The Other Medium: Movie Interpretation of The Great Gatsby

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SWBAT analyze multiple interpretations of a novel and evaluate how each version interprets the source text.

Big Idea

Why don't we just watch the movie? Evaluating choice in literature.


This lesson is a bit of a carry-over from the prior day's lesson.  I start off the day with a vocabulary test.  I don't like playing a movie for the whole block because I find that students get bored an antsy after about 45 minutes.  Therefore, you probably have noticed that I split the movie in half and watch for two days.  Depending on the class, I may show the movie in 20-25 minutes increments depending on what they can handle.

The overall point of this lesson is to zero in on why an author or director makes certain choices in producing a literary product.  Through viewing the movie and reading the book, students will see two interpretations of the novel and decide what inspired the director to change certain events in the novel.  Why change things?

Gothic Vocabulary Test

20 minutes

I am giving students another vocabulary test because we will be beginning a new unit the next day of class.  These words are based on a Gothic Literature unit.  Again, I usually have a new unit of vocabulary words each week and a test on the Friday of each week.  I expect students to review their words each night and prepare for Friday's test.

This vocabulary test is CCSS aligned as it requires students to ascertain meaning through context.  I chose the words to be assessed based on difficulty and occurrence in the text.

Continue Gatsby Movie

45 minutes

I have students watch the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version of the movie and answer questions on a movie sheet that ask them to evaluate the director's choices.  The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to see how a director's interpretation compares to their own take on the movie.  I also opt to show the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version because it more closely follows the action of the book.  The new Leonardo DiCaprio version is much more contemporary and strays a bit from the original historical context as intended by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Following the movie I will collect the movie sheet.  The movie sheet resource is in the prior day's lesson.