Teacher’s Questions for Hobbits

Teacher’s Questions for Hobbits


Before reading:

  1. How are humans different from other animals? How are we different from our closest living relatives: apes and monkeys?
  2. How do fossils and artifacts (like stone tools) help scientists learn about our ancestors?
  3. When someone mentions the term Hobbit, what do you think they mean?

During reading:

  1. How were Hobbits like modern people? How were they different?
  2. When did the Hobbits live? What other types of animals were alive at the same time?
  3. Why were anthropologists surprised to find the Hobbits?
  4. When and where did the first humanlike ancestors, called hominids, evolve?
  5. In what ways were Hobbits like Australopithecus?
  6. What is insular dwarfism? Explain why scientists don’t think the Hobbit is an example of insular dwarfism.
  7. Why is it difficult to find Hobbit DNA? What would DNA tell scientists about the Hobbit?
  8. How do scientists think Hobbits got to Indonesia?
  9. Why do some scientists think the Hobbits had a disease? Explain why other scientists disagree with this idea.

After reading:

  1. How does the discovery of the Hobbits affect our understanding of human evolution?
  2. Some scientists think the Hobbit belonged to its own species while others think it was a human with a disease. Think of a way to investigate which idea is right. What kind of evidence would you need? (Hint: It’s okay to think about evidence you would like to have even if scientists haven’t found it yet.)


  1. If the Hobbits were a separate species, that means they lived in Southeast Asia at the same time as humans. How would you know if the two species ever met? What kind of evidence would help answer the question?
  2. The Hobbits have only been found on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Where would you look to try to find more Hobbit fossils? Why?
  3. Why is it important to study human evolution and how our ancestors looked and behaved?