Activity Overview

Uncovering the motivations of a protagonist, and understanding different archetypes in fiction is an important part of literary appreciation. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is considered an antihero. Students can create storyboards that track the protagonist's actions, and support categorizing him as an antihero.

An antihero is a central character who lacks conventional attributes that would make them “good”. Gatsby seems like a good person, but he achieved his wealth through illegal means, he has lied to Daisy about who he is, and he has an adulterous affair with her. For front-loading terms and a lesson plan, see our article on antiheroes.

Have students create a Frayer Model for the term 'antihero', specifically relating Jay Gatsby from the novel. Students can use the traditional Frayer Model categories, Definition, Characteristics, Examples and Non-Examples, or select four quotes or events that support Gatsby as an antihero.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a Frayer Model that shows how Jay Gatsby can be considered an antihero.

  1. Identify events of the story or characteristics of Jay Gatsby that fit into attributes of an antihero.
  2. Illustrate examples for Definition, Characteristics, Examples and Non-Examples.
  3. Write a short description below each cell that specifically relates Jay Gatsby as an antihero.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/1] Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/4] Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/11-12/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Hero vs Antihero Rubric for Grades 9-12
25 Points
21 Points
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
Character Traits
Character is thoroughly described and accurately portrayed as an antihero using multiple adjectives.
Character description is clear but lacks details and has limited descriptive words.
Character description lacks clarity and/or detail, and may not be completely reflective of an antihero.
Character chosen does not fit the description of an antihero, or character chosen does not have enough information to score.
Influence on Story
Character is shown to have significant influence on respective story and other characters.
Student states why the character is appealing to them, but may need more solid information on why this is so.
Student either does not explain character appeal, or does not provide sufficient details.
Character’s influence is incorrectly explained, or project is not complete enough to score.
Use of Quotes
Multiple quotes have been used, are representative of an antihero, and are organized efficiently.
Quotes were used, but do not produce strong proof that the character is an antihero.
One quote is used, and does not efficiently or acceptably convey the character’s traits.
Incorrect quote was used, or no quote was used.
Maximum effort is displayed, storyboard is exemplary, trivial or no errors are noted
Student shows decent effort in the creation of the storyboard, editing was performed, and few errors are noted.
Student produced a satisfactory story board, but it may lack visual appeal, contain errors, or has missing parts.
Presentation needs improvement, is incomplete, or poor effort was put forth.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Great Gatsby

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