Mrs. Gatto’s English classes celebrate The Great Gatsby

Becton’s Gatsby Day was a great success.

Mrs. Gatto’s senior English classes traveled back in time to celebrate The Great Gatsby on Friday, October 19. This event, also known as Gatsby Day, is a day when seniors and faculty are given the opportunity to come to school dressed up in 1920’s attire and spend the day celebrating the decade and the spirit of the novel.  

Mrs. Gatto began this tradition in 2016 and uses it as an incentive to motivate students to appreciate literature, history, and put forth effort into reading and analyzing the novel. The English instructor wanted to find a way to get her students more connected to the era in a fun way while also giving them an extra credit opportunity. 

…it articulates the magic of a very specific time period of America.

— Mrs. Gatto

“My goal is to always allow for student involvement in literature and the 1920’s in general. Before students came up with costumes, they had to do research on the fashion of the time period. They can also come in as a symbol of the book. Either way, they have to go into more depth of the time period or the text itself,” she said. For example, students who choose to participate have the option to dress as a 1920’s flapper or even a symbolic object like the infamous billboard of The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

If one chooses not to participate in any way possible he or she will not be able to enjoy the festivities. “They have to come to class but can’t participate in the party; however, there are other ways for students to contribute other than just getting dressed up. They can also help with the decorations or clean up of the day,” added Mrs. Gatto.

When asked about her favorite aspect of the novel, Mrs. Gatto stated, “Besides everything, I think it articulates the magic of a very specific time period of America while still giving a timeless commentary on the American Dream.”

As part of the celebration, a student can ask a teacher if he or she would like to dress up with him or her so that the student can receive additional extra credit. “I really appreciate the staff members who dress up and are such great supporters of the event,” noted Mrs. Gatto.

Senior Alyssa Lesho stated, “I think Gatsby Day is a fun idea, and I was excited to participate. I loved seeing everyone dressed up in character and the food of course.”

“I think it’s going to be one of the highlights of senior year,” added Senior Madison Sroka.

Mrs. Gatto explained that she may do activities for other pieces of literature in the future, but The Great Gatsby is the only one that really lends itself to dress up day.