Hobbit Runes Worksheet

Use the Runes Alphabet to translate the different messages in our Hobbit Unit Study

Hobbit Runes Alphabet

The runes alphabet pictured above is derived from information found in the text of The Hobbit. Tolkien provides this information in his Note before Chapter 1. Using this Hobbit Rune Alphabet, the students can participate activities that follow.

Chapter 1 Runes: The Secret Passage

Because this passage is a little hard to translate, we give the students the translation, "Five feet high the door and three may walk abreast." With those runes, and the rune alphabet worksheet, the students become familiar with the rune writing in The Hobbit.

Chapters 2 & 3 Runes: The Moon Runes

Hobbit Runes

In Chapter 3, Elrond translates the mysterious prophecy that can only be read by the same moon in which they were written.

We have made the rune reading exercise a little more challenging. Since we gave them the answer for the first rune message, this one they have to decipher for themselves.

At the end of Chapter 2, they will decipher the longer Moon Rune Message. Since the paperback books most students are reading from has a crease down the middle, we have a reprint of the runes (like the picture above) for the students to use.

History of Runes

So what is the history of runes? Did Tolkien invent them, like he did so much of Middle Earth?

The answer is no. In the unit study, students get a quick overview of runes:

Hands On Activity

Carve Your Name in Runes

To understand the nature of thinly carved runes, students can practice carving Hobbit runes with a toothpick into a bar of soap.

It goes without saying, they need to translate their name into official Middle Earth Runes prior to their carving.

Baggins in Runes

Hobbit Vocabulary Lists

Speaking of writing your name in runes, this is an opportunity for them to translate the Hobbit Runes listed on the vocabulary lists included in the unit study. It is easy to read "hobbit" on the left, but the words on the right might be a little trickier. Once you realize that their "G" looks like our "X" it becomes quite easy to distinguish the name of Baggins on the top of the paper.

Chapter 7: Gandalf's Warning

Hobbit Runes

Readers get a little more rune practice in Chapter 7 when they translate Gandalf's warning from rune to English.

For those of you who aren't adept at reading runes yet, it says, "Don't leave the path." There is, of course, an entire discussion regarding what would have happened if they HAD followed Gandalf's advice, but that's included with discussion questions, not rune practice.

Symbols in the Hobbit

Hobbit Symbols and Themes

What better way to practice rune reading than our final summary. This Hobbit Rune Worksheet has the students translate the seven different symbols they have studied in the hobbit (ring, sword, hobbits, treasure hoard, etc.) with the concept they represent.

More Hobbit Runes

The text of The Hobbit provides a few more opportunities for rune reading: Finally, those who chose to do the Artist's Challenge in Chapter 12 can incorporate Hobbit Runes into their art project.

What Else Is in the Hobbit Unit Study Guide?

The Hobbit Poster

Our 136 page unit study includes:

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The Hobbit Worksheet The Hobbit Teachers Key
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The Hobbit Pages

All of our Hobbit pages at a glance

The Hobbit Unit Study Hobbit Unit Study
Full 136 page unit study for grades 6 - 10.
The Hobbit Analysis Hobbit Analysis
Uncover the symbolism, themes, and genres in The Hobbit
Vocabulary Hobbit Vocabulary
Vocabulary words and definitions for every chapter
The Dwarves Hobbit Dwarf Worksheet
Use our puzzle and worksheet to learn the 13 dwarves.
Point of View Hobbit Point Of View
Find the POV of the inner and outer frames in the narrative.

GreatBlueHeron Hobbit House Egret

Ready To Use Resources

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