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Animal Farm

By: George Orwell   Level: High School


Teaching Animal Farm by George Orwell

Every student should read Animal Farm; it is the best book about how power corrupts--and how difficult it is to maintain a free society. Although Orwell wrote Animal Farm about the Russian Revolution, the story of the animals is far more universal than that one point in world history.

Written as a simple fable, Animal Farm is straight-forward and easy to follow. The challenge in teaching this book is to get students to make the connections between the fable and real life, to see the lessons to be learned from the animals' actions.

Making the connections with Stalinist Russia helps students see a real-life, historical application of the fable, but if your students aren't up to digging into Russian history, the same lessons can be learned; just dig into the actions of the animals, explore how and why one event leads to another, how the pigs come to power, how they abuse that power, and how they get away with it. Explore how the free animals lose their freedoms.

This book gives you the perfect vehicle to teach the art of persuasion: persuasive writing, how to argue effectively, how to recognize persuasive techniques in advertising and other media, and much more.

The teaching resources below will help focus your discussions and activities so your students will get the most out of reading Orwell's classic story of Animal Farm.

Summary of Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture. It is an account of the bold struggle that transforms Mr. Jones's Manor Farm into Animal Farm, a wholly democratic society built on the credo that All Animals Are Created Equal.

Out of their cleverness, the pigs Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball emerge as leaders of the new community in a subtle evolution that bears an insidious familiarity.

The climax is the brutal betrayal of the faithful horse Boxer, when totalitarian rule is reestablished with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.

A Brief Biography of George Orwell

George Orwell (1903-1950) served with the Imperial Police in Burma, fought with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and was a member of the Home Guard and a writer for the BBC during World War II. He is the author of many works of non-fiction and fiction.

Biography of George Orwell on YouTube


Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, & More For Animal Farm: