BOOK 1: Subliminal Manipulation
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  • Standard
- Language Arts Literacy 1.G.1 - Identify, describe, evaluate, and synthesize the central ideas in informational texts.

  • Expectations
- The group will be able to identify the key themes of the novel 1984
- They will be able to explain psychological manipulation, and how it is prevalent in the novel
- They will use the images I’ve provided to connect today’s society with the fictional dystopic society that Orwell imagined

  • Materials
- Laptops
- Pictures of subliminal messages
- Instructions

  • Opening
- The group will examine the themes in the novel and discuss how they are prevalent in today’s society.
- I will ask for the definition of psychological manipulation and examples of how it is used in the novel.
-We will have a quick discussion on whether or not the present day government manipulates us

  • Middle
- I will show the group 3 different subliminal messages that have been used in advertising over the past 20 years
- We will discuss whether they have any effect on the audience’s minds
- The group will take 5 to 7 minutes to search for their own subliminal message
- Directions will be on the handout I give them (see attached)
- I will be available for assistance

  • Ending
- Once they have found their own image they will explain how it psychologically manipulates it’s viewers
- We will relate these ideas to the novel and determine if our society is similar to the one in 1984


BOOK 2: Rebellion of the Obsolete
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  • Standard
- Viewing Media and Literacy 5.A.3 - Identify and select media forms appropriate for the viewer’s purpose.

  • Expectations
- The group will be able to define "dystopia"
- The group will be able to relate the society in 1984 to the society in an episode of The Twilight Zone
- They will explain why both the novel and the episode portray a totalitarian society
- They will decide whether or not this type of society is lies in our future.

  • Materials
- Laptops
- Directions
- Sheet of quotes and questions
- Dvd with clip from “The Obsolete Man” (synopsis attached)

  • Opening
- I will ask the group to describe the characteristics of a dystopian society
- They will read Rod Serling’s opening narration from “The Obsolete Man”
- After reading the excerpt we will compare his description of society to George Orwell's

  • Middle
- I will show the group a series of clips, lasting about 10 minutes, from an episode of The Twilight Zone
- We will discuss the similarities between 1984 and the episode
- The group will take 5 to 7 minutes to answer the questions that I have provided
- Directions will be on the handout I give them (see attached)
- I will be available for assistance

  • Ending
- We will discuss their answers
- We will use our conclusions to gain a deeper understanding of the novel


BOOK 3: The Painful Truth
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  • Standard
- Viewing Media and Literacy 5.A.3 - Identify and select media forms appropriate for the viewer’s purpose.

  • Expectations
- They will be able to find connections between 1984 and the clip I provide
- They will explore the effect of fear and pain on decision-making
- They will determine the similarities between “Big Brother” and “Jigsaw”

  • Materials
- Laptops
- Directions
- Dvd with clip from “Saw”
- Movie and book criticism
- Question sheet

  • Opening
- The group will watch a six minute clip from the movie “Saw”
- We will discuss the theme of desperation that is displayed in the clip and 1984
- We will discuss the hypothetical question: “How far would you go to save your own life?”

  • Middle
- The group will take 5-7 minutes to read a movie review of “Saw” and a literary criticism of 1984
- We will compare and contrast the two pieces
- We will discuss how the element of fear affects ones judgment
- The group will take a few minutes to answer the questions I have provided
- Directions will be on the handout I give them (see attached)
- I will be available for assistance

  • Ending
- We will have a group discussion about their answers
- We will draw conclusions to gain a deeper understanding of the novel



"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War.
It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now." -- Richard M. Nixon, 1985


My mother sat trying to remember just how long ago it was. She jokingly replied, “I wasn’t even born yet,” in a poor attempt to hide her age. She watched my eyes roll back and, after carefully calculating the years, responded, “I was about 8 or 9 around the middle of the Vietnam War.” I had not realized just how young she had been. She then paused for a brief moment as it all came rushing back to her. “Now that I think about it I was so young; I couldn’t fully comprehend the gravity of just what was happening.” She stared deep into the kitchen table, as if to see years of spelling tests, coloring books, and late dinners ingrained into the dark oak. She softly traced the grain of the wood with the fingertips of one hand, using the other as a pedestal for her chin. After clearing her throat she began once more: “I remember watching the news with my father, who – though a seemingly tough man – weakened at the sight of war-torn soldiers.” I could see the child in her eyes, vietnam-soldiers-1.jpgand began to realize just how impacted she had been by all the chaos. “My parents would try not to talk about it in front of me, thinking it would scar my naïve mind… but the exposure was inevitable. It was everywhere: newspapers, TV, and even my own neighborhood.”
She suddenly rose and walked slowly to the refrigerator, sliding her sock-covered feet on the newly waxed floor. She started to pour a glass of water, but interrupted herself with memories she had not unleashed for a long time. “A bunch of kids in the neighborhood were drafted or volunteered. My neighbor, Donald Boles, volunteered to go over seas. I remember admiring his bravery, but at the same time I wondered why he was risking his life. Two years later he came back with several gun shot wounds.” The matter of fact tone in her voice transformed into a more serious one. It was the tone I knew well (having spent much of my childhood in my room without dessert).The one where you do not question, you just agree. She seemed to be looking through me with her piercing black eyes. She continued, “I remember him saying ‘I was one of the lucky ones.’” The thought bounced back and forth in my mind, and I came to the conclusion that whether I’m 17 or 70 I will never really know anything about war.
“I was merely a child but I knew I was against the war. Not because I knew anything about our economy or government or military, but because I didn’t want to see anyone else get hurt.” She curved both hands around the glass and lifted it slowly to her pursed lips. “It was simplistic and childish, I know, but it was all I knew. I wanted peace.”external image Vietnam_War_Protest_in_DC,_1967.gif
I began to wonder if her parents or society in general had had an influence on her decision, but before I could open my mouth she answered my question. “I guess I mostly sided with what my parents believed. They questioned the need for war and opposed entering it. They still strongly supported the troops… it seemed like they were the only ones.” This somewhat confounded me, having lived through and era immense national pride myself. She continued, “There were countless protests against the war, and when the soldiers returned home they were treated as if they were the ones who caused it. Almost no one considered them to be the heroes they truly were.” Her hand gestures were becoming more dramatic and I could feel the enthusiasm and frustration writhing within her. “I mean, they were risking their own lives to protect us and no one appreciated it.” I could tell this was something that had always and would always bother her.
"Historically, we didn't achieve anything in the war. It was a waste of time, money, and precious lives. But I want you to know it was not a complete failure." She looked at me, but I knew she was speaking to my entire generation. There was such authority in her voice that we would have listened. "The loss made the country take a good look at itself and how it was operating. People began to branch out and raise consciousness for other social issues, leading to a more active, open-minded society. Since then the country has progressed significantly in countless aspects. Now, in this war, it is more important than ever that we learn from the past in order to prosper in the future."





Travelin Soldier - Dixie Chicks