If you want to depress your kids, assign 1984. I chose to assign 1984 because there are so many things you can see in the modern news paralleling the book, and the terms George Orwell created so many terms we use today. The phrases and words stir up ideas that we all understand. Of course, I had to assign this Book and a Movie for my kids to read. Of course, we had to have a 1984 book club.
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1984 book club questions
A lot of our 1984 book club consisted of the kids complaining about how depressing the book is, how horrible Winston was, and how much they hated it.
I reread it with them and was reminded of how much I hated the book, but also at the same time how incredibly relevant it was.
Most of our discussion centered around how easy it can be to obscure history, and the facts either by changing the definition of terms, or by editing pictures.
Just take a look at Stalin’s editing of images as people fell out of favor (I’m sure that had to be at least some of Orwell’s inspiration).
We also compared 1984 to Animal Farm, you could see how 1984 could come out of Animal Farm.
I’d also take a look at this comic comparing 1984 and Brave New World. Future Ticia September 2022 (as compared to Past Ticia April 2022) is currently reading Brave New World with the kids.
1984 Resources and interesting materials
As I was looking for snack ideas I found this post talking about the food in 1984 and what it tells us about rationing.
1984 Book Club Snacks
Not too surprisingly, a book about a group dealing with rationing and various other stuff did not have a lot of food in it, AND we were a bit creative as we came up with food for our 1984 movie night.
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- journal- Hershey nuggets glued to cardstock with the lorum ipsum paper
- oranges- lemon drops, it really should have been actual oranges, but I didn’t have any like I thought I did, and Batman super loves lemon drops
- black-market chocolate- I picked up some fancy chocolate from a candy store
- real jam- another instance where my kids had finished off the jam I thought I had, so we used sour punch bites
- bland food- I was going to make oatmeal, but I had a revolt from the kids, so I made cookies (which are much yummier)
- paper weight- some custard tea cakes I found
- picnic foods- I put out a variety of cheese and lunch meats to eat
- black market beer- root beer
- ale- ginger ale, which Jeff loves
- Depression- we had joked about making sugar cookies and drawing sad faces on them because the book was just that depressing.
I was all set to start the movie, I had checked it out from the library, and MY ENTIRE family led a rebellion and all agreed we would just watch Red’s 1984 video.
Which is still pretty depressing, but not two hours of depressing. I guess the trauma of watching Animal Farm was too fresh on their minds.
And just to go with the theme of watching YouTube videos, I might have made the kids watch Lost in Adaptation.
More 10th grade learning
While we had our 1984 book club in 11th grade, I actually wrote it down for 10th grade, so here are a few ideas:
- Bahrain Unit
- Twelfth Night book club
- High School Chemistry
- 10th Grade Books Made Into Movies
- Gustav Klimt artist study