As a reading teacher who is also responsible for teaching the standard English III curriculum, I am always looking for ways to make complex texts more accessible to my lower-level readers. The activities in this set comprise some of my favorite approaches, incorporating reading strategies into literary analysis.
They are not comprehensive and should not be used as your only material for The Great Gatsby, but if you’re looking for something other than questions at the end of the chapter to assess your students’ understanding, you’ll find quality resources here. Each of these activities, too, can be used multiple times throughout the text (and with other texts). For example, if you like the Visualizing activity, you could use it at the end of other chapters. The Predictions activity can be used elsewhere in the text. Since the document is editable, you can adapt these activities for multiple uses; however, they are certainly sufficient as supplemental material for each chapter as they are designed!
This download includes the following eleven activities:
This before-reading activity is a fun way to introduce students to characters and events in an upcoming chapter.
I use this during/after reading strategy all the time! Students are required to find text evidence to support their judgments about characters.
By thinking about a time they faced a similar situation, students are better able to understand a character's motivations and actions.
In a book filled with rumor, this during-reading activity helps students to recognize the facts and to learn to make inferences while recognizing the gaps in their understanding.
An after reading strategy that takes students back into the text in search of details, helping them to better comprehend the material they just read.
This is my favorite part! My department chair and I were discussing the book one day and she mentioned that she’s always focused on the book as a series of nine parties—each chapter is a party. She teaches honors and AP students, so just discussing the structure in these terms was enough for her students. I teach remedial reading students, though, so I wanted to make it a little more concrete (and fun) for them. I created this foldable invitation to summarize each “party.”
Another before-reading prediction activity helps students prime their minds for the events of the upcoming chapter.
This during reading strategy teaches students to pay attention to current events and think about how they will play out later in the novel.
This is a character analysis activity that includes a creative writing component. The lesson plan includes a graphic organizer you can print and give directly to the students. After completing the graphic organizer, students are instructed to write a creative positive profile of the character—not just an essay, but a speech, poem, newspaper article, etc.
This after reading activity provides students a chance to practice their summarizing skills and demonstrate their comprehension of the text. This can be done after any chapter--orally or in writing--and suggested topics as well as a rubric are included.
Another fun creative writing activity. Instructions are provided as well as a sample poem about Nick and Jordan Baker. I’ve also included a rubric for grading the poems.
While you're here, please check out my other lessons for The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby Pre-Reading Research Activity
Let students do the work and gain background knowledge at the same time!
The Great Gatsby Review Jeopardy
A comprehensive Jeopardy-style review game--perfect for test review!
If you do decide to buy, please leave feedback and let me know what you thought about the lesson. I’m always looking for ways to improve and would like to know how the lesson worked for you.