Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Great Gatsby Setting Map

I went to the school where I currently teach. Yes, my high school days were spent in the same building that I'm in every single day. Thankfully I still love it, and my high school teachers are still there to guide and support me along the way.

One of those teachers, my 12th grade AP English teacher, sent me some of the activites that he had compiled together for The Great Gatsby. I was a bit nervous about teaching my first novel, and he was gracious enough to share some fantastic ideas. Much to my surprise, what he sent were things that I had done in high school! Looking through the files brought me back to the good ol' days, and I decided right then and there to have my students do one of the assignments that I had done in high school: The Great Gatsby Setting Map.

The Great Gatsby takes place in New York -- mostly the city but always the state. There are four main houses and/or apartments mentioned in the novel, all of which are extremely symbolic. If you don't understand the setting and location, you don't understand the novel and can easily get lost. So, to go ahead and nip that in the bud early, I assigned this project after reading chapter 2. By that point, students had been introduced to every major setting in the novel and should have some visual to work with.

For the project, students were to draw a map of New York focused in on West Egg and East Egg (Great Neck and Cow Neck) and Manhattan. I let students Google a map to get started. Once the map was drawn, they were to draw the important locations mentioned in the novel. They were provided with a list and a rubric beforehand. Students were required to turn in a rough draft before beginning the final draft and to provide quotes that verified their placement of each location.

They weren't excited about the quotes. They never really are. But, we got to working on it anyway, and they realized pretty early on that without the quotes the project is virtually impossible. 

And, to my great pleasure, I had many students create wonderful, creative, and thoughtful maps. I couldn't be more proud!

Check them out below!

See you next time!
-Ms. Z

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