This is a lesson that I started using many years ago when I taught AP Language, since Orwell's famous essay is pretty much required reading for that test. It was a good introduction to rhetoric for AP newbies on several levels:
1. The whole essay is about rhetoric to begin with
2. It's a good essay to use to introduce annotation and close and critical reading
3. It can be analyzed as an argument, looking at Orwell's use of appeals
4. At the end of the essay, he provides several "rules" for writing which can be used to focus students on clarity in their own writing
When I switched from teaching AP Language to teaching the regular junior-level composition class at our school, I found this essay was still helpful for all of the above reasons, and also because that class reads Orwell's 1984 and the essay explains the basics of the concept of "Newspeak" from the novel. So, I started using this short lesson as an intro to Orwell and the novel, although I did abridge the essay for my non-AP students.
This lesson can be two to four or five days long, depending on how much of it you would like to do. The lesson does NOT include a copy of the essay, but that is widely anthologized and also available online. The lesson DOES include:
1. Teacher lesson plan
2. A student annotation guide
3. A 23-item multiple choice and short answer quiz with the answer key. (There are 3 short answer questions which ask students to provide a direct quote from the text to support a previous answer. I included these questions after the new SAT began asking similar questions on reading passages.)
4. 4 pages of student practice in Orwell's "rules," including avoiding cliches, avoiding pretentious language, being concise, using active not passive voice, and avoiding jargon. There is also a "challenge" mixed practice combining all of these skills. An answer key is provided.
5. a fun (in that it involves drawing weird pictures) 1 page practice in "unmixing" metaphors with an answer key