The Great Gatsby is widely-regarded as one of the great American novels and many of us teach it every year to secondary students who seem to instantly get the feeling of lost dreams, the feeling of being "within and without" and the feeling that the American Dream is too good to be true.
Today’s strategy spotlight is on literature circles. I’ve used this technique in my 9th grade English classes to differentiate lessons in order to meet the needs of students struggling to keep up and those needing an extra challenge. There are many ways to implement literature circles to accommodate for a range of reading levels, class size issues, English learners, and other common classroom needs. I’m going to share the way it works in my classroom based on my needs, but I’d love for you to leave a question or comment at the end of this post to continue the conversation as it relates to classrooms across the board!
When I took my first English class right out of high school, I was shocked that not only did we have to purchase our own books, but we were even allowed to write in them! I had always been told not to write in my schoolbooks—and all I ever saw written were things like “School SUX” or obscene drawings. I was never taught to take notes in a book, but over time I learned that writing notes in the margin, highlighting or underlining a key point, and using my textbook as a practical, tangible tool were invaluable.