Make teaching The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald engaging and meaningful for your students with these four activities which make reading and learning about Gatsby fresh and creative! These lessons can be used for pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading of the novel. A description of each activity follows:
Students use critical thinking and inquiry learning for their upcoming reading of the book. Designed to meet requirements of the Common Core and help prepare students for standardized assessments, this activity requires students to complete close reading and use explicit text evidence to make logical inferences and predictions. Additionally, students must walk around the classroom to gather their evidence, so it is an excellent activity for your kinesthetic learners.
Students complete close reading of the car accident that killed Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby. In this activity, students assume roles (CSI Unit Worker, Medical Examiner, Police Officer, Witness, Prosecutor, and Newspaper Reporter) as they reread and review text evidence for the accident. After summarizing the accident evidence, students are also expected to read information about the laws for driving while impaired. They determine who should be charged with crimes and what charges should be filed, writing rationales for their decisions.
Trashketball Review Game
Throughout this power point presentation, teams of students recall characters, plot events, symbols, and literary devices in order to compete to shoot baskets into a trash can. In the last round of the game, students identify literary devices from text evidence (imagery, simile, metaphor, personification, and allusion). All that you will need is the ability to project a power point presentation, a ball, some dark tape, and a trash can. If desired, the questions in the rounds may be edited for the needs of your class. There are 30 questions in total.
Roaring 20’s Party & Essay
Make character analysis and essay writing fun with this lesson. Besides working on their literary analysis essay skills, students participate in a drama activity. With the help of costumes and props, they “become” their characters and engage in role-play, joining the rest of their classmates who are also characters from The Great Gatsby.
At the party, the students interview one another and use their reading of the novel to infer one another’s characters. They can also evaluate one another’s abilities to portray a character, judging whether each student has used appropriate dialect or dialogue, facial expressions, or mannerisms.
If preferred, all of these resources are available separately at the links below:
Gatsby Anticipation Activity
Close Reading Accident Investigation
Gatsby Essay and Party
Gatsby Trashketball Review Game