Great Gatsby Reading Groups
As we read The Great Gatsby, we will be talking about the novel in groups in
order to answer the question, how does the novel create big ideas? You will meet with
your reading groups periodically during our reading to discuss the novel, and each group
will be assigned one chapter to discuss in detail in front of the class.
To prepare for your group discussion, (1) come with at least three open-ended
higher-level thinking questions. While you may have some ideas about how to answer
the question, these are not questions you already have set answers for. Also, (2) bring at
least three quotes that develop a (3) big idea. (4) Include parenthetical citations.
Your quotes do not need to be related to your questions; instead, they are organized with
the big idea that is developed in the chapter. If you can’t find three passages to build
only one big idea, then focus on more than one big idea. Finally, using the common AP
multiple choice question stems, (5) bring in one multiple choice question about your
chapter with five answer choices.
Choose who in your group will take notes of the conversation as you talk in
order to create a summary, who will be the guide (meaning that during the
conversation they have the book open under the document camera to guide us to passages
that are being discussed, act to clarify confusions between group members, and make
sure group members are explaining how the big ideas are being created with examples)
and who will lead the question and answer at the end.
In your group discussion, it is your group’s job to work to find possible answers
to group members’ questions, to focus on the “so what” instead of the “what,” to push
back against misreadings made by group members or offer alternate interpretations, and
to make thematic connections between your chapter and other parts of the book, since
reading is recursive.
Please organize your written preparation as is done on the back for chapter 1.
Your project grade will be an average of your written preparation and discussion
Chapter One
Big Idea: Life is wasted waiting for some great thing only to realize that what we think is
ahead of us is already behind.
Passages that develop the big idea:
Tom Buchanan was “one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at
twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anticlimax” (Fitzgerald 6). “Tom would
drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some
irrecoverable football game” (Fitzgerald 6).
Daisy says, “‘Do you always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I
always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it’” (Fitzgerald 11).
“They knew presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening, too, would be
over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the West, where an evening
was hurried from phase to phase toward its close, in a continually disappointed
anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself” (Fitzgerald 12).
What is Fitzgerald’s attitude towards Daisy and Jordan?
Why is Daisy so emphatically interested when she hears the name “Gatsby”?
Why does Daisy think the best thing a girl can be in this world is a “beautiful little fool”?
AP MC Question
1. In the sentence, “Now he was a study straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard
mouth and a supercilious manner,” the word hard most likely means—
A. Large
B. Firm
C. Mean
D. Confident
E. Difficult to understand