Great Gatsby: “Jazz Age Journal” Reading Guide w/ Key



PDF file. This is my Jazz Age Journal, a resource I made this past school year for my junior American Literature students as they read The Great Gatsby.

I designed this resource to help students have a better reading experience DURING The Great Gatsby and AFTER as well. The info students recorded as they read helped them understand the book in the moment and after during our end-of-unit project, which this year was a hexagonal thinking map. Whether you assign hexagonal thinking, beautiful sentence projects, TQE discussion assessments, or traditional literary analyses, these pages will help students remember the details of the book for the necessary later projects you assign.

Overall, my Jazz Age Journal was a good accountability tool that helped students progress through The Great Gatsby efficiently.
The Jazz Age Journal includes one page for each chapter. There are boxed areas on each page for students to fill out as they read or listen to the text.
These boxed areas have students to record:
  • the main events of the chapter (to help kids remember what happens to whom and when)
  • a new vocabulary word (If my kids wrote small, they were able to write a brief definition as well.)
  • a thought, question, or an epiphany (I asked students to just record one of these per journal page. Also, these were handy for getting whole class or group discussions going!)
  • a beautiful sentence (After all, it IS Fitzgerald!)
  • an important or especially significant quote and its page number (so students can easily locate it if needed for a later culminating activity)
Each page also contains the following:
  • five comprehension questions. I asked my students to write their answers on the back of the sheet.
  • three to four illustrations or photos that connect to the chapter. I have intentionally left these without captions so students ponder the connection. Some of them are really obvious (the man with “owl eyes”), but there are some that aren’t (Queensboro Bridge from chapter 4 or Radcliffe Camera from Oxford University, etc). I hope these images spur questions from your students for further research and/or discussion.

NOTE: Photos of pages for chapters 1-6 are shown in the product image files; however, there are fourteen total pages in the PDF file (1 cover page, 1 teacher directions page, 9 chapter pages, 1 key cover page, 2 key pages).

AS FOR GRADING… I mainly checked my students’ pages for completion and effort. Here’s how I “graded” these: I made each journal page worth sixteen points. Here’s how that broke down:

  • comprehension questions: 4 pts
  • main events of chapter: 3 pts
  • TQE (students wrote down one, i.e. either a T, a Q, or an E): 3 pts
  • vocabulary word: 2 pts
  • beautiful sentence: 2 pts
  • important quote: 2 pts

After grading and returning the pages to students, I asked them to keep them until we were finished with the book, so they could utilize them to better recall various parts of the novel as they worked on their culminating projects, which this year were hexagonal thinking maps.

Eventually, I may try beautiful sentence projects (google it for more info!) and if that’s the case, these journal pages will be ready to go with one beautiful sentence recorded from each chapter.

I really hope you enjoy this document. Please let me know how it goes! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!


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