Animal Farm: Chapters 7-8

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12724

You've heard the saying, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." What do you do if the hand that feeds you also bites you? When truth and those who seek it lie dead in the streets, what can animals do?


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What is the hungriest that you've ever felt? What would you do if your food were taken away from you on purpose?

In your brief lifetime, you probably can remember a time when you felt hungry.

You might have gone a few hours without food, or maybe even a day or two, but imagine going for weeks and months without anything to eat!

  • How long do you think you would survive?
  • What do you think you would do for food?

This was the situation that faced millions of people in Russia, especially in the area known as the Ukraine, in 1932. Policies created by Joseph Stalin led to the starvation of approximately seven million people during the Russian famine of 1932-33. To learn more about this tragedy, read Stalin's Forced Famine 1932-1933  7,000,000 Deaths (The History Place). As you read, answer the following questions in space provided in the interactive below. Then, print it for your records:

After answering the questions, discuss them with your parent or teacher.

  • Do you agree with Stalin's tactics?
  • Do you think they were effective in the short term?
  • How effective do you think they were in the long term?
  • Are there any other ways you can think of that Stalin could have used to achieve his goals?

Keep your notes, because they can help you with the activity in the Go! section later in this lesson.

Now that you've learned about Stalin's man-made famine, it's time to turn your attention to the novel. First, you will need to define the terms used in Chapters Seven and Eight. Look up the following words in a print dictionary or at On a separate sheet of paper, write down the definitions. Then, write a sentence for each word, using the word correctly in the sentence's context. When you've completed the definitions and sentences, share them with your parent or teacher:

  • mangels
  • hitherto
  • pretext
  • pervading
  • stupefied
  • retribution
  • lumbering
  • meddle
  • inscribed
  • skulking
  • clamoured
  • censured
  • forsook
  • pensioner
  • conciliatory
  • dejectedly

After your parent or teacher has reviewed your definitions and sentences, take out your Animal Farm Reading Log that you have been keeping since the first lesson in this series. (This can be found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.) Answer the questions in the space provided in the log as you read Chapters Seven and Eight in the novel. Use the copy of the novel that you have used for the previous lessons, whether it is a print copy or the digital version of Animal Farm (

When you have read the two chapters and filled in the reading log, move on to the Got It? section to check your answers.

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