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Lesson Plan by Cassie Bermel B. Ed.

1984 by George Orwell

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings dystopian fiction to life with comics and storyboards.

Make dystopian fiction come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Character Map
  • Mind Map
  • Poster
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings dystopian fiction to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on 1984 by George Orwell
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings dystopian fiction to life with comics and storyboards.

Main Characters

1984 by George Orwell

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Winston Smith from 1984 by George Orwell
    Winston Smith

    The protagonist, a minor member of the ruling Party

  • Julia from 1984 by George Orwell
    Julia

    Winston’s lover, who works at the Ministry of Truth

  • O’Brien from 1984 by George Orwell
    O’Brien

    A powerful member of the Inner Party

  • Mr. Charrington from 1984 by George Orwell
    Mr. Charrington

    An old man who runs a secondhand store in the prole district

  • Syme from 1984 by George Orwell
    Syme

    An intelligent man who works with Winston

  • Parsons from 1984 by George Orwell
    Parsons

    An obnoxious and dull Party member who lives near Winston

  • Emmanuel Goldstein from 1984 by George Orwell
    Emmanuel Goldstein

    Someone powerful who never actually appears in the novel

Featured Props

1984 by George Orwell

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Building
    Building
  • Camera
    Camera
  • Chair
    Chair
  • Desk
    Desk
  • Fire
    Fire
  • Monitor
    Monitor
  • Poster
    Poster
  • Prop Letter
    Prop Letter
  • Sidewalk
    Sidewalk
  • Skyline
    Skyline
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

1984 by George Orwell

Step 1Class discussion with students

Before your students read 1984, introduce them to the novel by discussing the major themes:

  • The dangers of totalitarianism
  • Psychological manipulation
  • Control of information and history

Possible questions:

  • What level of privacy did we have 20 years ago? What level of privacy do we have today? What are some of the causes of this change?
  • If a person wanted complete privacy and did not want anyone want to know anything about them, would that be possible today? What lengths would a person have to go to become that private?
  • What do you believe the government should / should not have knowledge of, or control over?

Discuss the reality show Big Brother. What is the basis of the show? Would you like to be part of the show? Why / why not? Explain to students that the title and ideas from the show come from 1984, and to look for connections throughout the novel.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Start at the beginning of the novel, and make additions throughout the unit.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map or Poster
    Symbolism

    Complete at the end of the novel.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Major Themes

    Complete at the end of the novel.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Create a short Graphic Novel using one panel to represent each chapter (26 total).

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create an alternate book cover for the novel 1984.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

What role does O’Brien have in Winston’s life? Why is Winston drawn to him? Why does he trust O’Brien, even though it is very dangerous to do so?

The novel was published in 1949. How accurate do you feel Orwell’s vision of the future was?

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Pixton Activity: 1984 1 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill that will help reinforce key attributes of the story’s characters, and helps create connections with the plot and theme. The characteristics that make up the protagonist and antagonist help shape the outcome of the narrative. Novels have “Foil Characters” whose main values differ from that of the protagonist.

Instructions

Choose three of your favorite characters from 1984 and create a Character Map for each one.

  • Make sure to include a character and his / her foil character among your selection.
  • It's important to add sufficient detail to all the parts of the Character Map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character's attributes that are outlined in the novel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: 1984 2 Symbolism

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map
  • Poster

Intro

There are many important symbols in this novel including:

  • Big Brother
  • The place where there is no darkness
  • The telescreens
  • The red-armed prole woman

Instructions

Choose one of the symbols listed above and create a Poster or Mind Map for it. Be sure to indicate:

  • What it symbolizes
  • Why it’s important
  • An important quote regarding the symbol

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Symbolism

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The symbolism is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and engage the reader. The symbolism is well developed; examples are specific and provide sufficient support. The symbolism is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The symbolism is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The symbolism is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: 1984 3 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Three major themes in 1984 are:

  • The dangers of totalitarianism
  • Psychological manipulation
  • Control of information and history

Instructions

For each major theme, identify at least two examples in the novel and depict them in a Mind Map or Storyboard:

  • Identify the theme in the title or map center
  • Identify the chapter number in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the scene
  • Formulate a brief description of how the example fits the theme
  • In a final panel, briefly describe how the theme causes the reader to reflect

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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