The Great Gatsby Study Questions & Essay Topics

9th - 12th

In this online interactive literature worksheet, students respond to 7 short answer and essay questions about F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great GatsbyStudents may check some of their answers online.

Resource Details

Vocabulary Study: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Vacuous, ineffable, hauteur. Languid, nebulous, somnambulatory. Pasquinade, supercilious, punctilious. The extraordinary and beautiful diction of The Great Gatsby is the focus of a series of vocabulary exercises designed to accompany a study of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic. Ten words from each chapter are defined and highlighted in the sentence in which they appear. Fill-in-the blank vocabulary quizzes for each chapter are also included, as is a comprehensive multiple choice test. The final resource in the packet is an AP-style prompt that asks writers to discuss Fitzgerald’s use of diction and imagery to develop his themes. A great addition to your Gatsby folder.

The Great Gatsby: The Plot Unfolds

The focus in this activity is on how carefully the plot of The Great Gatsby is structured. Learners identify what they see as the major turning points in the novel and the events that lead up to these points. Groups chart these events on a timeline and identify the major sections of the story.

The Great Gatsby: Characters

"There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired." Can these definitions be applied to the characters in The Great Gatsby? And who is the protagonist of The Great Gatsby? Readers are asked to consider the rolls that the major and secondary characters play after reading the first three chapters of the novel.

Literature Study Guide: The Great Gatsby

For homeschool or the classroom: graphic organizers, response to literature activities, writing prompts, study guides, a reading schedule, plot flow chart, and character map relevant to any reading task. Resource is designated for The Great Gatsby, but these materials would work for any literary text. Links to the book, a WebQuest, and additional study guides.

The Great Gatsby: Arts and Culture

After reading the first 21 pages of The Great Gatsby, class members listen to an audio discussion of the culture of the 1920s and Jazz Age music recordings. Individuals then craft a a one-page critique of whether Fitzgerald's depiction of the music and culture of the times is consistent with what they have heard.

Was Gatsby Great? The Great Gatsby Part 2

Is Gatsby great? In the second of two videos devoted to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the narrator presents his argument for why Jay Gatsby should indeed be considered great. By backing his stance with evidence from the text, the narrator models how to develop and support an analysis of complex text. Consider using the video after a study of the novel and before assigning an essay.

The Gift of Gatsby

A reading of “Gatsby’s Green Light Beckons a New Set of Strivers,” a New York Times article by Sara Rimer, triggers a discussion of the American Dream and what it means to strive for something.  Following the discussion, class members craft a reflective essay about their own “green light.” Links to articles, activities, discussion questions, assessments, vocabulary list, extension activities, and interdisciplinary connections are included.

Teaching The Great Gatsby with the New York Times

East Egg, West Egg, the Valley of Ashes, and the green light. Bring Gatsby, the Jazz Age, and the American Dream to your classroom with a resource designed for teachers. Included in the treasury are six great teaching ideas for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, from creating a gallery walk to set the scene, to judging the adaptations (play, opera, film), to discussing the integrity and moral universe of the Gatsby characters. Also included are links to lesson plans, materials on Fitzgerald, movie trailers, and primary sources from the Roaring Twenties. A must-have for teachers of The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby, Character Analysis

Students, after reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, create a character description and analysis. They search for clues to help determine where the characters came from, what they like to do, what type of a personality they have, etc.

Show Me a Hero, and I Will Write You a Tragedy - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Part 1

A passage from The Great Gatsby is used to launch a series of skill-building activities that can be used to introduce close reading strategies. Groups practice crafting text-dependent questions, theme statements, and conclusions, as opposed to summaries. Richly detailed and carefully crafted, the plan is the first of a three-part series focused on building skill in reading complex text. A great addition to your curriculum library.

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