Symbols in 1984 George Orwell - Symbolism Graphic Organizer - Assignment, Rubric

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 25 reviews
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Mondays Made Easy
Grade Levels
9th - 12th
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10 Pages, 1 Google Slides® Document, 4 Google Doc® Documents
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Super helpful-- students were able to see the important symbols and elements they needed to look for. Kept them organized and focused.
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Updated in 2022! Explore symbolism in George Orwell’s 1984 using this symbol tracker graphic organizer. Includes an informational handout, symbolism worksheets, assignment instructions, and an editable rubric.  Suitable for online learning and Google Classroom®!

Included with this Symbolism Graphic Organizer for 1984 by George Orwell:

✏️  Symbolism Activity Informational Handout - Digital & Print

✏️  Symbol Tracker Graphic Organizer - Digital & Print

✏️  Symbolism in 1984 Assignment Instructions - Editable & Ready-to-Print

✏️  Symbolism in 1984 Essay Writing Prompt - Editable & Ready-to-Print

✏️  4-Level Rubrics - Editable & Ready-to-Print

✏️  Teacher Instructions for using this resource

How to use these Symbolism Activities for George Orwell’s 1984:

1984 by George Orwell is a classic dystopian novel recounting one man's rebellion against an oppressive and restrictive regime. Rich with parallels to historical and modern societies, this story highlights themes surrounding propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, and mass control.

Orwell's use of symbolism draws attention to the dark realities of this dystopian society in a subtle yet meaningful way. Scaffold close reading and inquiry-based analysis using the activities in this resource.

You can begin this activity by reading through the Informational Handout together.  This handout identifies different symbols in 1984 and encourages students to also search for symbols of their own discovery.  Using the example of Winston’s ulcer, this informational handout models a deeper analysis of the symbol using the prompts included in the Symbol Tracker Graphic Organizer.

The Symbol Tracker Graphic Organizer has students analyze each symbol by considering the text evidence, description, important characteristics, and associated themes of each symbol.  Using this information, they are then prompted to write an analysis paragraph about the symbol.

To facilitate this activity independently, you can print multiple copies of the blank Symbol Tracker Graphic Organizer and distribute them to students at the beginning of your unit study of 1984.  Students can label each graphic organizer with a symbol as it appears while reading 1984.  They can fill out the different sections in the graphic organizer as they read more of the novel and uncover the deeper meaning of each symbol.

For an alternative group activity, students can work in groups to track a single symbol.  Students can fill out the Symbol Tracker Graphic Organizer every time their assigned symbol appears in the novel; near the end of your unit study, students can be grouped together based on their assigned symbol and discuss their analysis.

There are two assessments included in this symbolism activity for George Orwell’s 1984:

  • The first involves developing and delivering a slideshow presentation about one symbol.  This assignment is a great option for students tracking symbols within the novel in groups.  
  • The second assignment is an essay writing prompt related to symbolism in 1984; this is a great option for students tracking symbols independently.  

Both assignments prompt students to include text evidence from 1984, and to reference their quotations appropriately.

Additionally, 4-level rubrics have been provided for both the slideshow presentation and essay assignment. These rubrics are provided in editable and ready-to-print formats.

⭒ For classrooms utilizing Google Classroom® ⭒

To access the digital version of these worksheets, simply follow the instructions within the resource to copy the files directly to your Google Drive®.

❤️ See what others are saying! ❤️

Ms B's Book Nook (TPT Seller)

July 2, 2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

Super helpful-- students were able to see the important symbols and elements they needed to look for. Kept them organized and focused.

Engaging Energetic English Education (TPT Seller)

November 4, 2020

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

Helpful for my 12th graders who struggle to read--this gives them specific elements to look for.

The Education Highway (TPT Seller)

September 1, 2019

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

Great activity and graphic organizer. It provides students with a unique look on the symbols in the story.

✨ Kindly note that due to copyright restrictions, this resource is not editable.  This is a common practice within the TPT marketplace in order to protect the clip artists and software providers that have authorized their intellectual property for the development of this resource.

This resource is also included in Mondays Made Easy's 1984 by George Orwell Novel Study Unit. This unit includes inquiry-based activities, comprehension quizzes, discussion questions, real-life parallels, and additional readings. To preview this resource, click here.

You might also be interested in Mondays Made Easy's Novel Units and Study Guides.


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Mondays Made Easy is committed to the continual improvement of resources to meet the current needs of teachers. This product was last updated on January 27, 2022.

Total Pages
10 Pages, 1 Google Slides® Document, 4 Google Doc® Documents
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.


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