1984 Literature Circle Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

''1984'' by George Orwell is a dystopian science fiction novel that will engage your students. Use these ideas to assign literature circle activities to your students.

Using Literature Circles

Literature circles are an excellent way to build independence with your students. They'll read through the book and complete assignments in their journals. Then, students will gather together in literature circles and self-direct their work. Students will base their discussions off their independent work. You'll work with your class to build up their autonomy and independence to engage in the book.

1984 by George Orwell is an excellent choice for your students. The dystopian book is filled with science fiction that will interest your students and give them lots to talk about.


This activity can be done at several points throughout their reading. Before your students begin reading, you can have them preview the book by reading the back cover and examining the front cover. Students should use the information found in these places to make predictions about what the book is going to be about. You can also have students make additional predictions at any point throughout the book. Students should think about the motivations and actions of the characters to justify what they think is going to happen next in the book.


While students read, they should write down questions that they come up with. Encourage students to go beyond knowledge-based questions to figure out questions that require analysis or evaluation. When they gather in their literature circles, students can use their questions to prompt discussion in their group.

Write a Blurb

After reading a section of the book, have students write a blurb about the section. Encourage them to write a blurb that is intended to provide information but also entice others into reading the book. When students gather in their literature circles, have them share their blurbs with the group. Students can then talk with each other about the blurbs and share their reactions. Did the blurb make them want to read the book? What would they change about the blurb?

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