Doublethink in 1984 Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Teachers may use these lesson plans to teach students about doublethink in George Orwell's '1984.' Students will define doublethink and find examples both in this novel and in the real world.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson on doublethink from George Orwell's 1984, students will be able to:

  • Define doublethink and related words.
  • Identify examples of doublethink from the novel.
  • Connect to the novel by describing example of doublethink from the students' experiences.


60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)


  • communism
  • contradictions
  • doublethink
  • infallibility
  • newspeak
  • oppression
  • propaganda
  • repudiate
  • revisionist
  • totalitarian


  • Copies of the worksheet, one for each student
  • Copies of the lesson transcript, one for each student
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Access to computer/internet

Video & Discussion

  • This lesson should take place after students have finished reading 1984 by George Orwell.
  • Pass out copies of the transcript of Doublethink in 1984: Definition & Examples to the students so that they can follow along and take notes while watching the video.
  • Preview vocabulary with students. Have students take notes in the margins of the lesson to remind themselves of word meanings.
  • Watch video to 0:56. Pause to discuss the 'Background of 1984' section of the lesson.
    • Why did Orwell write 1984?
  • Continue the video to 2:22. Pause to discuss the 'Definition of Doublethink' section of the lesson.
    • What is doublethink?
    • How is doublethink used to control others?
  • Watch the remainder of the video. Discuss the following:
    • Why are the Party's four ministries an example of doublethink?
    • How is revisionist history related to doublethink?
    • Why are the Party's slogans considered doublethink?
    • Explain newspeak and its relationship to doublethink.
    • Turn and talk: Do political parties use doublethink today? Give an example.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet.
  • Have students complete the worksheet independently to check for understanding. Grade as a class and discuss answers.


Making Connections

Materials needed: copies of lesson transcript, markers, chart paper, access to computer/internet

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