July 3, 2011

The Great Gatsby Book Club 1

Hopefully my last post about The Great Gatsby inspired you to pick up the novel and start reading.

I'm going to be totally honest, although I am a high school English teacher and have a degree in English, I haven't read Gatsby since high school. Many teachers I know struggle to read during the school year outside of the novels we read in class, let alone fine works of literature. I definitely fall into that category and use summer break to bulk up on my lit analysis. That's why this book club inspired by John Green is so perfect!

A few Reading Strategies for you:

1) Read it aloud!
When it comes to reading literature, especially Fitzgerald, it's often easier to read it aloud at first to find the rhythm the writer intended. A lot of strong readers can find the rhythm easily, but old-school literature often has commas placed in places we're not familiar with and modifiers behind the nouns they're describing. It took me a while to feel comfortable with Gatsby, I'm not going to lie. I started reading it aloud to Cory in the car and to myself in our house. Now that I'm a few chapters in, I don't need to. But I definitely needed to hit my stride, and it reading it aloud was the quick fix I needed!

2) Keep track of character relationships:
Identify your narrator and what he or she is like. Are they reliable? What is their name? I put together this little chart of characters you will meet in Chapters 1 and 2. There's a tiny spoiler, but it's not a big one, on the chart ;).

3. Notice things:
A lot of times author's put A LOT of information in the first few chapters to set the stage for the rest of the book. Our pal, John, wants us to take note of anytime the green light appears and also when anyone appears wearing glasses. If you notice that something appears more than once (a detail: color, scenery, the way something is described [positive, negative], or even a specific word), write it down or just try really hard to remember it. It's probably important.

Okay, that is all for now.

Your Assignment:
Read chapters 1-4
by Friday 7/8.

I'll see you then!

Don't Forget To Be Awesome,

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