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A is for Animal Farm, and alliteration

Seventh graders bring Jeffries’ ABCs into their reading of Orwell

“I teach George Orwell’s Animal Farm this time of year and—this gives me chills— there’s always something that happens in America that feeds into the conversation," the seventh grade teacher explained. "Insurrection. Impeachment. And, this year, some spectacular speechgiving.”

Today in class, seventh graders watched Hakeem Jeffries’s instantly iconic A to Z speech from Friday night.

They read along and annotated it as they listened.

Their current reading, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, opens with a speech, and the plot is driven by fiery rhetoric, so these students were ready to create their own speeches in the voices of the characters.

They had fifteen minutes to write together.

Inspired by Representative Jeffries, they laid the alliteration on very thick.

They used the A to Z construct - though most of them got stuck around X and ran out of time before Z.

And, over the course of a class period, they wrote quickly, they laughed a lot, they argued over politics and word choice, they cheered each other on, and they deepened their understanding of what is like to try to hold a room’s attention with the spoken word.

Seventh grade at Gordon includes explorations of many writing genres, from free verse poetry to persuasive essays, as well as the now-legendary novel project. In May, each seventh grader will choose a sample of their own writing and recite it out loud, for friends, faculty and family, at the Night of Words.

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