Activity Overview

As students read Animal Farm, they may find it helpful to analyze propaganda both as a technique used in history, and also in the novel, as the use of propaganda is essential to both the revolution on the farm and Napoleon's takeover.

After discussing what propaganda is, students can select examples of propaganda, such as one of Squealer's speeches, and create a poster that could have been hung somewhere on the farm. The posters should not have to directly quote any speeches, but students will want to draw imagery and inspiration from them, and they should be able to explain their choices of rhetoric.

If you'd like to extend the activity to connect with history, students can research propaganda from the Russian revolution and adapt it to the Animalism movement of Animal Farm.

For additional templates to add to this assignment, check out our poster template gallery.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a propaganda poster for Animal Farm.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify an example of propaganda in Animal Farm.
  3. Using appropriate text, images, and scenes, create a poster for your chosen example.
  4. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/3] Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/4] Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Poster Rubric
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Written Work
If there is writing, it is clear and uses complete sentences.
If there is writing, it is somewhat clear and uses some complete sentences.
If there is writing, it is incomplete and unclear.
The illustrations represent the assignment using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations relate to the assignment, but are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the assignment.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

How To Analyze the Use of Figurative Language in Conveying Propaganda


Choose a Reading

Pick a few readings for the students that they can use to understand how propaganda is used. Ideally, books written during a time of revolution or written by a significant political figure are more useful. If students have a hard time understanding abstract concepts, then teachers can assign other stories similar to Animal Farm that connect with significant historical events.


Identify the Propaganda

Ask the students to identify the sort of propaganda that has been used in the book or the story. To further analyze the propaganda, the students can do some research on the background of the author and the historical significance of their time period. For example, was the author associated with any organization, did they have any strong opinions that were reflected in other works written by them and the general economic and political situation of their country?


Spot Figurative Language

Ask the students to read the text and carefully observe any sort of figurative language used in the text such as metaphors, similes, personification, exaggeration, and symbolism. Analyze what type of figurative language the author has used the most and highlight the most persuasive parts.


Analyze the Persuasiveness of the Language

Finally, encourage the students to think about how the propaganda's overall persuasiveness is influenced by the use of figurative language. Does it successfully influence beliefs, bolster opinions, or alter feelings? Students can ask their fellow friends or classmates to express their opinions and how they felt after reading the text.


Reflect and Discuss

Encourage the students to reflect on the importance of language and how it is being used. Students can discuss the impacts of propaganda and how people get manipulated and influenced by words.

Frequently Asked Questions About Propaganda and Animal Farm

How does "Animal Farm" employ propaganda?

Propaganda is a major issue in the movie "Animal Farm". After the uprising, the pigs take over the farm and employ propaganda to hold onto their position of authority. To steer the narrative and dominate the other animals, they use strategies like slogans, information manipulation, and even history revision.

What impact does propaganda have on the farm's animals?

Propaganda's usage in "Animal Farm" has a significant effect on the animals. They are first motivated by it to revolt against the repressive human government. But when the pigs acquire control, they alter the animals' perceptions, which causes them to become perplexed, disillusioned, and lose their sense of autonomy. In the end, they finally realized how they had been manipulated but it was too late to turn around as the pigs had already gained control.

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