Pairing Project, Part Three

Gatsby-Giver Mash Up
Jill Klein
Amanda Marino
Steffen Halvorsen
Angela McKellar

Discussion Questions
  1. Did Gatsby and Jonas achieve the American Dream? If so, how? And if not, what prevents them?
  2. Do you think the vision of the American Dream pulls people apart or brings people together in the novels? How?
  3. How do you think that the American Dream is affecting people's freedom?
  4. What is the value of memory in The Giver? In The Great Gatsby? Compare and contrast the two.
  5. What are the consequences of having memories in The Giver? In The Great Gatsby?
  6. How does the concept of choice play a major role in both novels?
  7. What isolates Jonas and Gatsby from the other people in their societies?
  8. How would you classify the crowds that the characters from both stories belong to?
  9. In what ways are Gatsby and Jonas suffering emotionally? How are they similar or different?
  10. What is the relationship between the future and the past in both novels? How are they similar? How are they different?

Class Activities

Letters to opposite characters

Students will choose a character from either The Great Gatsby or The Giver and write a letter as if they are that character writing to another character from the opposite book warning them or giving them advice about the society that they live in. What would they characters say to each other? For example, writing a letter to Jay Gatsby as Jonas. This allows students to enter the minds of the characters in the book and create what they think those characters feel about their society. Maybe Gatsby wishes he could not feel anything because it led to his death, therefore, he would tell Jonas that a utopian society is ideal. Or maybe Gatsby would tell Jonas that the utopian society is not ideal because then Jonas cannot feel love for someone in the way that Gatsby did for Daisy.
Have the students match up different parts of the texts that are either similar to each other or contrast from each other precisely. The idea is to have students find similarities and differences and to be able to connect between the two novels, making the comparisons. For example, the video mash up of The Great Gatsby and The Giver movie trailers. This mash up shows many similarities, yet also contrasts the stories differences. Students can make a powerpoint, video, podcast, or any other creative idea to convey this meaning. For example, students can literally use the text and just lay out different sections of the books that match up similarly or are opposites, and explain why. This can be acted out, written or presented electronically as long as there are portions of the stories that match up the similarities and differences. Dig deep and get creative!

Utopian society promo
Create an ad, video, brochure, campaign poster, etc that promotes your idea of a perfect society. What would this society look like? What aspects would it consist of? Would the American Dream look different in your society? This is a promotion so students will want to persuade their viewers to want one of the societies. An example of a brochure for Gatsby's society could include extravagant parties, nice cars, and beautiful clothes. Jonas' society could include families of four and bike riding with same age children. Encourage the students to be creative!

Original Multimedia

Additional Resources

1. The Great Gatsby Unit This is a great resource to start the unit on The Great Gatsby. This website has many ideas about how to teach the novel including chapter quizzes, lists of important symbols in the novel, vocabulary lists and a literary glossary. In addition, this website contains links to other resources on different issues that correspond to the novel (i.e. 1920's timeline, overview and articles on the Harlem Renaissance) that can help students gain a better understanding of everything that is taking place.

2. Isolation This website is a good source for when the theme of isolation comes up in class discussion. Both novels contain characters who are isolated so this could be a good resource to show the effects of isolation, reasons people can feel so lonely and how this can effect mental help.

3. Shmoop: The Giver Themes This website is a great resource for finding the main themes in The Giver. Once you find a theme that appeals to you, click on it and you can find a short paragraph that elaborates on the idea. There are also questions that stimulate higher level thinking pertaining to the theme chosen.

4. Shmoop: The Great Gatsby Themes This website is great when comparing and contrasting themes from The Great Gatsby to The Giver. It also makes it easier to think of discussion questions that pertain to both novels.

5. Great Gatsby Trailer This youtube video does a good job of portraying the important parts of The Great Gatsby. Having a visual can enhance learning and allow students to see the different aspects of the book in video form.

6. The Giver Trailer This youtube video is a great resource for allowing the students to see and hear the main parts in The Giver. This movie trailer is interesting because it shows the community in black and white. This type of visual allows the students to feel the emptiness of being emotionless.

7.Dystopia/Utopia This webpage gives a a definition of utopian and dystopian societies. It can function as a great resource to relate the definitions to the type of societies that are found in both novels.

8. Alternative Gatsby Activities This site provides some extra activities for The Great Gatsby that could be added to the unit plan or inspire other activities.

9. Roaring Twenties Documentary This youtube video is from the History Channel and gives background on the 1920's lifestyle which sets the background for The Great Gatsby.

10. Alternative Giver Activities This site provides additional activities for The Giver which could extend the lesson plan or inspire other activities.

11. The Giver for Gifted Students This site offers some ways to teach The Giver to students who are are gifted and need some extra challenges.

12. Emotions This link can be beneficial in describing and understanding all of the characters emotions and actions or their lack of emotions and actions. This can act as a good starting tool to start these types of conversations.