Main text: 1984

Focus standards: RL 1, 2, 5; RC 1, 2, 3; W 1; LSV !
Other included standards: RL 4; W 2, 3, 4; C 1, 2

I want students to understand
  • how to tackle challenging text - how to find clues about what the writer is trying to accomplish
  • the connections between an artist's environment & the work produced; and between current events & history
  • how to detect, analyze, & respond to "spin"
  • literary techniques used & the effects of those techniques
  • how to communicate smoothly & effectively in front of a group

Essential Questions - is this too many?

1) What are the limits on our freedom, and why are those limits there?
2) What does the individual owe to society, and vice versa?
3) How do others try to control or influence what we think?
4) How do authors create particular responses in readers?
5) Why do characters choose to act as they do in this story?
6) How do their actions affect the story's events? How do the events affect the characters?
7) Compared to others (other generations, other cultures, fictional societies) are our lives better or worse? In what ways? Why?


1) Quizzes on the assigned reading; freewrite response (see here)
2) Study Guide based on the work created for discussion in the literature circles
3) Written Reflection comparing 1984 with our current society and the society depicted in A State of Mind

Learning Plan

1) Read and understand the novel – demonstrate careful reading, practice in class; provide questions to guide understanding of reading at home.
2) Respond in depth – make connections, identify challenging words, etc. - literature circle roles.
3) Discuss in groups – bring in-depth responses to share with group; students who have not finished homework will be given class time to do so & will need to schedule after-school conferences with teacher to make up discussion grade.
4) Watch documentary A State of Mind chronicles teen athletes in North Korea, providing a real-life example of a modern totalitarian state.