This one-month unit allows for the instructor to open the unit with the fascinating tale of the fall of the Romanovs and Orwell's criticism of certain political systems. Then, on an alternating schedule (provided) of reading and discussion days students work their way through the novel by practicing four distinct literature analyzation skills - summarizing, important passage recognition, character development discussion, and higher order question writing.
This unit is a personal favorite, and a great one to end the year, because students need almost no help from the instructor to work their way through the text. Instead, on the "large group discussion" days students have the resources ready to have a higher order discussion with the instructor about themes, character development, and allegorical elements. The "small group discussion" days allow for students to ask their peers more basic questions to develop an understanding of the text.
All you need to do is assign your students into groups of four and fill in their jobs for each discussion day. There are editable Word documents or ready to print PDFs of every handout in this unit.