1984 Book Journal Assignment

Summer Reading Assignments: 1984 By George Orwell

First Journal EntryPg.27The quote reads “How could you make appeal to the future when not a trace of you, not even an anonymous word scribbled on a piece of paper, could physically survive?” I wrote this quote in my diary to demonstrate that the government did not want our thoughts or opinions to be shown to the public. I am hoping that this isn’t destroyed along with everything else that is not accepted by Big Brother. The government would wipe it out of existence maybe even before I can finish my sentences. I try to write as much as I can so people in the future know how I felt and how people were treated. Probably even so I could feel more important than I do now. I choose this quote because these people are suffering and upset that the government is destroying all their beliefs little by little. Though in the United States we have the right to speak our mind and we take it for granted. That really shows a difference. Also shows how a government can put down people in such a level that they feel like they are dead while still alive.

Second Journal EntryPg. 91The quote reads “Do you feel that you have more freedom now than you had in those days? Are you treated more like a human being? In the old days, the rich people, the people at the top-.“ I had to ask that question to the old man that was sitting down at the bar. I wanted to know if his life was impacted so much that he could have more freedom after the Revolution like mine was impacted when the government could watch me at all times; though mine was impacted in a negative way. I remember reading that there was a terrible oppression, injustice and poverty and for him to have a better life now, as I thought he did, was inspiring. I choose this quote because Winston is relating his life to a man at a bar and could find similarities with him. In my opinion, this shows how a bad government or war can bring oppression felt by both human beings.

Third Journal EntryPg. 173The quote reads “You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never see one another again?”“ No!” broke in Julia. “No,” he said finally. This was the three quotes needed to use in order to understand what is going on. They took me into a room where I wasn’t even sure I belonged but I questioned them as much as I could. I know for a fact that Julia and O’Brien were there but couldn’t identify the other voices. They ask me about the Brotherhood and I told them it very well existed; they told me they were thought-criminals as well and wanted to join. Then they asked me questions of how...

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Think For Yourself!

Created by Tisha Coen


Prefatory Statement

              In “Think for Yourself!” students will be challenged to identify, understand, explain, and finally create items of propaganda in the world today. Using models of propaganda from television, radio, computer, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, etc., the students will become aware of how the use of words and images can motivate their thought processes and, therefore, encourage their actions in life. In today’s world propaganda is as much a part of our existence as it has ever been except that our children are not being taught to recognize it for what it is. Learning what is factual versus what is opinion and how those opinions are made attractive by being promoted in a certain way, can enrich student lives. It’s crucial for students to be taught how to discern between propaganda and factual truths because of the amount of outside stimulation they are subjected to on a daily basis. The students will study and reflect on different modes of propaganda and how it connects to not only their universe but also the world beyond them into their parents’ universe. This unit will also touch on the world of “spin” and the differences between “spin” and propaganda.



Class Specification

              “Think for Yourself” is appropriate for high school students grades 9 – 12 with some minor adjustments being needed between grade levels. It will be appropriate for anyone who has any interaction with media and technology of any kind, i.e. iPods, television, cell phones, computers, etc. It will discuss topics relevant to today’s students by way of current events, social justice, climate, etc., and will help the student develop a broad sense of awareness regarding our current society.



Significant Assumptions

              This unit will, with almost 100% guarantee, be applicable to every student that walks through the doors of an American high school. I must make the assumptions that 1) the students who will be taught this unit have had exposure to different kinds of media outlets such as television and radios and 2) this is a topic that most students have not had much exposure to and will be interested in learning about the ways they are being “programmed” to behave. It should surely pique the interest of most, if not all, high school students who are demanding their independence and learning how to negotiate the world around them. I also assume that the students have basic skills in writing as they will be creating a bit of propaganda in written form as part of the unit. Another assumption will be that there will be enough books for each student to have a personal copy so that they may take the book home to read. That way we won’t have to use class time to do the reading.


Selected Outcomes

              At the end of this unit the student will have learned:

1. The seven devices of propaganda

2. How to recognize propaganda in their own worlds

3. How to define propaganda in their own words

4. How to dissect propaganda

5. Reading, writing, and speaking skills


These outcomes will build toward these standards of literature according to the Minnesota State Graduation Standards with my focus being on the reading and literature section C.


Grades 9-12

I. Reading and Literature - Students will read and understand grade-appropriate English language text.

           C.  Comprehension Standard:  The student will understand the meaning of informational, expository or

               persuasive texts, using a variety of strategies and will demonstrate literal, interpretive,

               inferential and evaluative comprehension.

