Gifted Middle School Summer Reading Animal Farm

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1 Name Gifted Middle School Summer Reading Animal Farm This summer you will read the novel, Animal Farm, which is about farm animals that rebel against the farmer in order to create a better life. But what happens is not what the animals planned nor expected, and they aren t even sure how things went so wrong. Our question and George Orwell s question for you is... How and why did the animals rebellion go wrong? To help you figure out an answer to that key question, you need to do the following: Preview this packet to help you focus your reading. Complete the activities in this packet while you are reading. 3. Bring this packet and your novel with you on the first day of school. While right now you are reading the novel to understand the basic story, when you come to school we will teach you that Animal Farm is an example of an allegory. An allegory is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. The novel is also an example of a satire. A satire is defined as a work of literature that mocks social conventions, politics, or anything else that the author thinks is ridiculous, immoral, or unethical. We will discuss these ideas when you start school, but as you read, be thinking about how the story fits these definitions. ************************************************************************************************** Background Information - Author s purpose: What prompted George Orwell to write Animal Farm? Consider George Orwell s background prior to writing Animal Farm and what critics and historians have said about his work. Write a thoughtful, complete, and yet concise response in the space provided. Please make sure your printing or writing is neat and legible.

2 ************************************************************************************************** Activity #1: Questioning the Text Effective readers are constantly questioning what they read. Questioning a text is a reading strategy that helps readers connect to and understand the text in order to find a deeper meaning in what they read. There are three types of questions: literal, interpretive, and universal questions. Directions: As you read, you will practice the different levels of questions in preparation for an in-class discussion when you return to school. Your questions should be in complete sentences. Chapters 1-5: Level 1: Literal Questioning Literal questions are based directly on the information in the text. Answers to these questions cannot be argued, they are either correct or incorrect. These questions show that the reader comprehends the text. These questions may begin with: who, what, when, or where. Example: From The Three Little Pigs: How many pigs were there? What building materials did the pigs use to build their houses? Please find at least one example from each chapter 1-5. Literal Questions Chapter Then write your literal question Answer & Page Number (where the answer can be found)

3 Chapters 5-10 Level 2: Interpretive Questions A reader must comprehend the text before he/she can interpret the text. Interpretive questions show that the reader can think about the text on a deeper and more abstract level; answers to these questions can be argued because readers may interpret the same text differently. These questions may begin with: why or how. Example: From The Three Little Pigs: How did the first little pig feel when the wolf knocked on his door? Interpretive Questions Chapter Then write your interpretive question Your thoughts How would you respond to this question? Find at least two pieces of information from the text that you would use to support your ideas. Give the page number. ALL CHAPTERS Level 3: Universal Questions A reader must comprehend and interpret the text before he can connect the text to a universal concept (theme). Universal questions show that the reader can use the text to think deeply about the author s underlying universal idea. There are no answers to these questions; these questions are used to explore the deeper meaning of the text and to relate it to our own perceptions and experiences in the world. Examples: From The Three Little Pigs: Why is it important to stick to a task? Why do animals and people want to survive? What makes people work hard? NOTE: These questions are tied to the specifics of the text, not just personal reflection.

4 Universal Questions Chapter Then write your universal question Your thoughts How would you respond to this question? Find at least two pieces of information from the text that you would use to support your ideas. Give the page number. Activity #2: Setting - Visualizing the Farm Create a visualization that depicts the farm in three specific parts of the book. Consider both what the author tells you about the farm as well as what is implied. Consider the placement of animals, resources, the quality of life, and the feelings and tone during the specific part of the book you are visualizing. The Farm Prior to the rebellion.

5 The Farm During Snowball s time The Farm At the end of the book

6 Activity #3: 10 Commandments In chapter 1 the animals outline the 10 Commandments that they are to live by. By the end of the novel, what has happened to each of the original 10 Commandments? Complete the following chart to better understand the commandments and what they mean: 10 Commandments What behavior does this commandment try to change? What happened to this original commandment? No animal is ever to live in a house. Ex: Caring more about possessions than

7 Activity #4: Thinking About Characters There are some very important characters in this story. Which three characters do you think are most important and why are they important? Complete the following chart: Describe why you think this character is important. Character What does the character do, or not do, say or not say? (Give page numbers.) What is the importance of this? 3.

8 Activity #5: Analyze the Novel s Ending. Write one thoughtful, well-organized, complete paragraph. Please word process your response and staple it to the back of your packet. A topic is what the author is writing about (such as friendship, love, family, brotherhood, war, etc.). A theme is the author s message about the topic (for example, one author s theme may be, love lifts us up while another author s theme may be love is a painful experience that destroys innocence ). Review the beginning and the end of the novel. What has changed and what message has been indirectly communicated? State a theme of the novel, Animal Farm. In other words, what lesson do you think George Orwell wants you to take away from this novel, based on what was dreamed and what became. Pull descriptive words and key phrases from the novel as evidence to support your opinion. Make sure you use quotation marks for any words that are not yours. Your paragraph needs: Topic sentence stating the theme of Animal Farm Concrete Details: Supporting details/evidence from the text use direct quotes. Commentary: Your opinion on each detail and how each supports your topic sentence. Commentary: How this message/theme will impact readers. A concluding sentence explaining how the reader can apply this message to his/her own life ******************************************************************************************** Activity #6: Personal Response Please word process your response to this question and staple it to the back of your packet. Directions: Choose one of the following creative writing options to respond to the text: Rewrite a short scene from the book from a different character s perspective. Write a letter to a character in the book giving useful advice for the character s situation. 3. Write a poem that connects to a theme in Animal Farm. (Identify the theme at the top of the page.) Write the option you chose here:

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