Lesson 4: Work on the Farm


Activity 1: Farm Work After the Rebellion

In this activity, you'll compare how work was done on the farm when Mr. Jones was in charge and how the farm work was done with the animals in charge. On the activity page, "Farm Work after the Rebellion," there is space to write about Manor Farm (under the control of Mr. Jones), about Animal Farm (under the control of the animals), and about what was true of both farms. Write out your thoughts on each of the following topics, using specific examples from the text to support your points:
  • What work needed to be done?
  • Who did the work?
  • How each job was completed (machinery used, amount of effort required)?
  • Who benefited from the work?
In this activity, your child will compare the farm work on Manor Farm/Animal Farm before and after the rebellion. She should cite specific examples. Answers may vary, but these are some examples of what your child may come up with.
Answer Key - Farm Work after the Rebellion
QuestionManor FarmAnimal FarmSimilarities
What work needed to be done?Preparing the land (plowing, planting, etc.), weeding, watering, harvesting, taking harvest to market, milking, gathering eggs, etc. (Your child's answers may vary.)Preparing the land (plowing, planting, etc.), weeding, watering, harvesting, taking harvest to market, milking, gathering eggs, etc. (Your child's answers may vary.)Preparing the land (plowing, planting, etc.), weeding, watering, harvesting, taking harvest to market, milking, gathering eggs, etc. (Your child's answers may vary.)
Who did the work?Supervision by Jones. Jones and his men brought in the harvest with labor from the horses. Animals like hens and ducks didn't work (aside from laying eggs).Supervision by pigs. All the animals, including ducks and hens, helped with the harvest.Many animals, like the horses, worked hard on the farm no matter who was in charge. The cat didn't do a great deal of work, before or after the rebellion.
How was each job completed (machinery used, amount of effort required)?Machines that were used were designed to be operated by humans. Horses controlled by bits and reins.Treaded out grain in the ancient way since there was no threshing machine. No bits or reins used with the horses. Hens and ducks gathered stray grains. Without machinery, more effort was required. Some animals worked harder on Animal Farm who had not been expected to work much at all on Manor Farm.Some machinery was used on the farm under Jones and under the other animals. The horses did a lot of the work involved with cutting and raking in both versions of the farm.
Who benefited from the work?Jones benefited from everyone's labor. Your child may mention that his workers were paid wages and the animals were given food, shelter, veterinary care.The animals benefited (though as the book went on, your child may have noticed that the pigs benefited in some ways more than other animals).There was no one who clearly benefited from the work under both Jones' and the animals' leadership, although if your child lists something here, you should ask her to explain her thoughts — perhaps she will have come up with an excellent analysis!

Activity 2: Friendly Letters and Business Letters

Materials: blank white paper*, scissors*, tape or glue*
People need to correspond for a variety of reasons, and there are specific formats and stylistic conventions that are expected in different kinds of letters. Personal correspondence, like letters between friends or family members, uses the friendly letter format. Correspondence written to employees of businesses, organizations, or government agencies follows the business letter format.

Friendly letters follow a relatively informal format. Read over the "Friendly Letters" page for details on the friendly letter format.
In contrast, a business letter is more formal and uses different formatting. The "Business Letters" page illustrates the format.
After studying these two letter formats, ask a parent which option you should complete.
This activity covered the basics of both friendly and business letters. There are two options for this activity. If your child has not been exposed to business letters before, Option 1 (the easier option) may be more appropriate. If she is already familiar with business letters or is ready for more of a challenge, ask her to complete Option 2.

Option 1

Use the "Jumbled Business Letter" activity page to practice placing the parts of a formal business letter in the appropriate places on a blank sheet of paper.
In this option, your child used the activity page to place the parts of a business letter in the appropriate places on a separate sheet of paper. An answer key has been provided.
Option 1 Answer Key

Option 2

For this option, you will find and correct the errors in a letter found on the "Fixing a Business Letter" page. Note that there are no errors in either the sender or recipient address.
For this option, your child corrected the errors in a business letter.

Answer Key
  • the date should be on the left side of the page, in line with the addresses
  • the salutation should read "Dear Mr. Hardscrabble:" [you don't address recipients by their first name in business letters, and the salutation should end with a colon]
  • "Cordially" should be followed by a comma
  • the signature should come before the printed name
  • the letter mentions an enclosure, so the last line should say something like "Enclosure: Blueprint"