Decoding the Dystopian Characteristics of Macintosh’s “1984” Commercial

Known as one of the most iconic advertisements of the 20th century, Macintosh's "1984" commercial has become more of a social statement. Present the ad to a new audience of viewers with a lesson focused on identifying dystopian characteristics, and comparing the video to other works set in a dystopian world.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Show before your novel unit on George Orwell's 1984 or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 
  • Encourage learners to use their observations from the commercial in comparison to another book or movie with a dystopian setting
  • Use in a computer science or technology class to prompt discussion about the commercial's message toward technology in the 1980's
Classroom Considerations

  • Provides a list of works of literature you could use with the ad, ranging in reading level
Pros

  • Includes links to background information, lists of symbols to discuss, and comprehension questions
  • A great example of non-print text for an informational reading unit
Cons

  • None