Gatsby: Rumors, Characters, and Plot--A Midpoint Review

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Objective

SWBAT demonstrate how rumors about Jay Gatsby establish characterization, fuel suspense, and drive the plot by collaboratively creating a map of the plot.

Big Idea

As the plot of the novel is revealed, so is the deepening mystery of Jay Gatsby--let's make sense of the rumors surrounding him.

Introduction & Welcome: Happy St. Pat's!

8 minutes

We open class with a welcome to St. Patrick's Day; as Chicagoans, from dying the river green to the parade, St. Patrick's Day is a tradition.

To get students thinking critically today, we start with today's "Monday Mindbender" brain teaser with the class, projecting it on the front of the board. A verbal/vocabulary puzzle, today's Monday Mindbender is copyright Mensa, and as such is not reproduced here. However, free brainteasers can be found at "A Daily Brainteaser.

Daily Holidays and Monday Mindbenders encourage a sense of student ownership and community in the classroom, and the Mindbenders nurture a bit of healthy competition as well. Students do take pride in correct answers, and provide teachable moments when they have incorrect answers. 

 

Plot Review: Tying Everything Together.

15 minutes

Chapter 4 of "The Great Gatsby" is a major turning point in the novel, as Nick shifts from introducing the characters to the reunion of and developing relationship between Gatsby and Daisy. 

Students are directed to take note of the plot map and our conversation today on the back of the Style Activity sheet they have been using as a bookmark (see the lesson, "'Rich Girls Don't Marry Poor Boys': The Connection Between Author and Text").

In order to explore the development of the idea of Gatsby and Daisy's relationship, how it emerges and the history of it is revealed over the course of the story, how small details build to their larger interactions, (RL.9-10.2) and its impact on them and the characters surrounding them (RL.9-10.3), I map the plot of the novel from Chapter 1 to 4 on the front whiteboard. The advancing plot slowly reveals more and more about their relationship and ultimately comes to a head as we find the "truth" from Jordan and Daisy and Gatsby get their fulfillment in Chapter 5.

To review the "Town Tattle" assignment, investigating the rumors surrounding Gatsby and their impact on our understanding of him, we review the specific rumors told about Gatsby students found in their reading in order to support (RL.9-10.1) and explore how these rumors about Gatsby connect to and advance the plot (RL.9-10.3). These videos encompass an extended conversation about rumors and their impact on plot. 

As we review, students draw upon their reading and the rumors they have identified in order to stimulate a thoughtful conversation about characters and the plot of the first four chapters (SL.9-10.1a).

By presenting this information in an interactive mini-lecture, I can help ensure students are all "on the same page" in regards to the major events in the first four chapters, and how the characters interact. 

 

Reading Day: Chapter 5 (And 6, If You're Feeling Motivated!)

25 minutes

In order to ensure students are prepared for our next film comparison, and to provide them an opportunity to seek clarification if needed, they are given time in class today to independently read and tackle Chapter 5 of "The Great Gatsby." 

As noted in the above video, time to read in class in order to exercise their independence and comprehension with minimal distractions. This time allows students, who often allow themselves to be distracted by their daily loves, to focus on the material at hand. This reading time also allows me to scaffold for individual students, as I can provide clarification and one-on-one conferencing as needed (RL.9-10.10). 

As students read, they are asked to look for strong and thorough textual evidence to support their analysis of the novel (RL.9-10.1), by completing the Review Guide for Chapter 5. 

As we move into reading the second half of the novel, students have been given the flexibility to work at their own pace; I have introduced each new chapter as they have been completing the previous one. As mentioned above, I have chosen to do this to demonstrate to the students that I trust their maturity and sense of responsibility, but also to call upon them to rise to the occasion and demonstrate that maturity and sense of responsibility. 

Because the reunion between Gatsby and Daisy in Chapter 5 requires paying close attention to and making sense of the little details (such as Gatsby knocking into the clock, and when it is and is not raining), reading in class provides students with the chance to ask me for clarification if needed. As the students read, I circulate the room, offering clarification and focus if needed.

If students have completed Chapter 5, they are welcome to move on to Chapter 6.

Two-Minute Warning: Wrap-Up & Reminders

2 minutes

With two minutes remaining, students are asked to return to their regular seats. The class is reminded to complete through Chapter 6 tomorrow, and Chapter 7 for two days from now. As we have been reading the second half of the novel, students have been given the flexibility to work at their own pace; I have introduced each new chapter as they have been completing the previous one. As mentioned above, I have chosen to do this to demonstrate to the students that I trust their maturity and sense of responsibility, but also to call upon them to rise to the occasion and demonstrate that maturity and sense of responsibility.