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Italy Reads - Resources for Teachers: Italy Reads 2012

This collection of freely available online resources has been put together by the Library Staff.


F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

General Resources

Articles and Reviews

Study Guides

Francis Scott Fitzgerald's Biographies

Lesson Plans and Activities

This is a suggested teaching schedule for a study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

It is based on the Big Read suggested lesson plan, with additions from Professor Carlos Dew's course on The Great Gatsby, held at John Cabot University of Rome in 2012.
Audio Guide CDs are available only for the communities participating in The Big Read.
Non-participating communities can listen to the full audio online.

FOCUS: Biography
Activities : Listen to The Big Read Audio Guide, Track One.

Read Reader's Guide essays Write on D'Invilliers quote, which serves as an epigraph.

Homework : Discuss significant details from Fitzgerald's life that influenced the content and or themes revealed in the Great Gatsby.

FOCUS: Setting the scene
Activities: Listen to The Big Read Audio Guide, Track Two.

Go to and listen to Louis Armstrong.
Read Handout One and Handout Three.

Watch the documentary on the Prohibition era at

Homework: Write about the relationship between the cultural era and the novel

FOCUS: Narrative and Point of View
Activities: Explore Nick's narration. Draw Nick's moral profile in the context of the play.

Identify Nick's reactions to the several narrated or acted examples of "misconduct" in the novel.

Compare them to Nick's self-presentation at the beginning of Chapter I and to his statement that "Gatsby turned out all right in the end".

Homework: Write about Nick as a narrator and as a character.

FOCUS: Characters
Activities: Explore the protagonist and antagonist. Examine minor characters who serve as foils. Write about the antagonist. What different male and female models does the novel feature?

Group work: Describe the different characters with reference to social background, social behavior, attitude, moral profile and ambitions.

FOCUS: Figurative Language
Activities: Review the novel, identifying instances of figurative language.

Homework: Write a personal story using techniques of imagery, simile, and metaphor.

FOCUS: Symbols
Activities: Discuss the symbols in the novel. Also see the section on themes, motifs and symbols in . Watch the video C-span video library about God in the great Gatsby

Homework: Write an essay on the symbols in the novel.

FOCUS: Character Development
Activities: Explore how characters change within the story. Examine whether the landscape reflects point of view. Read Handout Two.

Write about the novel as a coming-of-age story.

Homework: Chapter 7.

FOCUS: The Plot Unfolds
Activities: Chart a timeline of the story. Develop a plot for the sequel.

Homework: Chapters 8 and 9.

FOCUS: Space in the Great Gatsby
Activities: Analyze different types of space in the novel, external and domestic, and their symbolic often dichotomous character.

Group work: Using pictures from magazines or films students can prepare oral presentations on this topic.

FOCUS: Themes of the Novel
Activities: Have students propose five potential themes to examine more closely. Develop an interpretation based on one of the themes.

Homework: Begin essays. Complete outlines for next class.

FOCUS: What Makes a Book Great?
Activities: Explore the qualities of a great novel and a voice of a generation. Examine the qualities that make Fitzgerald's novel successful. Peer review of paper outlines and drafts
Homework: Essay due during the next class period.

Digital Materials

Additional Resources