The Great Gatsby Project & Presentation

English 5/6
Mrs. Dunham
The Great Gatsby Project & Presentation
Your culminating project for The Great Gatsby unit will consist of a group project and presentation. In groups of
about four people, you will choose one of the topics below and prepare for a presentation. Individually, you will
write a five paragraph essay according to your researched topic.
You will begin compiling information early in your reading of the novel. By the time you near the end of the
novel, you will have collected almost all of your information. Once you complete the novel, you’ll have to pull
together ideas and plan your presentation and essay.
Look at the major characters in the novel. Identity charts, reading quizzes, and group work on characters will give
you a start. What motivates each character? How do characters see themselves; how do others see them? How
do characters interact? What might a character represent (a type of person, an idea…?) Do some characters grow
and change throughout the novel, and, if so, how?
Symbols & Style
Symbols: What symbols appear in the novel? Explain. What recurring images appear, and how are they used?
Do characters’ names have significance?
Style: Select significant passages that you feel best represent the author’s style. Do a close reading of the
passages (similar to a quote journal). Then, look for patterns—what kinds of literary devices does Fitzgerald
typically use, reflecting his style? How would you describe Fitzgerald’s style overall? (You may use literary
criticism to supplement your commentary.) Be sure to address figurative language (simile, metaphor,
personification) as well as diction (word choice).
The 1920s and Gatsby
Research the decade of the 1920s. What was going on in the United States? In the world? You can look at major
historical events as well as trends in clothing styles, music, laws and criminal activity, sports, attitudes toward
minorities—anything you can connect to the text. Then, connect what you found to the text. How does your
research give new insight into the book The Great Gatsby?
The American Dream and Gatsby
Define the American Dream. You may take into account that for different people at different times in American
history, the American Dream may manifest itself in different ways. Explain how Gatsby is an example of the
failure of (corruption of) the American Dream. You may also choose to explain what the American Dream means
to you.
Fitzgerald’s Life and Gatsby
Research Fitzgerald’s life and tie what you learn to The Great Gatsby. How might some of Fitzgerald’s
experiences and relationships be represented in the story of Gatsby? What character(s) might Fitzgerald most
closely identify with and why?
Project Due: ______________________
English 5/6
Mrs. Dunham
Gatsby Project & Presentation Grading
Essay 50pts (50%)
Followed Writing Process: Brainstorm; outline/4square; rough draft; final draft
Accuracy of information
o Works Cited page
Evidence from text
Presentation 50pts (50%)
Visual (group)
Evidence of planning
o Index cards or notes
o Transitions among group members
o Smooth delivery of presentation
Contribution by all group members
o Contribution to both preparation (in and out of class) and presentation
Speaking skills
o Poise: seeming confident, making eye contact, avoiding distracting gestures & distracting or
inarticulate words (like, um, sort of, you know, kind of, basically)
o Vocal messages: projecting your voice, choosing appropriate pace, appropriate pauses
1. Presentation
2. Works Cited—use MLA format. Refer to Writer’s Inc or --go to “Humanities” (MLA). Don’t forget to cite
sources for graphics, as well as ideas and direct quotations.
3. Visual:
o No boring posters! If you use posters, make them creative, relevant, colorful, visually appealing,
easy to see from a distance. Carefully consider your choices of color to represent a particular
character or theme. You may use multiple posters for a given topic. Posters do not have to be
o Overheads: if you print out a page from home, we can put the page on an overhead (black and
white only available at school). Be sure to use 16-point font or larger. Use bullets, outline form,
numbers, and “white space” to make text accessible. Consider graphics.
o Handouts: you may consider creating handouts, especially if you have timelines or graphic
organizers which don’t translate easily to an overhead, poster, or PowerPoint—you might not be
able to fit the information on an overhead, poster, or single slide and still have it be visible.
Handouts don’t have to be just text—consider graphics, and break up text so it’s easy to see.
o PowerPoint: Again, consider font size. Don’t cram too much information on a slide—it’s better to
include graphics and use several slides. Make the slides visually appealing and clear. We can
project PowerPoint for the whole class to see. Don’t let bells and whistles overwhelm content—
don’t worry about transitions between slides or font color until all content is established in all
your slides. Keep color scheme consistent.
o Anything else you feel is relevant—run other ideas by me. If you’re doing music in the Jazz Age,
you MUST play samples. If you’re doing pop culture and fashion, you could dress up as a
flapper. You could demonstrate swing dancing. You could create a piece of art, 2- or 3dimensional, representing a symbol or character. You could create a word portrait, “I am” poem,
collage to represent a character. Be creative. Draw in your audience.