Reflection: Complex Tasks Unraveling Gatsby with Text and Film Interpretations - Section 2: Building Knowledge


This activity went absolutely awesome!  I was so impressed that students were able to pull out so many text-based characteristics for their characters, especially since this skill sometimes wavers on their formative assessment.  One of the major takeaways I got from this conflicting information is that students absolutely UNDERSTAND how to choose and support characterizations, but they are not always actively applying it to their reading.  I need to stress the importance of this kind of detective-like reading strategy to my students in everyday reading, not just in assignments that make this requirement explicit.  Even though it's disappointing that students aren't always applying this care to their assignments, it does make me somewhat relieved to know that this level of proficiency indicates that the skill does NOT need to be retaught.

The complexity of this assignment and how it unfolded in stages, first looking at the text, then one version of the film, then the other version of the film really helped to highlight the major components and implications of this scene.  It also gave students that were struggling with the textual-connections to the first film a second opportunity to practice this skill with the second film.  The Common Core specifically indicates that students should be engaged in evaluating different adaptations of text in media, and I feel that grounding our whole discussion with deep knowledge of the actual text helped to keep our critique more specific and focused on author and director purposes.

  Building on an Assignment to Improve Its Quality & Complexity
  Complex Tasks: Building on an Assignment to Improve Its Quality & Complexity
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Unraveling Gatsby with Text and Film Interpretations

Unit 9: Is Gatsby Really so "Great"?
Lesson 6 of 12

Objective: SWBAT analyze the development of characters in the hotel scene using textual evidence and evaluate multiple film interpretations of the same scene to compare to novel's intentions.

Big Idea: Let Robert Redford and Leo Dicaprio help students return to the deep, text-based characterizations inherent in the Common Core instead of surface-level thinking!

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