Chapter 2: Myrtle's Apartment

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SWBAT decode symbolic references and analyze text to determine plot events from Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby.

Big Idea

The decadence of the 1920s is showcased through the relationship between Tom and Myrtle.


This lesson begins with the Daily Language Practice and SAT Question of the Day as described in the previous lesson.  The class begins reading Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby, paying special attention to many of the symbolic references made in the chapter.  These references include the valley of the ashes and the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg. 

Finally, students will examine the last page of the chapter where an ellipsis is noted.  Students will use a psychoanalytical approach to interrupting the event that is not mentioned in this section of the chapter, noted by the ellipsis.  This scene refers to a possible romantic tryst between Nick and Mr. McKee. 

Daily Language Practice

10 minutes

In this short section of the lesson, we do some grammatical review.  I call it the Daily Language Practice.  I put two sentences with grammatical mistakes on the projector or overhead.  The class writes the sentences on paper.  I then solicit the class to volunteer which errors they see.  This is a great activity to begin class.  It allows for a smooth segue to English class, and it offers a great review of grammar for the SATs.

SAT Question of the Day

10 minutes

To continue with SAT prep as I am encouraged by my department head, I consult with College Board to pull up the SAT Question of the Day.  I put the question on the overhead and as a whole-class discussion we look at clues within the questions to lead us to the correct answer.  We also discuss why the answer is correct.  Lastly, we look for strategies to help students find the correct answers.  The link below will lead to the question of the day.  It changes daily and it is sometimes math.  If the question is not ELA, I will go to a weekend date and search for an ELA question.

Gatsby Vocabulary

10 minutes

In a continuation of vocabulary development, students who were assigned the words "hauteur" and "incredulous" will offer definitions of these words in the context of Chapter 2.  They will also create a flashcard to reinforce the meanings of words.  Again, students will create flashcards of by writing the word and definition on one side of the flashcard.  They also include the connotative meaning of the word or what the word sounds like as related to its definition.  The also provide a synonym and antonym, and they use it in a sentence.  

On the other side of the flashcard, students create a graphic representation of the word's meaning.  This assignment is done for homework.  This assignment is done piecemeal as we come upon the words in the text.  By the first part of the book, students will have been exposed to the vocabulary list and definitions through context.



Active Reading Reporters: Chapter 2

30 minutes

Students will be assigned an active reading reporter role.  These roles consist of the following:

  • Setting Reporter:  Identifies three details about the setting and accompanies these details with text evidence.
  • Character Reporter:  Identifies three details about the characters mentioned in the chapter and chooses one quote per character which best captures the essence of the character.
  • Character Connections Reporter:  Identifies how each character connects to the other characters.  Identifies one quote per detail to support connections.
  • Symbols Reporter:  Identifies two symbols with accompanying text evidence.
  • Point of View Reporter:  Identifies specifically the narrative structure of the chapter/novel and identifies two quotes that indicate the point of view. 
  • Conflicts Reporter:  Identifies all conflicts in the first chapter:  man vs. man; man vs. society; man vs. self, etc.  Each example should have an accompanying quote.
  • Vocabulary/Unique Phrases Reporter:  Identifies and hypothesizes on unusual words or phrases in the chapter.

Each reporter will also be assigned to a group.  There will be one of each reporter role per group.  After the chapter is read, reporters will convene in their groups.  Each reporter will share their findings and group members will complete a handout where they add all the findings from each reporter.

Chapter may be read for homework or in class.

The significance in each role is directly related to the CCSS shift of "students engaging in rich and rigorous evidence based conversations about text."  Students are citing strong textual evidence to support their answers, and they are analyzing the development and relatable elements of a story.  This is being done both through written responses and through speaking and listening.