Engage, Expand and Encompass through Technology

Macomb ISD's Universal Design for Learning Initiative

E3T Lesson Plan Creator   

My Side of the Story: Analyzing Perspective through a News Medium

Last Updated: May-04-2010

View & Print Lesson Plan

Return to MISD Home | Return to E3T Home

Options - this lesson plan:

Options - other lesson plans:

Developed By

  Kelli Fimbinger
Laura Forro

Lesson Title

  My Side of the Story: Analyzing Perspective through a News Medium

Length of Lesson

  5-6 (55-minute Class Periods)

Lesson Unit

  Perspectives/The Great Gatsby






  Writing, Speaking, and Representing

Michigan Content Expectations

  CE 3.1.1, CE 3.1.2, CE 3.1.4, CE 3.1.9, CE 1.5.1, CE 1.5.4, CE 2.1.11


  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Journalism, The Great Gatsby, Perspectives, Characters, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker




Internet Access

Overhead Projector


Weebly Access

InDesign CS2


Dramatic Actor

The Great Gatsby Text

Assignment Handout

Video Camera




The following lesson will have English Language Arts 10 students analyzing the antagonistic perpsectives of three villians from The Great Gatsby. Upon completion of the novel, students will have to create a newspaper, news program, or news website with an editorial section featuring letters, columns, or interviews from Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jordan Baker. Since this novel is told from only one person's perspective, this lesson will have students think about multiple perspectives and how every character has a story. This will also have them think creatively because along with their analysis of these perspectives, their pieces will feature news stories based on the events from the novel.  It will also go back to the English 10 disposition of Critical Stance and Response as they will be responding to Nick Carraway's version with a perspective of their own.


Big Idea(s)


10th Grade Disposition: Critical Stance and Response

  • Discovering Truth
  • Analyze from Multiple Perspectives
  • Respond Critically

Essential Questions

  • What is perspective?
  • How can I discover the truth about others?
  • How do I handle others' points of view?
  • What does it mean?

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand the concept of perspective.
  • Students will critically evaluate Nick Carraway's analysis of events.
  • Students will understand  truth is not always easily found and there is a possibility for multiple truths.
  • Students will view and present from another perspective beside their own.
  • Students will learn how to create multimedia presentations.
  • Students will learn how to work effectively in a team.

Summative Assessment


Create a news medium (newspaper, website, or news program) featuring headlining stories about the events from the book, and, most importantly, letters to the editor or "interviews" from the antagonistic characters from The Great Gatsby. This last piece will allow students to analyze the events from different perspectives. It will give these characters a chance to defend themselves.

  • Students will choose which journalistic medium they want to use for their presentation.
  • Students will create written material to tell the major news events from The Great Gatsby (i.e. scripts for their broadcast TV show or journalistic stories for their website or newspaper).
  • Students will create written material from the perspective of the antagonistic characters (i.e. letters to the editors from Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, and Jordan Baker or interview questions and responses from the aforementioned characters).
  • Students will put their news events and responses together into a journalistic format.
  • Students will present their materials to the class.


Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening


While we are discussing the assignment for this project, we will have a student from drama class come into 2nd hour and purposefully create a disturbance. Immediately after the student leaves, we will not allow the students to discuss what happened. They will have to fill out a "My Perspective" sheet telling us what they saw. They will answer:

  • Who: Describe in as much detail as possible what the person looked like.
  • What: Describe in as much detail as possible what the person did.
  • Where: Describe where the event took place.
  • When: Describe when the event took place.

The students will have about five minutes to answer the questions. We will discuss their perspectives and how in order to get an accurate account we would need to use a variety of viewpoints.

  • What profession needs to get a variety of viewpoints in order to give accurate accounts?

Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening Co-teaching Plan


Prepare certain students for the dramatic actor so they are not caught off guard.




Define/Discuss the following terms/ideas:

  • Journalism
  • Bias
  • Can media be unbiased?
  • Do you know of any media outlets that are unbiased/biased?

Journalism is all about getting the different sides of the stories. In order for our students to think about the different sides of issues we will be taking a national issue currently under debate and have them see how the media presents all sides of the story.

  • We will watch news programs and discuss how the news programs feature different sides of the stories.
  • We will read news articles quoting different sides of a story.
  • We will read letters to the editor/columns from people defending their viewpoints, ideas, and stances.

We will compare how Nick presented the material in "The Great Gatsby" with how news mediums present their material.


Exploration Co-teaching Plan


Co-teacher will create a t-chart to explore how news programs feature both sides of the story.

For Health Care Reform Against Health Care Reform

Quote from Barack Obama

Quote from area citizen

Quote from doctor

Reasons from letters to the editor on why it is good.

Quote from John McCain

Quote from doctor

Quote from local citizen

Reasons from letters to the editor/columns on why it is good.

Why do Newspapers present both sides of the story?

Did Nick Carraway do this?


Check for Understanding


On the back of their summative assessment handout, they will need to fill out a prewriting sheet for their group project. On an assigned day, we will be meeting with each group to review this sheet, making sure they understand the assignment and the intended goals and objectives.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan


Groups will be assigned by teacher to assure special education students are grouped with strong students.




Day One:

1. Class Journal:

My Perspective
Take the perspective of Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, or Jordan Baker and defend your actions on the night and days after Myrtle Wilson's death. Why aren't you the bad guy?

2. Lesson Opener.

  • Dramatic Actor/Actress will interupt class.
  • Students will fill out My Perspective sheet (See handout).
  • As a group we will discuss/share the different perspectives of the incident.
  • I will collect their perpsectives and create a news story on the incident.


Lesson Opener (Option Two):

  • Watch clip from "Absence of Malice" where Paul Newman tells Sally Field that she doesn't report the truth, but what people say. This is scene "The Truth". Play from 1:26:30 to 1:31.
  • How can you connect this idea to "The Great Gatsby" and Nick's Version of the truth?

3. Assign Project (see handout)

4. Continue discussing Project.

Day Two:

1. Assign Groups.

2. Groups will meet and discuss the format they want to complete their presenation in.

3. Groups will fill out project prewriting sheet and begin writing transcripts/news stories for their journalistic pieces.

Day Three and Four:

Students will work on projects and recieve assistance from teachers.

Day Five and Six (if needed):

Students will present their projects to class.


Explanation Co-teaching Plan


Co-teacher will help clarify any misunderstandings and provide clarification for students.


Check for Understanding (2)


Teachers will split up groups and meet with them on day three or four to get previews of their presentations. This will serve as the rough draft portion for their project.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan (2)


See above.


Extended Practice


All student projects and presentations will be posted online. Students will have to complete a reflective blog post on the experience and their impressions of their classmates' projects.




Students will present their news programs/newspapers to class.

After all students have presented, each student will complete a reflection piece answering the following questions:

  • Is the truth easily found? Explain your answer.
  • Why is it important to analyze events from multiple perspectives? Connect this to "The Great Gatsby".
  • In what way(s) did you contribute to your group's project? Be specific.
  • Explain why your chose to present your project in this format. Are you satisfied with the end result?

    Resource(s) available for this section

    Closing Co-teach Plan


    Co-teacher will summarize objectives and goals of project to students individually. Co-teacher will clarify questions for student understanding.