We are going to start Animal Farm in a couple of weeks so I have been doing some extra background reading, and one source I found and really enjoyed was the Animal Farm Revision Guide from Twinkl.
Initial Thoughts – Brilliant summary, lots of interesting comments about structure (which made me think) and I loved the questions, they way they gave suggestions on how to structure your answer and then the model answers but I am not a fan of the fact that you cannot print the document out. This document has been written as a digital revision guide with the idea that you view it online and you don’t print it out, if you try (like I did) the pages that print out does not look like the pages that you view in PDF, there are blocks containing definitions which end up hiding the text.
Okay so a bit more detail.
The first 4 days of the guide just talk about the guide and and the exam.
Then it is a section about the author, I found this fascinating and I think it is a brilliant 4 pages for all students to read because once you understand a bit about the background of the author and his intentions you really do start understanding the story. Excellent 4 pages.
The next 4 pages were on Form and Structure and honestly any kid who is studying this work should read these 4 pages but that is also were I started to get a bit frustrated with the fact that you cannot print this out. Honestly if I was a student I would want to print these 4 days out, make some of my own notes long the side margins and then place them with my other notes. However because this guide is meant to be viewed on your computer if you try and print it out you get definitions printed out ontop of the text. Really frustrating. I suppose your kid can read it and then write their own summary notes of what they have read, but that does just seem like a waste to me.
Okay then the Who’s Who – A lovely summary of the characters in this book. Really lovely summary, a liked that each character had it’s own block and an image which helps visual learners. A really good 5 page character summary, although again I did want to print these pages out and actually give them to my kids so they could write in extra bits about the characters in the margins.
Next you have the summary pages, 10 pages in which each chapter is brilliantly summarized. Really a great few pages. Now I know this guide is written for kids studying Animal Farm for their GCSE’s but honestly if you are choosing to read Animal Farm with your kids in KS3 you could always choose to ignore the exam question pages and just focus on these fact pages because the background info, the summary of the characters and the summary on chapters are excellent and incredibly useful. I was really impressed with the way they managed to wrap the whole book up into these 10 pages.
Okay and then next 51 pages deal with the 4 main themes of the book. Yip that is a lot of pages on themes but when you start reading them you understand why they have devoted so much time (or so many pages) to the themes.
Each theme section is split into 2 pages talking about the theme, then 2 pages putting the theme in context (this is gold) and key quotes that relate to the theme. Again even if your kiddo is not writing an exam on this but just reading the book these pages are excellent. Now you get the exam type questions, followed by a hint on how to structure your answers and some sample answers. If your kiddo is writing an exam on this book then these pages are amazing, I loved the help with how to structure answers and the sample answers were brilliant to read.
I really do think this is an excellent resource. Excellent. If I was a student studying Animal Farm I would want to have this but I would want to be able to print it out and add in my own extra bits along the margin.
For the purposes of this post I did manage to print out a few pages and do some editing so you could see the pages but please don’t download the PDF, view it and them try and print the whole document out, your pages will not print as you view them.