Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tried It Tuesday {Gatsby Party}

Holla for Thanksgiving break! So excited I have the rest of this week off, even if I do have some research papers to grade.

I have not done a Tried It Tuesday for awhile, so I decided to link up today.

As I've mentioned before, I am reading Gatsby with my juniors. We just finished chapter 3, which is the big party scene. Browsing TpT, I came across this awesome freebie to reenact that party scene AND work on textual evidence. Thanks to Hannah at Teach and Create for this great idea!

Each student receives a card with either a character name and quote or a description and quote. For instance, it may say "You are Jordan Baker" and give a quote that she said in that chapter. Or it might say "You know a fact about Gatsby" and state a fact from that chapter. Each student gets what I call a BINGO card with 12 squares that they need to fill in by mingling with guests at this party. So one box might say "Find Owl Eyes and ask him about Gatsby's library" and then you have to find the person who has the Owl Eyes card and record what they tell you.

It being the last day before break and all, I decided to turn it into a full-blown party. I gave a couple extra credit points if students brought refreshments. I went in with another teacher and bought a bunch of 1920s accessories that we wore, like fedoras, mustaches, bow ties, feather boas, etc. I stuck a picture of Leo on my door as Jay Gatsby and had him say, "Come on in, old sport," which my girls loved. I played the early jazz station on Pandora and we had ourselves a party!

I did take pics, but don't want to post their faces online. But they were having a great time! AND they actually all did the activity too and turned in their fully completed sheets by the end of class.

A couple of my classes were messier than others. I did have a lot of cleaning up to do, but that is expected when you throw a party with 30 teenagers. Overall, they handled it very well, and I would definitely do it again.


  1. Wow!! So FUN!! I think you need to post some pics and just cover up their faces. :) This is such a great activity that could be modified and used in so many ways. Thanks for sharing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. That's so fun! I love trying to make books fun and get kids into it. I recently tried a mock trial for Cry, The Beloved Country; it went over way better than I thought it would :) Awesome!!

    Tales of Teaching in Heels