Animal Farm RAFT -- Squealer's Speeches
Assumed knowledge: Students (sophomores) have read at least 7 chapters of the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Materials Needed: Novels, paper, pens/pencils
Time: 5-10 minutes to introduce, at least 25 minutes of work time
Objectives: Students will write a 2 minute persuasive speech from a character's perspective to demonstrate an understanding of both plot events and the way propaganda works.
Introduction -- We are told many times throughout the book that Squealer is a very persuasive speaker, but often get only snippets of his many speeches. Ask students, "Who can tell me what the types of things are that he usually speaks about?" (Napoleon, the farm's production rates, anything the animals bring up that might lead them to question authority, etc) Today, students are going to pretend to be Squealer and write one of his speeches about one of two things: our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, or the farm production and how the animals are not actually starving, even if they feel like they are.
Introduce this concept to students: RAFT. R is role -- you, the writer, are Squealer: the persuasive, nimble pig. A is audience: the other animals, many of whom are unintelligent. Remember, though, not all of your audience is stupid and many of them are bigger and stronger than you. F is for format: As Squealer would be speaking this to the animals you consider stupid. Remember that we don't always say the things we would write. T is for topic: you have two choices: stirring up more admiration for our brave leader, Napoleon, who is always right, or addressing the fact that the animals are starving and convincing them that the farm is actually producing more than it ever has and they are not, in fact, hungry at all.
Think like Squealer would think. Look at the other animals like he would. How would you talk to this crowd if you were him and it was your job to keep them under control for Napoleon (who is pretty ruthless) using only your words?