Animal Farm Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

With this lesson plan and materials from, you'll have everything you need to help your students understand the symbolism and hidden message behind ''Animal Farm''.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • discuss the plot summary of Animal Farm
  • analyze how the plot and characters of Animal Farm mirrored the events and people of the Russian Revolution


40 minutes plus 40 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Key Terms

  • Dystopian
  • Napoleon
  • Snowball
  • Mr. Jones

Warm Up

  • Have you ever had to do more work in a team than your fellow teammates and gotten the same result, whether it be a grade or a score in a game? Do you think that is fair?


  • Explain to students that they will be reading the lesson Animal Farm: Plot Summary.
  • Read the sections 'Animal Farm: Overview' and 'Battle of the Cowshed'. Discuss:
    • What effect does Old Major's death have on the other animals?
    • How do the humans and animals interact? What effect does this have on both sides?
  • Read the section 'Snowball vs. Napoleon'. Discuss:
    • How do Napoleon and Snowball change throughout the course of the novel?
  • Read the sections 'Animals vs. Animals' and 'Lesson Summary'. Discuss:
    • In the end, what are the similarities in the humans and animals?
    • How is Animal Farm considered a dystopia?
  • Now make a chart with major characters from Animal Farm on one side, with major figures from the Russian Revolution on the other. After having read Animal Farm, ask students if they can piece together this period of Russian history from the information given to us in the book.


  • Give students a long page of reading to do in 15 minutes, and tell them there will be a quiz at the end. Tell them either one person can read it on their own and take notes or read it and teach it to others (the teacher or fellow students). They have 5 minutes to pick a strategy.
  • At the end of the 5 minutes, the 15 minutes begins. Document which students do what.
  • At the end of the 15 minutes, tell the students there is no quiz, and it was an experiment.
  • Have students discuss why they chose their method, and how it relates to Animal Farm.


  • What events of the Russian Revolution contributed to World War II?
  • In what countries in the world can Communism be seen today? What effect does it have on those countries?

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