
Jan 21, 2002
California Gold Rush
Jan 24, 1848

More Calendar

Related Book
(in association with

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (Boxed Set)


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Copyright © 2002 Barbara J. Feldman

Surfing the Net with Kids

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