Course Home‎ > ‎

Course Syllabus

The syllabus for this course is kept live here. It may be subject to change so please double check all course policies before asking a question or submitting an assignment. To download and view the PDF of this course syllabus, click here.

Introduction to Allegory

Instructor Information

Mr. Jason W. Brunken

Office Hours:
9:00 am - 11:00 am, CST (via Google Chat and Facebook)
Web: http:/

*Email is my preferred method of communication. I strive to respond within 24 hours. If you do not receive a reply within 48 hours, please email me again. Feel free though to contact me in other ways as needed.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to identifying allegory in literature and learning how to read and write allegorically. During this course, allegory is defined and students practice identifying examples of allegory and comparing allegory to other literary devices. The bulk of the course however, has students take an in depth look at an actual allegory by reading and analyzing George Orwell’s Animal Farm. To do this students learn the background information necessary to appreciate Orwell’s masterpiece and work on breaking down the allegory itself. Students get the chance to apply what they have learned in the end by practicing writing their own allegory of an issue of their interest.


Course Goals

The following are the goals for Introduction to Allegory:

  • Introduce students to allegory and what it means to read and interpret stories allegorically.
  • Identify examples of allegory in literature.
  • Apply knowledge of allegory to evaluate and analyze a famous allegory.
  • Apply knowledge of allegory and other literary devices to create an allegorical tale about a present issue or event.


Course Location and Login Information

This is an online course delivered using the website No login is required to access the site and the course content. However, to get credit for completion of this course and feedback on assignments from the instructor, you will need to contact Happy Kids about enrolling in the course.


Course Materials

Required Books

Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Year: 1945 

Publisher: various (any version of the text will suffice) 

Please order your book immediately if you have not already done so. Happy Kids can help you get your book, but you will need to enroll at least one month before the class starts.

Required Hardware & Software

This course can be completed entirely online. A stable, high-speed Internet connection with a functioning web browser and a computer with the hardware necessary to smoothly navigate the Internet and run Web-based applications like Google Drive are essential to attending and completing this course. Other hardware or software requirements are:

·         A Google Account (we will be using Google applications heavily in this course so familiarity with Google Drive and other Google Apps is highly recommended)

·         A PDF reader

Other Recommended Hardware & Software

This course can be completed without the following, but it is highly recommended that you have them to make your online learning experience smoother.

·         Microsoft Office

·         Google Chrome (for best compatibility with Google Apps)

Assignment Policy and Grading Scale

Assignment Information

Detailed information about assignments are posted on the course website. The course is divided into eight modules. All due dates are listed in the main assignment pages of each module on the website. You are expected to stay update on the progress of the course, know what is due and when, and complete all assignments on time. However, the instructor will send weekly email updates to all registered students with reminders on what is due and when so please check your email several times a week.

Here is a tentative list of the assignments and projects for this term:



Course Scavenger Hunt (Module 1)


Getting to know each other Discussion (Module 1)


Allegory quiz (Module 2)


Comparing literary devices Discussion (Module 2)


Events Comparison Discussion (Module 3)


Soviet History Timeline Project (Module 3)


Understanding the Allegory worksheet (Module 4)


Animal Farm Characters Discussion (Module 4)


Animalism and Communism Discussion (Module 5)


Communism Quiz (Module 5)


Compare and Contrast paper Discussion (Module 5)


Argument Planner (Module 6)


Animal Farm Allegory Evaluation Presentation (Module 6)


Presentation Feedback Discussion (Module 6)


First draft of original allegory (Module 7)


Peer Reviews Discussion (Module 7)


Final Assignment: Original allegory (Module 7)


Course Evaluation (Modules 8)


Grand Total Points



Assignment Submission

All assignments must be submitted by midnight China Standard Time on the assigned due dates.

Grading Cycle

All assignments are graded together as a group to maintain a higher level of consistency. Grading begins on the first day after a due date and is typically completed before the next due date. You may track your progress through the link to the online grade book provided by the instructor. The type of assignment dictates the level of feedback provided. There are some assignments where I give extensive feedback and others that I simply enter the points earned for the assignment in the grade book.

Final grades are based on the following scale.




















