Author:
Shana Ferguson
Subject:
Graphic Arts, Literature, Communication, Graphic Design, Composition and Rhetoric, World History, Political Science
Material Type:
Homework/Assignment, Lecture Notes, Lesson
Level:
High School
Tags:
Advertising, Animal Farm, Cyber Citizenship, George Orwell, Media Literacy, Propaganda, wa-dcml, wa-edtech
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards

Propaganda & Animal Farm

Propaganda & Animal Farm

Overview

This unit is designed to accompany the study of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Resources encourage students to recognize a variety of propaganda techniques and to connect those techniques to media that they can find in their everyday lives. Resources also help students to understand the historical uses of propaganda by governments and political parties to influence public opinion. Resources can be used independently of the novel.

Permissions, Copyright & Funding Source

Except where otherwise noted, this work by Scott Binkley, Shana Ferguson, Sheree Fitzpatrick and Kelly Wyman, Vancouver Public Schools, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine  (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked. 

 

This work contains links to websites and videos operated by third parties. These links and platforms are provided for your convenience and do not constitute or imply any affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, approval, verification or monitoring.

Funding for this unit was provided through a Media Literacy Grant from Washington's State's OSPI. Materials do not reflect the views or endorsement of OSPI.

Cover image photo by Judith Prins on Unsplash.

Unit Overview

This unit was designed to explore the ways in which propaganda techniques are used in George Orwell's Animal Farm as well as in contemporary society to manipulate and control the opinions and actions of others. 

One recommended resource for student activities specific to the novel is George Orwell's Study Guide to Animal Farm from the Curriculum Project with their accompanying teacher's guide.

Introducing Propaganda Techniques

This slide show is designed to be used throughout the reading of the novel Animal Farm. We recommend you introduce students to 1-2 techniques with each chapter so they have time to apply the technique to the novel and to find their own contemporary examples.

Have student use the Student Handout on Propaganda Techniques to record examples from the novel. They can work on this in pairs, small groups as well as individually. It helps for students to make their own copy that they can edit directly as they may find multiple examples for some techniques. 

This Teacher's Guide to examples of propaganda in the novel does not cover every example but gives some key examples of various techniques.

Students may also enjoy examples of propaganda videos like this Soviet Russian cartoon against capitalism.

As students learn about the various techniques, they can find their own examples and see how countries use these techniques in more modern examples on this excellent site from the Media Education Lab.

Connecting Propaganda to Animal Farm, History and Our Daily Lives

This handout helps students to review propaganda in greater detail and includes resources that offer a broader range of techniques.

These activities are designed to help students identify propaganda around them (advertising works well) and to create their own example of propaganda. Student scavenger hunt examples can be used in class to review the various techniques, to quiz one another in small groups or pairs, or as examples they can choose to analyze as forms of media. 

Propaganda Scavenger Hunt

Create Your Own Propaganda

 

Reading & Interpreting the Novel

As students read the novel Animal Farm, they can use the Reading Analysis Worksheet to process and record their thoughts on the text.

Teacher informatiuon for the Reading Analysis Worksheet.

After or during the reading of the novel, students can also work on gathering textual evidence to support claims. Students can use their support as the basis for an essay or other formal assessment.