Essay Topics - Issaquah Connect

Animal Farm Socratic Seminar
Date: __________, _____ / _____
Logistics Reminder:
We’ll split the class in half into A team and B team. Then, we’ll split in half again into the Inner Circle and Outer Circle.
The IC will discuss the questions while the OC reads the textual examples the IC points out AND “actively listens”
(takes notes on the back of your questions about the IC’s discussion: writing down questions, missed points you want to
bring up later, interesting points made, etc.). Then, we’ll switch.
Expectation Reminders:
1. To receive credit for the Seminar, you must contribute at least once and follow the ABCs:
Answer the question
Back it up with textual examples
Comment profoundly about the answer or the text in general
2. Listen and respond to others with consideration and respect. Make each other comfy & confident.
3. Address comments to the group; no side conversations.
4. You are in charge. Talk to each other (not to us), so there’s no need to raise hands.
5. Don’t interrupt or monopolize the conversation. So everyone may contribute, please speak no more than 2 times
during the course of the Seminar and only after everyone has had the opportunity to speak once. If two people start
to speak at once, one of them must let the other one go. Let the other person go if your comment will take us
towards a new question/perspective (away from what the last person just said).
6. Do not repeat an idea or an answer someone else has already expressed. You may refer to what he/she said, but agree
or disagree using textual examples or ideas that are new to the discussion. Make sure that comments are relevant
considering the “question on the table.”
7. “Throw alley-oops”: include/encourage a person who hasn’t spoken by asking him/her a question
8. Don’t be afraid of silences; it might just be what someone needs to speak up.
9. Use your text! Speakers, direct us to specific pages. Listeners, go there.
10. Listen carefully to what the last person said rather than trying to formulate what you will say next.
11. Paraphrase essential elements of another's ideas before responding.
12. Speak up so that everyone in the IC and OC can hear you.
13. Use precise language…not slang terms.
14. Don’t fret about this! There’s no pressure; we’re just chatting. Think of it as a campfire circle. In fact…
1. Relate one of the following quotes to the ideas expressed in Animal Farm.
- “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” –George Santayana
- “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” –Lord Acton
2. Describe Benjamin’s role in Animal Farm.
3. How does Orwell use the pigs’ betrayal of the ideals of the revolution to portray their character development?
4. Explain how Napoleon uses one of the following characters to control the animals on Animal Farm: Squealer, the
other pigs, the sheep, Napoleon’s dogs.
5. In Animal Farm, Orwell chose to show his political views through an allegorical fable, rather than presenting them
directly. What are the advantages to this mode of presentation? To what effect does Orwell successfully use this
6. Orwell takes a strong stance on the value of education and literacy through Animal Farm. How is this stance shown
throughout the novel? What is the impact of education and literacy on revolution?
Question Directions:
1. For each question: 1 – 2 paragraphs; MLA format (typed; double-spaced; 12-point, TNR font).
2. Proper heading and conventions of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.).
4. Support your answer with quotes or detailed textual examples. Use ellipses (…) to connect two relevant portions of
text that are not close together. Make sure to include in-text citations.
5. Explain the significance of each quote by elaborating on it.
6. Submit your questions to AND print 1 paper copy to use during the Seminar (which you’ll then turn in
to me).