59% & Below


Late Work

Sometimes situations occur that might prevent you from completing your assignments on time. During the course, every student will be permitted submit assignments late as long as the instructor is contacted via email beforehand. Discussion assignments are the exception. Because of the collaborative nature of these assignments, all discussion tasks must be completed within the assigned time period. Please note that work that is submitted late may not receive significant feedback from the instructor. It is highly recommended that all sue dates are met to get the most out of this course.

Tentative Course Schedule




Module 1: Getting Started

Week 1

Course Scavenger Hunt, Getting to know each other discussion

Module 2: What is allegory?

Week 2-3

Allegory quiz, Comparing literary devices discussion

Module 3: Developing Background

Week 4-6

Russian History worksheet 1, Comparing events in Animal Farm and Russian History discussion, Russian History Timeline Project

Module 4: Understanding the Allegory, Part 1

Week 7-8

Understanding the Allegory Worksheet, Animal Farm Characters discussion

Module 5: Understanding the Allegory, Part 2

Week 9-10

Communism Quiz, Animalism as Communism discussion, Compare and Contrast Paper

Module 6: Animal Farm as an Allegory

Week 11-12

Evaluating Animal Farm as an Allegory Presentation, Presentation reviews discussion

Module 7: Creating your own allegory

Week 13-15

First draft of original allegory, Peer reviews discussion

Module 8: Wrap-up and Review

Week 16

Final draft of allegory, Course evaluation

General Reading Schedule

The following is a general overview of the main readings from Animal Farm for this course. Each module will likely have other reading assignments selected from websites or articles. These are required reading as well and can be found on the individual module webpages. This schedule may also change as needed. It is provided for those who like to read ahead.


Required Reading from Animal Farm

Module 1

  • Animal Farm chapter 1-2

Module 2

  • Animal Farm chapters 3-4

Module 3

  • Animal Farm chapters 5-7

Module 4

  • Animal Farm chapters 8-9

Module 5

  • Animal Farm chapter 10

Module 6

  • Review Animal Farm

Module 7

  • None

Module 8

  • None



Happy Kids’s Middle School Program borrows heavily from the grade 7 Common Core State Standards for Language Arts. Below are the standards that apply to this course.


·         RL.MS.1: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text

·         RL.MS.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

·         RL.MS.9: Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

·         RL.MS.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

·         RI.MS.1: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

a)      Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

·         RI.MS.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

·         RI.MS.8: Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.

·         RI.MS.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

·         SL.MS.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a)      Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b)      Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c)      Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

d)      Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

·         SL.MS.2: Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

·         SL.MS.4: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

·         W.MS.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a)      Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

b)      Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

c)      Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.

d)      Establish and maintain a formal style.

e)      Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

·         W.MS.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

a)      Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b)      Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c)      Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.

d)      Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

e)      Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

·         W.MS.5: With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. 

·         W.MS.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

·         W.MS.8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism using basic citation practices.

·         W.MS.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a)      Apply grade 7 Reading Standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history”).

b)      Apply grade 7 Reading Standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).

·         L.MS.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

·         L.MS.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

·         L.MS.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

·         L.MS.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

·         L.MS.5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a)      Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.

b)      Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.

c)      Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).

·         L.MS.6: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Technical Difficulties

On occasion, you may experience problems class files located on the website, Internet service connection problems, and/or other computer or software related problems. Make the instructor aware ASAP if a technical problem prevents you from completing coursework. If a problem occurs on our end, such as you losing your Google Account, then an automatic due date extension is granted.

Reasonable Accommodations

Any student who feels s/he may need accommodations based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs.

Academic Honesty

Cheating or plagiarism in any form is unacceptable during this course. Therefore, all work submitted by a student must represent her/his own ideas, concepts, and current understanding. For this course the following standards will be used:

  • All students are expected to create original works for each assignment. Projects and papers written for other courses should not be reused for this class. To fairly assess each student, original work is needed in order to assure everybody is receiving the most out of the class and that the concepts are understood.
  • All project text should be original text written by each student. Any content that is referenced or has small amounts of material quoted should be cited using APA format.
  • Images or other media used in projects should be original, used with permission, or come from public domain. Terms and conditions for usage should be checked before being used.

Violation of these guidelines can result in a zero on an assignment or quiz, lower grade, or expulsion from the course.


All content on this site is owned by Jason W. Brunken, but can be reused or modified for educational purposes in accordance with the Creative Commons license found at