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This is a Great Gatsby book cover symbolism project


Art, Language Arts  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Gatsby’s Book Cover Symbolism Project
By – Carla Brookshire
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Art
Grade Level – 9-12
Duration – Two 50-minute class periods


  • Students will be able to recognize symbolism in the novel and explain their interpretations, as well as common explanations from scholars.
  • Students will be able to compose a novel cover which will:
        A) capture the attention of potential readers,

        B) include at least three symbols from the book in the cover, and then

      C) explicate in a short essay, reasons for their creative choices and the meanings behind the symbols that were chosen.

Materials Needed:

  • Copies of The Great Gatsby
  • Paper/pens/colored pencils/markers
  • Computers and printers
  • Glitter
  • Scrapbook supplies


      Take current book cover and have students discuss the symbols featured on the cover.
    Topics of discussion:

    • The colors/the eyes (carefully look at the pupil)
    • The fireworks/the font/students’ observations
    • Why is this an effective book cover?
    • If you saw this book’s cover, would it interest you?
      Would you choose this book based on its cover? Ha! Ha!


      Today, you will begin an assignment which will challenge you to demonstrate your knowledge of how symbolism was used in

The Great Gatsby

    . You will design a book cover which should include at least three symbols from the novel. It should be on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and any of the given materials should be used. Accompanying your cover, you will submit a 350-500 word essay explaining the creative choices that you made when designing your cover. You should include a detailed explanation of the symbols used and their meaning in the novel. It will be important for you to explain why the symbols you chose to include are significant. You will have two class periods to work on the project.

E-Mail Carla Brookshire !

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