Activity Overview

Movie posters are a fun way for students to boil down the most important aspects of a novel. After reading The Great Gatsby, students will create a movie poster that showcases the setting, characters and a chosen scene or overarching themes of the story. Students can include the title and author of the book, a catchy tagline, and a "critic's review" informing the audience why they should go to see the movie and briefly describing the compelling story.

To make this a class assignment, consider giving each student a different chapter or scene to focus on. When students complete their posters, they can be printed out and hung in the classroom. Students should be prepared to present on the choices they made during the creation process.

For additional templates to add to this assignment, check out our movie poster templates!

Template and Class Instructions

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

Due Date:

Objective: Create a movie poster for the book The Great Gatsby.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify scenes, characters and/or items appropriate to The Great Gatsby and arrange them artfully on the poster. You may choose to showcase a particular scene in the book or an overarching theme.
  3. Add the title and author of the book as well as a catchy slogan or tagline.
  4. Add a "critic's review": one to three sentences describing why the audience should go to see this movie and what is compelling about the story.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information


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

Poster Rubric
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Written Work
If there is writing, it is clear and uses complete sentences.
If there is writing, it is somewhat clear and uses some complete sentences.
If there is writing, it is incomplete and unclear.
The illustrations represent the assignment using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations relate to the assignment, but are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the assignment.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

How to Encourage Creativity For the Movie Poster


Analyze Other Posters

Recommend students some other movies and their posters that they can scrutinize and analyze. They will be able to see which scene has been used for the poster and what kind of expressions are the characters portraying based on their personalities.


Read Taglines and Critic Reviews

Tell the students how the movie posters are analyzed by critics and what elements are necessary to include. Students can also go through some critic reviews for other movies. Encourage them to go through different taglines to come up with their own catchy phrases.


Allow Room for Experimentation

Teachers should give students some room for freedom to make their own choices. Students can use any sort of art style they like and experiment with their creativity. If they are unsatisfied with certain techniques, they can work with diverse styles and methods.


Provide Constructive Feedback

Teachers can offer constructive feedback to students without discouraging their creative process. Feedback will encourage them to work on maintaining a positive atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Movie Posters

What programs, software, or equipment are frequently used to make movie posters?

Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, and other graphic design programs are frequently used to create movie posters. For additional user-friendly design options, students and beginners can also use online poster makers and templates.

Can movie posters be hand drawn or painted without the use of technology or digital software?

Yes, it is possible to make movie posters by hand using conventional art supplies like pencils, markers, watercolors, or collage techniques. Posters that are hand-drawn or hand-painted can give the design a distinctive and artistic touch. This choice should be up to the students as they can use any method they think that they are best at.

Should the movie poster feature the complete cast and crew?

Although it is important to give thanks to the major cast and important crew members, packing the poster with too many names could be distracting. The movie poster is the first visual impression of the movie for the audience and hence it should give viewers an essence of the entire movie. The main concentration of the movie poster should be on the main characters and major players.

How can the plot and theme of the movie be conveyed to the audience through the movie poster?

Students can include language and images that allude to the storyline and major themes of the film. To pique viewers' interest, use symbolic imagery or situations that relate to the story of the movie. They can also use symbolism and interesting visuals that the audience can relate to and connect with.

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