                       2. Comprehend and evaluate the purpose, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and usefulness of   

                      informational materials.   

                       7. Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information from



III. Speaking, Listening, and Viewing - Standard:  The student will demonstrate understanding and communicate effectively through listening and speaking.

           A. Speaking and Listening

                       1. Distinguish between speaker’s opinion and verifiable facts and analyze the credibility

                     of the presentation.

           B. Media Literacy - Standard:  The student will critically analyze information found in electronic and print

             media, and will use a variety of these sources to learn about a topic and represent ideas.               

                       2. Evaluate the logic of reasoning in both print and non-print selections.

                       3. Evaluate the source’s point of view, intended audience and authority.



Possible Whole Class Activities

           • Discussions about propaganda videos and commercials

           • Brainstorming about what kind of propaganda is in their everyday lives (Venn Diagram on the board)


Possible Small – Group Activities

           • Magazine Tally sheet counting propaganda

           • short skits depicting some type of propaganda scenarios or “spin”


Possible Individual Activities

           • Development of a persuasive essay using propaganda techniques

           • Development of a tag board showing the students’ understandings of propaganda

           • Daily individual journal entries citing a form of propaganda they see

           • Individual journal entries responding to what they are learning in class about how their lives are changed

           or influenced by the propaganda they see every day.

           •Ongoing reading of the book 1984 by George Orwell


Ongoing Activities

         There will be a daily conversation of propaganda. Some days we will be discussing the book chapters that were read for homework, and other days will include little mini lessons to keep their minds focused on the issue of global propaganda.

           • Daily individual journal entries citing a form of propaganda they see (prompts on week outline)

           • Individual journal entries responding to what they are learning in class about how their lives are changed

          or influenced by the propaganda they see every day.

           •Ongoing reading of the book 1984 by George Orwell

           • One wall of the classroom will be cleared and designated as the “spin” wall. This is where they can post

           articles, clippings, copies of book covers, or anything else school appropriate that depicts some kind of




Student Resources

           • 1984 by George Orwell

           •The resources the students will need are access to back issue magazines, computers (for access to

          speeches, television ads, website ads, websites, etc.)

           • Paper and writing utensils

           • Tag board for propaganda presentation

           • Journals for each student



Unit Launch

           For my unit launch I will begin by showing the class several video clips from thefuntheory.com site to get them thinking about propaganda. These are really fun videos that don’t incite people to think about propaganda but that will be the “whammy.”  Then, I’m going to define propaganda with the class and follow it up by showing them some propaganda posters. These posters will segue into the introduction of the “spin” wall. This is where I will tell the students to bring in examples of propaganda (school appropriate) to post on the wall for everyone to see.

www.thefuntheory.com to play on Day 1 of the Unit




Week 1/ Day1

Week 1 / Day2

Week 1 / Day3

Week 1 / Day 4

Week 1 / Day 5

      Induction Set:

• Fun theory videos – what did you see/hear?



• Discussion/Definition of Propaganda and hand out journals while explaining journal purpose


• Introduction of the “Spin Wall” and some propaganda posters to start the wall.


• Exit slip –Have kids write up to a half page on what they have learned about propaganda and turn it in


Note: See UBD lesson plan for this day



• Introduction of Web Quest with time given to peruse the site


• Show commercial clips and discuss:

1) What words cause the audience to want to agree with the commercial?

2) What things make commercials so influential?

3) What do the commercials you identify with have in common?


• Assign response journal entry – Write up to a page about any coincidences they noticed throughout all the commercials

• Class discussion / brainstorming (listing/Venn Diagramming on board) about propaganda in their everyday lives and what effect it has on them

1) What do you do to keep from submitting to the sways of propaganda?


• Assign homework of bringing in a magazine for tomorrows activity

• Small group work on magazine ads (using magazine tally worksheet)


Journal response – have them write about what they found in the magazines


• Introduction of book 1984 (with background?)

• Read aloud the first chapter of Book I in 1984 and discuss:

1) What does this have to do with propaganda?


2) Why do you think that this book that was written in 1949 could still be applicable?


