The Catcher in the Rye
I intend to use this unit during one term, approximately ten weeks.
The Catcher in the Rye
could be covered in one month provided your students do independent readings and research. Otherwise you will need more time as the book covers a great deal and should not be skimmed over lightly. In lieu of my usual reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and English grammar activities I plan to use this unit. Three specific areas will be covered; phoniness, sexuality, and the vernacular. As an incentive this will be their requirement book for one month’s Book Report. Since they have to read a book a month anyway. I hope they will select from this list, as the year progresses.
Have your students read this novel first. Give them a few guidelines to keep in mind as they read. This book is high interest and low vocabulary so the reading comprehension should not be a problem or the fact that the book is boring. I would have your students start reading the first few pages out loud in class. When you see they are on the edge of their seats then assign it as homework. Give them one week to read the book without any other assignments.
The following week discuss initial reactions to the book. What was it like to be in Caulfield’s shoes? What important decisions did he make? What were the girls like? What are the similarities or differences between Holden and you?
REMEMBER one of your goals is to motivate students to read more. Ease into the analysis of this book gradually. Students with limited attention spans will need positive reinforcement. If you can hook some of your lower achievers on the idea that this is a good book then they will be more likely to attempt the Bibliography included.
3-If your class has difficulty working independently try this suggestion which was brought up in this seminar. Divide students into three groups. Let them select their own names; The Knight Riders, Michael Jackson fans, the A-team, and so on. Each sub group will be assigned a book;
The Catcher in the Rye, Summer of 42
A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich.
At the end of an assigned time slot each group will report. This also encourages group cooperation and the ability to work toward a goal together. After they have shared their learnings the books will be traded.