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Lesson: Introduction to 1984


Author: Kelly G
Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts
Grade Level: 9 - 12

Introduction

Dear students: To help you prepare for our class reading of 1984, I have set up this series of activities to help introduce you to George Orwell, his history, and the themes of the novel. By the end of today you will have the information and tools necessary to fully immerse yourself in what is considered to be one of Orwell’s best novels. Enjoy!

Goals

By the end of these activities you will be able to: *make predictions about the novel’s plot *understand the novel’s place in history *visualize a dystopian society *discuss Orwell’s motives for writing the novel

Directions

You may move through the activities in whatever order you like, but start your exploration with the background information on George Orwell. As you watch/read, respond to the provided prompts. When everyone finishes working through the activities we will discuss our experiences as a class.


Background Builder Background

Title: Biography of George Orwell URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell
Directions: Skim the information Wikipedia provides on George Orwell to get a deeper understanding of his personal background. What about his biography stands out to you? Keep what you learn in mind as you learn more about 1984.



Vocabulary Builder Vocabulary


Message: Familiarize yourself with these words and their definitions. They will help you as we discuss the novel and its themes.
Vocabulary Words:
Ideology the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party
Dystopia an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly
Totalitarian controlling the people of a country in a very strict way with complete power that cannot be opposed
Oligarchy a country, business, etc., that is controlled by a small group of people
Socialism a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
Proletariat the lowest social or economic class of a community ; especially : the working class


Activity: Movie Trailer for 1984


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Goals

At the end of this activity you will be able to make predictions about the content of the novel.

Directions

Watch the trailer for the movie version of 1984. As you watch, think about what the video can tell you about the novel. Record your predictions, using the video for support, using Keisha the strategy tutor.



Activity: Historical Context


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Goals

At the end of this activity you will have a sense of why Orwell wrote this novel and how it reflects the world he lived in.

Directions

Read the two sections presented in the blog post and then use the Summarize strategy tutor with Pablo to summarize Orwell's reasons for writing 1984.



Activity: Envisioning a Dystopia


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Goals

After this activity you will be able to imagine what a dystopian world entails.

Directions

Read the "Common Traits of Dystopian Fiction" listed on this site. Afterward, use the Visualize strategy tutor with Keisha to form a mental image of what Orwell's dystopia could look like.




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