Ruby Reads Books

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: The Hobbit

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: The Hobbit

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: The Hobbit

Reader friends have been asking us for a Read-Aloud Poster for The Hobbit for YEARS. And we are finally delivering! Sometimes, it takes us a while to come up with a poster concept that we believe does justice to our very favorite books, so thank you for your patience. 


Did you read The Hobbit when you were young? Or have you enjoyed one of the several movie versions of the book? The good news is, whatever your previous experience with this classic adventure tale has been, you (and your kids!) will enjoy reading it together with our Read-Aloud Poster. 

Like all Read-Aloud Posters, our poster for The Hobbit balances novel and familiar activities within the unique context of this particular book. We’ll look at the novel activities first (those that will likely be new to even seasoned Read-Aloud Poster users) and then look at the familiar activities (we’ve used some variation of the activity of previous posters). After all - if this is your very first poster, it’s all new to you!


Middle Earth Dwellers

One of our favorite aspects of this book is the masterful job Tolkien does of introducing us to each of the various “people” who live in Middle Earth. Hobbits, dwarves, goblins, elves….you may not have heard of them before, but you’ll soon be familiar with their likes, dislikes, homes, and even eating preferences! Record what you learn in our specially designed spaces and draw a picture of each.


Story Vignettes



As you travel through Middle Earth with Bilbo and the dwarves, draw pictures (or write) to show the most important things that happen at each stop on the journey. 


“O, Smaug!”

When Bilbo first meets Smaug, he’s appropriately respectful (and trying not to get incinerated!). He addresses Smaug by several colorful expressions that begin with the phrase, “O, Smaug….”! Pick your favorites to record in the speech bubbles around Smaug.


Dragon Words

It’s the simplest thing, but we love to provide a dedicated spot to “capture” the words that capture your attention as you’re reading. Our hope is that you treasure a few really delightful words and make them part of your family lexicon. Words are wonderful!

On most posters, this is a relatively generic spot where you can add whatever words you like, but for this particular poster we decided to draw your attention to the many wonderful words that pertain to dragons. After all, it’s not every book that has a dragon in it! Use this spot to record your favorite dragon-ish words, or decide to make it into a more generic “Great Words” spot. The choice is yours!


 It’s so much more poetic to say, “My claws are spears” than, “My claws are long and sharp,” don’t you think? Smaug speaks in metaphors quite often, but there are other uses of metaphor throughout the book. Use this space to record your favorites!

Now, on to some activities that may be familiar to you if you’ve completed other Read-Aloud Posters:


Chapter Tracker

One of the tried-and-true parts of every Read-Aloud Poster that’s incredibly motivating for kids is the chapter tracker. On this poster, of course, it’s a ring! We’ve also included suggestions in the guide for breaking some of the longer chapters into two reading sessions; the chapter tracker rings reflect these breaks. Of course, you’re free to divide up the readings (or not) as you see fit.


Character Portraits

Character portraits are a great way to help kids make a concrete representation of the pictures we’re always telling them to make in their minds. Although you’ll have done some exploration of the peoples who dwell in Middle Earth, some characters in The Hobbit are one of a kind! 


Discussion Questions

On every poster we provide a few questions to help get you and your readers talking about the book. Feel the freedom to use some or all of our questions, or go in a completely different direction based on the interests of your group. Write answers directly on the poster, or use sticky notes and stack them on the question spot. It’s up to you!


Roll Call and Readers’ Ratings

We start and end all our Read-Aloud Posters with the Readers and Ratings activity. Start by having everyone sign their names, then close your read-aloud experience with ratings. Remember to ask WHY they gave the book the rating they did. Don’t skip this opportunity to learn about what your kids are enjoying (and not enjoying) about books right now (it can change pretty quickly!). This is great practice for your kids in giving detail to support their opinions, but it’s also important information for you as you try to recommend independent reading selections that they’ll enjoy. 

We hope you have fun making the Read-Aloud Poster your own, and that it enhances your experience of reading The Hobbit!

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