This activity is an intro to 1984 note- taking guide and evidence tracker, created to help students keep track of important concepts and characters from book 1. The guide features 20 concepts from chapters 1-6 of Orwell’s novel. Students fill in the guide using direct evidence from the text as well as by explaining the concepts in their own words. While completing this assignment, students practice close-reading skills as they gather textual evidence. This assignment improves reading comprehension as they work to explain Orwell's concepts in a way that makes sense to them. The activity takes several days to complete (or more depending on your reading schedule) and helps students come to class prepared to discuss the novel.
I have also included a four page teacher key that includes 20 quotes as well as detailed explanations of each of Orwell's concepts. The key is great for teachers new to teaching this novel since this novel is a bit more complex then other novels due to Orwell's many historical allusions.
This activity can be done both digitally or printed as a hard copy. It is a Google document compatible with Google Classroom.
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I created this assignment because I found that many of my students would struggled initially with ALL of Orwell’s unique concepts (thoughtcrime, unperson, vaporized...). This impeded their overall understanding of the novel and made students less excited about this particular novel. In my classroom, implementing this assignment has really helped student comprehension of 1984, and I have found that students are more excited about beginning this text then in previous years.
This activity is great because it has provided me the opportunity to quickly check-in with students regarding their understanding of the text. I then can provide students additional support by having students discuss concepts with peers during both group and whole class discussions.
While this assignment can be completed digitally, I prefer to print the assignment out and have students fill it out as we begin the novel together. As students gradually begin reading the text on their own, I have them continue completing the chart independently to hold them accountable for their reading. I find that students are better prepared to discuss the novel each day as a class because of this assignment.
Please let me know how this activity works in your classroom.