In June 2015, Americans were rocked by the disclosure of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) unabashed data mining of phone records from ordinary American citizens. A former government contractor named Edward Snowden, who worked for the NSA and stole classified documents, and disclosed the revelation to journalists who work for The Guardian and The Washington Post. Americans who were already leery of their government’s growing reach were instantly reminded of the Orwellian dystopia pictured in 1984, and the novel saw a resurgence in retail sales and classroom applications.
Have students research some government or political scandals like the 2013 NSA scandal example, and document how the government or leaders overstepped their bounds. Have them document the scandal in a Storyboard using historical photos from our Photos For Class search engine, or using characters.
After reading 1984, have students read the “Lesson of the Ants” Arthur experiences in Book I of The Once and Future King. Have students create a storyboard that compares and contrasts the language of Newspeak with the language of the ants. Ask students to analyze the impact that the restriction of language has on both societies, and on the citizens’/ants’ thought processes.
Have your students analyze how much information they put online via social media sites and services. Never before in history have we provided so much private, personal information about ourselves to be viewed publicly! Ask them a popular question that many have asked in the wake of services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram:
Have we become Big Brother?
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a timeline of a political or government scandal and document how the government or leaders overstepped their bounds.
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: TimelinesCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
All the cells are clearly described with details of the significance of the milestone.
All the cells are clearly described.
Some cells are described.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate all the 6 chosen historical moments.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate some of the 6 chosen historical moments.
The storyboard cells does not clearly any of the 6 chosen historical moments.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.