• Assign homework of the chapters 2 & 3 for Monday


• Collect journals



Week 2 / Day1

Week 2 / Day2

Week 2 / Day3

Week 2 / Day 4

Week 2 / Day 5

• 5 question entry quiz on chapters 2&3 of Book I in 1984 (correct in class and discuss)


•Hand back Journals


• Introduce concept of persuasive writing using Web Quest links


• Assign chapters 3&4 of book for tomorrow

  • Brainstorming time for persuasive writing topics with access to Web Quest links

•Tell class to think about ideas for persuasive writing topics

• Assign chapters

4-6 for tomorrow with journal response –write about two things they found interesting or questionable

• Have students submit ideas for persuasive writing topics by end of class


• Introduce summative assignment of propaganda board due at end of unit (handout)


•Assign chapters 7&8 for tomorrow


• Hand back students ideas for their writing topics and link them on the web quest to the persuasive writing sites



• Assign Part II chapters 1-3 for tomorrow with a journal response – write about something that caught you by surprise



• Give out directions for persuasive writing assignment and go over it in class


• Class time to catch up on reading and move forward through chapter 6 for Monday

•Reminder Quiz on Monday over 1st half of book


•Collect journals

Week 3 / Day1

Week 3 / Day2

Week 3 / Day3

Week 3 / Day 4

Week 3 / Day 5

• Guest speaker

(campaign director or advertising professional)


• Hand back journals


• Assign journal entry (respond to what guest speaker had to say)


• Assign chapters 7&8 for tomorrow


• Revisit the guest speaker’s presentation


• Give out scenarios for propaganda skits and divide class into groups for the skits


• Give students time to develop and rehearse skit to be performed the next day


•Assign chapters






• Give students time to rehearse skits


• Student groups perform skits on propaganda scenarios (5 minute skits)


•Assign Book III chapters 1&2

• Entrance slip on chapters 1&2

 (list 3 things that happen to Winston)


•In class time to work on persuasive writing assignment


•Assign chapters 3&4 with journal response – reaction to chapters 3&4

• Class time to work on persuasive writing essay


•Assign chapters 5&6


•Assign work on persuasive writing essay


• Reminder about propaganda board due at end of unit


Note: See UBD lesson plan for this day







Week 4/ Day1

Week 4 / Day2

Week 4 / Day3

Week 4 / Day 4

Week 4 / Day 5

• entrance slip on chapters 5&6 – write two questions you have from these chapters


• Final day to work on persuasive writing project with peer editor








• Collect persuasive writing assignment


• Go over test format for essay test tomorrow


• Review for test with class discussion












• Essay test on 1984 and propaganda items

• Propaganda board presentations

• Propaganda board presentations

Lesson Topic: Propaganda Unit Introduction (Week 1/Day 1)    Grade level: 10

               Length of lesson: 50 Minutes

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Standard(s): I. Reading and Literature - Students will read and understand grade-appropriate English language text. C.  Comprehension Standard:  The student will understand the meaning of informational, expository or persuasive texts, using a variety of strategies and will demonstrate literal, interpretive, inferential and evaluative comprehension. 2. Comprehend and evaluate the purpose, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and usefulness of informational materials.   

Understanding (s)/goals

Students will understand:

• The difference between factual information and propaganda

• The difference between opinion and “spin”

• How does propaganda affect me?


Essential Question(s):

• What motivates you to make to choices between products you buy?

• Do commercials inform you about products or lead you to buy things by being attractive?

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to: 1) Determine the difference between factual information and “spin” 2) Explain what propaganda is.

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s):

• Write a short exit slip (paragraph) showing their understanding of what propaganda is.


Other Evidence:

• Students answer each other’s questions about what propaganda is

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities

Materials & Resources:

1. Two fun theory videos (computer)

2. Dictionary

3. Whiteboard and markers

4. Propaganda posters

5. Paper and pen


1. Open the class with the fun theory videos (are they propaganda?) and discuss each video with the class to see what they see and hear. (20 minutes)

2. Introduce the word propaganda – ask several students who are confident they know what “propaganda” means to write their definition on the board. Have other students look up the definition in the dictionary -but keep it to themselves. Discuss the definitions on the board and get the class to a consensus before the dictionary definition is read. Ask if anyone needs clarification about the meaning of the word.

3. Ask the students if they noticed the bare wall in the room. Explain to them that this will be the “spin” wall. Define “spin” as a class by discussion. It is where they will be able to post all the representations of spin that they find in their everyday life. While explaining this, add the cutout title of “propaganda/spin” to the wall.

