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The Great Gatsby Unit Plan | Great Gatsby Pre-reading Activities to Unit Test

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Internet Activities
  • Google Apps™
199 + slides
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Want to be done planning your unit on The Great Gatsby for the rest of your teaching career?

These resources will take care of all of your needs for a rigorous, engaging, and fun unit with over two months of no-prep, powerful, common core aligned lessons.

This complete unit includes close reading and discussion questions for every chapter, innovative activities for each chapter, as well as reading check quizzes on all of the chapters, 136 bellringer writing prompts, 5 different writing assignments, 2 tests, and 12 supplementary non-fiction and poetry texts with question.

These lessons also make great choices for online teaching because the clear instructions and structured questions are written for students to tackle independently. Additionally, the concrete text-based questions and unique sources discourage cheating and encourage students to answer for themselves.

The variety of materials, real-life connections, and innovative approaches to the information will keep students engaged and excited about learning. Learning from home gives students a great opportunity for exploring the TED Talks, articles, and real-life sources examined in the unit.

When you teach with this resource you will:

• get your students excited to start the novel by engaging them in powerful prereading activities

get your classes noticing, understanding, and remembering the important details of the text when your students work through passages independently using the close reading questions provided

• conquer your students’ fear of writing by helping them work through step-by-step, low-key processes for writing

broaden your students’ world view by incorporating multiple viewpoints and voices in your Gatsby unit

• establish calming and focusing daily routines by following the suggestions included here

challenge your students to think about important themes of racism, sexism, and classism in the novel by coming at those ideas from multiple angles

• help your classes to understand the historical context of the novel by experiencing music, art, and film from the period first-hand

• be sure that your students read the chapters by giving them reading-check quizzes which have been checked against an online summary

easily teach the unit online using the ready-to-go instructions, links, handouts, and forms all optimized for Google Classroom.

• improve your students’ writing fluency with engaging freewrite prompts and essay prompts that will get them writing every day

• easily get your students discussing ideas that matter by utilizing the no-prep discussion prompts included here

help your students discover why this classic novel is relevant to their lives today by incorporating TED Talks, NPR stories, and other contemporary resources in your lesson plans

• give your students a test that will deepen their learning and exploration of the novel

curb cheating by utilizing two different versions of the final test

• equip your students to write longer and more independent assignments by providing them with the necessary scaffolding

quickly and efficiently grade your students’ work by using the included rubrics

These differentiated resources have been proven to work for all levels in my 16 years of teaching. You can feel secure when you use these with all of your students, from the kids who hate reading and anything ELA to the most advanced honors class.

All of the answer keys quote the important passages, so there is no guessing on your part as to which parts of the text are most important. When you discuss the questions with your classes, you can point them to the sections to make sure that they are engaging with the text and working to interpret the sometimes challenging language.

There are no lectures or power points here—students will do the work themselves, with guidance from you. Rather than telling them what the play means, you will empower your students with the confidence and skills to tackle challenging texts on their own.

***The following resources are included in this bundle, all at a discount when you buy them together***

The Great Gatsby Activities: Non-Fiction | Supplementary Texts | Creative, (normally sells for $38.76) These fun activities will take care of all of your Gatsby unit needs—from 5-minute videos about driving in the 1920s to a three-day film about race and dreams to a contemporary story about love to a creative drawing activity—you won’t need to plan a Gatsby activity ever again. Click here to view a preview of the activities included in this resource.

The Great Gatsby Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9: Questions, Quizzes, Study Guides, Activities, (which normally sell for $26.73 when purchased separately) With reading quizzes, close reading questions, and discussion questions to dig deeper, these complete guides to the chapters include everything you need to plan lessons on the novel. Click here to view a preview of the chapter one resource.

Texts utilized in this resource:

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, a classic poem about the lies we tell ourselves and others

“Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood, a poem about seduction, lies, and the roles we play

“[When My Love Swears That She is Made of Truth]” or Sonnet 138 by William Shakespeare, a poem about love and lies

“The Victims” by Sharon Olds, a poem about family, divorce, and the stories we tell about our pasts

“If and When Dreams Come True,” and “Richard Cory," two poems about the upper class and dreams.

“Harlem, or A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes, “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem” by Helene Johnson, and “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, three poems from the Harlem Renaissance that deal with the convergence of dreams and race.

“Let America Be America Again,” Langston Hughes’ poem about a nation that he both loves and mistrusts.

“The Runner,” a fascinating non-fiction article that appeared in The New Yorker about a man who lied to get into Princeton.

“Hoop Dreams,” a documentary about two boys growing up in the inner-city. Roger Ebert called it “the great American documentary.”

“Hoop Dreams: Serious Game,” a beautifully written essay on the film by John Edgar Wideman.

When you teach with these resources, you’re going to love teaching Gatsby for the rest of your career!

Total Pages
199 + slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 months
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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