Moral Courage and Endurance: The Need for Change

We are going to have to do all of our reading in the classroom, because I will only have one class set of these books. Work on these plans over the summer.

Focus standards: RL 1, 2, 3, 5; RC 1, 2; W 1; C 1.

I want students to understand
  • Writers are influenced by their experiences and the culture around them.
  • Good persuasion incorporates evidence, emotional appeal, and a moral call to action.
  • We seek truth, but are sometimes happier when we don't know it. This paradox confronts us in many different situations throughout life. (Thanks Dana!)
  • It is most compelling to help ourselves first, then those like us. Those who are different from us do not seem as important.
  • Some metaphors have become widely accepted as symbols, and can carry subtle influence when used by a good writer.

Essential Questions
  • Does power inevitably lead to corruption?
  • Why animals?
  • How is persuasion - and propaganda - used today?

Words to understand:
  • Propaganda techniques and logical fallacies - name calling (usually negative - positive known as "glittering generalities"), euphemism, transfer, card stacking, social (bandwagon/snob appeal), false choice
  • History (Russian Revolution) - People: Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Tsar Nicholas II, KGB. Places: Russia, England, Germany. Events: Bolshevik Revolution, Russian Civil War, WWI Battle of Moscow, Five Year Plan.
  • Literary techniques - fable, satire, allegory
  • Types of governments, based on source of power - democracy (direct / representative), monarchy (absolute / constitutional), oligarchy (aristocracy / junta), authoritarian (dictatorship / totalitarian), other (anarchy / republic / theocracy)

Key concepts from the book:
  • Characters - appearance, personality, how the story affects them, how their actions affect other characters
  • Battles in Animal Farm and the parallels in Russian history - Rebellion (Bolshevik Revolution), Battle of the Cowshed (Russian Civil War), Battle of the Windmill (Battle of Moscow, WWII)

Skills and concepts: allegory, alliteration, allusion, analogy, anecdote, assonance, audience, autobiography, ballad, bibliography, character, consonance, description, fallacy, haiku, hyperbole, irony - dramatic, irony - situational, irony - verbal, limerick, line, memoir, metaphor, meter, narration, near rhyme, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, personification, plagiarism, plot, POV general, POV 1st, POV 3rd lim, POV 3rd omni, propaganda, rhyme scheme, satire, setting, simile, slant rhyme, spatial order, stanza, symbolism, theme, tone, true rhyme, visual rhyme, works cited page

Summative Assessments
  1. Persuasive letter from Benjamin to the other animals pointing out 3 examples of propaganda
  2. Persuasive letter from yourself to your classmates pointing out 3 examples of propaganda on a current political issue

Formative Assessments
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Learning Plan
  1. Writing: If I were an animal, I would be a _ because it represents _. (Hogwarts houses!)
  2. Compare "Yes We Can" or "Crush on Obama" with "Da Korvaka Putin"
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Do not copy out the prompt. Write out the title and the date at the top of the page. For full credit, at least 1/2 page must be in response to the prompt. The other half may be a freewrite. Responses that stay on topic for the full page will receive extra credit.
  • Should citizens have to take a ‘voter’s knowledge test’ before each election in order to vote? Why or why not?
  • Describe an advertisement. Explain whether or not it is effective and why or why not.
  • Was the Animal Farm revolution a good idea? Why or why not?
  • Who is a better leader – Mr. Jones or Napoleon? Why?
  • Were the animals better off at the beginning of the story or the end of the story? Why?