4. Bring out propaganda posters one by one. Have the class discuss the posters trying to pinpoint what is propaganda in each poster and then put them on the “spin” wall. Closing Activities

Have the students take out a piece of paper and a pen and write three things they learned today. (exit slip)

Name _______________________________


Period _________________




1984 - Chapters 2&3 quiz


1. What is a speakwrite?



2. What does Winston do to the record of Comrade Withers?



3. What is newspeak?



4. What does Winston do after work?









Name _______________________________


Period _________________




1984 - Chapters 2&3 quiz


1. What is a speakwrite?



2. What does Winston do to the record of Comrade Withers?



3. What is newspeak?



4. What does Winston do after work?







Lesson Topic: Persuasive Writing    Grade level: 10

Length of lesson: 50 Minutes


Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Standard(s): II. WRITING - Students will write clearly and coherently for a variety of audiences and purposes. A. Type of Writing Standard:  The student will write in narrative, expository, descriptive, persuasive and critical modes. The student will: 1. Plan, organize and compose narrative, expository, descriptive, persuasive, critical and research writing to address a specific audience and purpose. 

Understanding (s)/goals

Students will understand:

• How to write persuasively using techniques discussed in the propaganda unit

Essential Question(s):

• Who are you trying to persuade?

• What can you say to make your argument more viable?

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to: 1) write a letter that persuades the recipient to the author’s point of view 2) write using the techniques discussed in the propaganda discussions


Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s):

• Write a letter that shows competence in the art of persuasion


Other Evidence:

• Checklist from writing partner is complete

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:


1. Directions handout

2. Prepared Quiz on 1st half of 1984


1. Hand out directions for Persuasive writing essay to the students (5 minutes)

2. Give them time to read it over (5 minutes)

3. Go over it step by step with the students. (10 minutes)

4. Administer quiz (20 minutes)

5. Give class time to work on brainstorming or catch up reading time (10 minutes)

Closing Activities:

1. Collect journals while telling the students that there will be guest speaker Monday.

2. Go over hosting protocol for guests and manners while the guest is in the class.
















Persuasive Letter Writing


              You will write a letter to persuade an audience of your choice. You will be able to choose from the following scenarios:


              •There has been a problem in local schools with discipline and violence. Your school

              board has decided to institute a school uniform policy in order to cut down on these

              problems, based on the positive examples that they have seen at other schools.


              • The principal at your school has instituted random locker and backpack/bookbag 

              searches to check for guns, knives, and other weapons. Anyone caught with these

              weapons will be immediately suspended. The principal argues that the random searches

              will not only guard against illegal weapons at school but will also help students feel



              • Some of the parents at your school have started a campaign to limit the homework that

              teachers can assign to students. Teachers at your school have argued that the homework

              is necessary and don’t want to be limited in how much or when they give homework to

              the students.



1. Choose a scenario that you want to write about and sign up for that scenario on the sign up sheet at my desk.


2. Choose a colleague to work with throughout this assignment for help, revision, and editing, and then write your colleague’s name on the checklist.


3. Brainstorm about ideas for your scenario and the position you will be taking regarding that scenario. Create an outline, a Venn diagram, or a list of your ideas. Have your colleague read over your ideas, and then ask them to suggest an alternative or ask a question about your ideas. You do the same for your colleague’s brainstorming ideas and each of you must sign your colleague’s brainstorming paper.


4. Write a draft of your letter – not worrying about any editing at this point – and have your colleague read it. Talk about your paper with your colleague and ask them to make suggestions or ask questions. Write down these comments/suggestions and have your colleague sign your draft.


5. After talking with your colleague, revise your letter taking into consideration his/her ideas and comments if applicable. Again, have your colleague read this draft, discuss it, and have them sign it noting any suggestions or comments.


6.When satisfied with the content of your letter, edit your letter for grammar and punctuation errors. Have your colleague edit it as well, careful to note any errors.


7. Write a final draft of your letter. Hand in letter with checklist attached to the back.








Scenario ___________________________________________



Colleague __________________________________________





                           Activity                              Author Initials                     Colleague Initials






1st Conference




1st Draft – circle persuasion strategies




2nd Conference (Revise)




2nd Draft –circle words that are persuasive words




2nd Conference (Edit)




3rd Draft




3rd Conference (Double check)



Final Draft





























Scenario #1 – Create a skit using the technique NAMECALLING


Scenario #2 - Create a skit using the technique BANDWAGON


Scenario #3 - Create a skit using the technique TESTIMONIAL


Scenario #4 -Create a skit using the technique TRANSFER


Scenario #5 - Create a skit using the technique COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Name _______________________________


Period _________________




1984 – Quiz


Answer the following questions in sentence form.


1. When does the novel begin?


2. What is Newspeak?



3. Name the four Ministries of the government.


4. What is thoughtcrime?


5. What conflicting emotions does Winston feel before helping the girl?


6. Tell why Winston no longer believes the girl is an enemy.


7. Tell what Winston and the girl witness in the square.


8. Where is Winston when O’Brien approaches him?


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