1920s boom time high School Instructional Performance Task Module

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Assessment Prompt 2: Students identify aspects of literary text that connect to information from Lesson 1 texts and identify the motifs for each connection. Teacher checks to see that students have identified sufficient relevant literary elements and connected them to relevant accurate information from Lesson 1 informational texts.


Teacher notes on literary elements in Fitzgerald story:

  • Part I is focused upon the introduction of the characters of Horace Tarbox and Marcia Meadows. The first part of the short story spawns conversation concerning the symbolism of the characters’ names. Horace Tarbox is indicative of a “square,” which is the archaic definition of someone who is a complete bore. Upon further review, when evaluated, the name also can be interpreted as a “sticky box” (Tar/Box), which illustrates that Horace is “stuck in his ways.” Marcia Meadows, in opposition to Horace, is as liberal as he is conservative (use this terminology because this is the language of the course and both terms are in the Glossary of Terms). Meadows, as Marcia’s last name, evokes feelings of “frolicking in a meadow,” which mirrors her teasing, carefree, and free-spirited nature during their first meeting. We then, as a class, refer our “The New Woman” informational text to define Marcia Meadows as the “new woman” of the 1920s.

  • At the end of Part I, both these characters change. The first obvious character evolution is Horace. We realize that the necessity of Horace leaving his comfort zone and the “program” that has been put forth for him by his family. He does, and his first movement outside of his secured academic space is to chase after Marcia as she exits his apartment; he is concerned that Marcia will leave believing that he thinks kissing is “irrational.” This is out of character for Horace, and as the story continues, we begin to realize that both characters are the catalyst for the other’s evolution.
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