Discipline: ELA

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Language Is Power
Overview
  • Module Description
    • In the novel Animal Farm, the animals of Manor Farm are both strengthened and manipulated by language. The pigs, who are the first to read and write, write the commandments by which the farm is governed and, consequently, they end up with all the power. On the other hand, those animals who are not able to read or write end up abused, brainwashed, or dead. The same is true of real life; History demonstrates that the people with the best control of language (for instance, control of mass media) generally end up with the most power. 

  • About The Teacher
    • Author: Abby Dobie


  • Materials, References, and Support
    • Selected Articles

      Texts:

      • Pearce, R. (2005 Aug). Animal Farm. History Today.
        Highlights the 60th anniversary of the publication of the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. Topics covered include: reason why several publishers rejected the book; significance of the book in the era of Cold War literature; theme of the book.
      • Welch. D. (1999 Aug). Powers of Persuasion. History Today.
        Discusses the role of propaganda in 20th century events. Topics covered include: origins of the word “propaganda”; role of propaganda during the English Civil Wars; importance of Great Britain's use of propaganda in World War I; Adolf Hitler’s arguments regarding the function of propaganda; misconceptions about propaganda; limitations of propaganda.
      • Just Say No! (1992 Sept). Psychology Today.
        Examines the 1992 presidential campaign and its use of manipulative political messages, which were easily construed as propaganda. Topics covered include:  how the overdose of past electoral propaganda activated voters' gag reflex; innuendos and factoids; fighting innuendo and slander with inoculation; analogies and metaphors; fear tactics; classic examples of propaganda.
      Links

      Other Resources
      • Animal Farm by George Orwell
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