1984 Project Ideas

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'1984' is a book by George Orwell written in the 1940s. It is about an imagined future that takes the form of a dystopian society. Use the projects in this asset to bring meaning to the story after reading this book.


1984, by George Orwell, is a novel about a dystopian society in which individualism and independence is discouraged at all costs. Big Brother is the antagonist, and characters in the novel are constantly being reminded that ''Big Brother is watching you.'' Best suited for high school readers, the novel presents an interesting vision of what the future might have looked like (or might still look like one day). The projects listed below will help students draw meaning and make connections with the story.

Newspeak Dictionary

Materials: writing materials or access to a computer for writing

  • Begin with a brief review about the idea of Newspeak in the book.
  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Explain the activity.
    • Each group is to create their own Newspeak dictionary.
    • Each dictionary must include:
      • At least 15 original words.
      • Definitions for each word.
      • A pronunciation guide for each word.
      • Parts of speech.
      • Possible abbreviations.
      • A synonym and an antonym for each word (these can be regular words).
      • An example of each word in a sentence.
    • Once complete, each group will create a 30-second commercial to advertise their new dictionary.
  • When all of the groups are finished creating both their dictionaries and their commercials, have them present to the class.

Literary Devices

Materials: writing materials or access to a computer for writing

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