This F. Scott Fitzgerald short story was one of my favorites as a student many years ago and it is still a favorite of my students today. Over the years, I have used this story to introduce students to The Great Gatsby and in sometimes in place of Gatsby.
This lesson includes an “interactive text” version of the story to encourage students to mark the text as they read. Questions and activities embedded within the text emphasize character development and the final essay prompt focuses on how the changes in Bernice help convey the theme of the story. Additionally, a film-analysis worksheet and creative activity are included as post-reading activities.
The accompanying teacher’s guide includes section-by-section teaching suggestions, including a detailed Reader’s Theater activity. “Teacher Talk” suggestions can be used for “Think Alouds,” Q&A during the reading, or even as reading checks. Links to audio and video texts (by section) are included, as well as ideas to differentiate the assignments, and answers to in-text questions and worksheets.
As an option, I have also included a plain-text version of the story (without the questions and activities embedded in the interactive text). This would be a good option for upper-level classes or for teachers with tighter copy budgets. It would also be easy to upload to Google Classroom for online reading.
All three texts (interactive, plain, and TE) are included as .pdfs in the .zip file.
There is enough here for this to be a stand-alone lesson (or substitute plan), but it will also fit nicely into units with a focus on Coming of Age themes, peer pressure, and the Jazz Age. You can teach this lesson over the course of a week; however, you could certainly shorten the time by requiring reading homework. Or, if your routine includes other activities, it won’t hurt to stretch it out a little.
Happy teaching! I hope your students enjoy this unit as much as mine do. Please let me know how it goes! --Julie