Devise a lesson plan(s) and assignment that address the historical and cultural significance of the work while allowing for a creative approach to the work.
***Use the book Great Gatsby
In order for students to understand the historical context of the novel I would like to do an activity that addresses the historical and cultural context of the book before beginning the novel. I think it would be important to complete the following activity before reading because it will allow for the students to understand and appreciate how popular culture shapes historical fiction. The activity will allow them to understand how the values and events of the time period influenced the novel and should allow them to better understand the characters and story.
Lesson Title: 1920’s Newspaper
Grade level: 11
Title of Unit: The Great Gatsby
Number(s) of lesson in unit: 1-5
Connection to prior learning:
Students will use their knowledge of researching given topics in order to find primary sources related to the 1920’s.
Students will be able to find, analyze, and evaluate relevant primary sources from the Library of Congress collections.
Students will be able to create articles and stories based on primary sources.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 11-12 here.)
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Students will be assessed on their final product as well as the contributions they made to their group.
Students will be divided into groups of two or three. Each group will receive a primary source to analyze and construct an opinion on life during the 1920’s. Students will record their thoughts on a graphic organizer which will prompt them to, “Observe, Reflect, Question.” Each category will have several questions in order to guide students in their analysis. For a group analyzing a photograph their “Observe” column may ask, “ What people and/or objects are shown? What is the physical setting? What other details do you notice?” For the “Reflect” column they would have questions like, “What is happening in this image? What can you learn from examining this image? How would this image be different today?” Finally, for the “Question” column they could be asked, “What do you wonder about?” A different graphic organizer with different questions would be created for different types of artifacts, i.e. an article versus a photograph. This activity is meant to prepare students to analyze the primary sources that they will find on their own.
Students will remain in the same groups as the previous day. Each group will be assigned a section from a newspaper. Students will then research the 1920’s using the Library of Congress online collections in order to write their own newspaper articles based on their topic. Topics will include news, sports, advertising, lifestyle, entertainment, editorials, and business. Students will be given key words for each topic to aid in their search and ensure that there is a connection to the text. Students may be given key words such as prohibition, World War I, golf/golf women, yachting, fashion, parties, cars, film, jazz music, Wall Street, and stock market. Students must find primary sources from 1910-1928. Students must keep a list of their resources as they search so that they are able to locate them again. Once students have selected their primary sources they will analyze using similar graphic organizers and prompts. Students will also be asked to consider, “Based on this source, what are some of the values, beliefs, and attitudes of people during this time period?”
Students will create a newspaper of historically accurate events. Each group will create one page of the newspaper based on the topic they were given. Students may use copies of local newspapers as a references when creating their section. The class will then combine the sections to create one whole newspaper. Each group will be required to write one news story, editorial, lifestyle story, etc. but may write more than one if they choose. Each group will be given more specific prompts and directions based on their topic.
Students will be placed in groups of differing abilities so that higher level students may assist lower level peers. Inclusion students or ELL students may analyze photographs as their primary source while other group members analyze written primary sources. Each student can then share with the group what they learned from their artifact.
Students will read The Great Gatsby and complete all relevant quizzes, activities, and discussions involved in the reading of the novel. After completing the novel students will revisit their newspaper and add a new fictional article based on the events of The Great Gatsby and their prior knowledge of life during the 1920’s.