Animal Farm assessment
Congratulations! Your thorough reading has allowed you to participate in the final assessment, which will be a Socratic seminar. Briefly, a Socratic seminar is a formal discussion technique in which students generate and respond to high-level questions and use the text in support.
The format of our Socratic seminar will be as follows:
We will use a specific technique known as a “fishbowl discussion” and will use an “inner circle” and an “outer circle.” Only the inner circle may speak unless I specifically prompt the outer circle to join the discussion. One member of the inner circle will randomly draw a topic from the fishbowl, read the prompt to the group, and then address the question. If you wish, you may “pass” and draw again—but only once. Following your remarks, other members of the inner circle will add their thoughts—responding to the prompt, asking you for clarification or evidence, etc. Everyone is expected to be listening and thinking, not carrying on side conversations, being disruptive, doing your Algebra, or simply waiting you turn to talk. [If necessary, I might require you to raise your hand.] After a few minutes, we will move to the next person. Every member of the inner circle will address a prompt during the class period, and everyone in the inner circle must contribute at least once when it is NOT your turn.
Be sure to speak to the group, not to the teacher. And remember that the goal is to understand, not to debate.
Meanwhile, members of the outer circle must write down two high-level comments—textual support for something that was discussed, a high-level follow-up question, or an “a-ha!” moment. If you wish, you may raise your hand to share, although outer circle people are not required to speak or share. However, your comments must be submitted at the end of the period. Remember Costa’s levels of questioning, and choose Level 2 and Level 3 questions!
Inner circle and outer circle switch and repeat the process.
Thoughtfully addressing your inner-circle prompt
10 points At least one inner-circle comment on another student’s prompt
10 points Listening and discussing respectfully
Two thoughtful outer-circle comments
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If you miss one or both days, please see Mr. Prather for make-up.
You have the rest of the period today to prepare. Use the materials on the next pages to help you.
One of Orwell's goals in writing Animal Farm was to portray the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution of 1917 as one that resulted in a government more oppressive, totalitarian, and deadly than the one it overthrew. Many of the characters and events of Orwell's novel parallel those of the Russian Revolution. Manor Farm is a model of Russia, and old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon represent the dominant figures of the Russian Revolution. Mr. Jones is modeled on Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Russian emperor. Old Major is the animal version of Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), the leader of the Bolshevik Party that seized control in the 1917 Revolution. Just as Old Major outlines the principles of Animalism, a theory holding that all animals are equal and must revolt against their oppressors, Lenin was inspired by Karl Marx's theory of Communism, which urges the "workers of the world" to unite against their economic oppressors. As Animalism imagines a world where all animals share in the prosperity of the farm, Communism argues for economic equality. The U.S.S.R.'s flag depicted a hammer and sickle — the tools of the rebelling workers — so the flag of Animal Farm features a horn and hoof. Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). Like Napoleon, Stalin was unconcerned with ideas. Instead, he valued power for its own sake and by 1927 had assumed...
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