Animal Farm WebQuest

English IV (12th Grade), Spring 2002, UCHS

This WebQuest has been designed to help us try to answer our unit's essential question(s):
What is power? Who has it? Who doesn't?

The purpose of this activity is to help you understand multiple ways of interpreting, analyzing, and thinking about George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm. Due to our small class size four days of the week, we will be able to focus on the WebQuest using groups of approximately 3-4 students.



Requirements: Your group of 3-4 students will be assigned one of the 5 roles below, and must research its position by using internet resources. After finding information and organizing it, each group will present their discoveries to the class. Finally, each individual in a group will prepare an essay that explains who you represented, the facts that you learned through this activity, and how you plan to apply this new knowledge towards your understanding of the novel.
Several sites are listed at the bottom of this page that can help you in your research.


Group 1: The Pigs
You are very interested in military tactics, as you feel that they can help you with controlling others (humans or animals) at Animal Farm. Devise a plan for dealing with Mr. Jones and other humans (or any beasts that have turned against you), in case they try to reclaim the farm again. The ideas of Julius Caesar have been especially useful to you in the past; you may want to start there. You also might be curious about the person Napoleon is named after....

Group 2: Benjamin
You may be a donkey, but you've lived a long time--long enough to be skeptical about what is happening at Animal Farm. You also believe that there is nothing worth reading these days. You remember reading about the Russian Revolution of 1917 some years back, however, and that was somewhat interesting. Try to gather the information again so you can let the other animals know about it. At least it might be worth telling to your old friend, Boxer.

Group 3: Mr. Jones
You feel scared, as simple farm animals have taken over Manor Farm, which used to belong to you and you alone. How could they have done this? As you're at your favorite pub, the Red Lion, you overhear other farmers talking about you and your animals. They're saying something about how they seem to be acting very much like people.... Take notes on how your animals could be like actual humans in history so that you can tell your wife about what was said.

Group 4: Muriel and Clover
Although the two of you are a little older, it may also make you a little wiser. Since Muriel is skilled at reading, perhaps she can check on what the Seven Commandments are again. Because a lot of the other animals may have trouble understanding what each commandment means, perhaps Clover can explain them better, as she has a good relationship with many of the animals. You might also want to look at other sets of rules, perhaps ones set up by other governments. How can those rules be changed? Should the Seven Commandments allow for change? Be sure to let the other animals know if you notice anything suspicious.

Group 5: Mollie and Moses
Sugarcandy Mountain is important to both of you: Moses appreciates it because it is the perfect place where all animals go after they die; and Mollie, because, well, it has the word "sugar" in it. If Sugarcandy Mountain is a perfect place, research something else that is a perfect place. Who came up with the idea? Do people believe a perfect society can exist? Be sure to support your answer with facts so that the other animals won't ignore you when you try to persuade them to believe that your opinions are correct.


Resources
Charles' George Orwell Links
Resources for Animal Farm
NovelGuide's analysis of Animal Farm
English Windmills
Ancient Roman Military Tactics
Information on Julius Caesar
Information on Napoleon Bonaparte
Information on the Russian Civil War, or Revolution, of 1917
The Russian Revolution
ConstitutionFacts.com
The Constitutional Amendment Process
Image of the Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights and the amending of the Constitution of the United States of America
Utopia, by Sir Thomas More
Thomas Malthus and Population Control
World Book Online entry for "Utopia"
Yahoo! links about Utopian philosophy

Several of the above links are to webpage search result categories from BigChalk.com, an excellent education website that will allow you to search for further information at many different grade levels.
You may also try Yahoo! Education for further online research.
The animal images used as a background for this website were obtained from Corbis, Oklahoma State University's Livestock Breeds Pages and the UK's Donkey Breed Society.


Good luck on your WebQuest!


This page created by Ms. L. M. Gardner on January 30-31, 2002.