Catcher in the Rye



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Twelfth Grade Language Arts Unit Plan

Catcher in the Rye

By J.D. Salinger

English 5410

Professor Jeff Metcalf


Submitted by Justin Anderson

November 21st, 2006


Catcher in the Rye

4-6 Week Unit Plan


Table of contents

Essential Questions………………………………………………………………………3

Unit Rational……………………………………………………………………………..4

Unit Roadmap……………………………………………………………………………7

Necessary Materials……………………………………………………………………...25

Assessment Rubric………………………………………………………………….……25

Core Coverage……………………………………………………...……………………26

Anticipated Obstacles……………………………………………………………………27

Genres…………………………………...……………………………………………….27

Essential Questions


  • Is Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye relevant in today’s society?




    • Is Catcher in the Rye relevant to the students?




  • How can Catcher in the Rye help students articulate and relate to their personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and help them find their place in current social, economic, and political climates?




  • Should Students continue to read Catcher in the Rye in today’s schools?




    • Will students be able to correlate Holden’s struggles with growing up with their own by defining what his problems were?


Unit Rational

My goal in teaching Catcher in the Rye is ultimately keyed into what the book does best: capturing the voice of a struggling adolescent as he comes to grips with growing up and finding his place in society. I want students to go on a journey, not only with Holden, but within themselves as well, exploring and thinking about the context of how they fit within their family, their school, their friends, the culture, and the world and their role in it. Through the various projects and activity outlines in my lesson plan I hope to capture and present to each student (through a finished portfolio of their work), their own captured “voice” that deals with that exploration in the effort to help them define more of who they are.

I believe in creating a very open yet structured classroom. By that I mean, a place where students feel comfortable in expressing themselves, and structured in that they know what to expect, helping them come prepared. To that do that, much of my unit will consist of discussion about the novel in class, and with their peers. I think a classroom where students are at home with discussing their thoughts in various ways yields far more learning and experience than listening and transcribing information. The projects I’ll detail below were designed with that in mind.

The unit will cover many different genres and methods to help the students understand, critique, and explain the novel. Such methods include:



  • Technology based learning

  • Collaborative class authored study guide

  • Letter writing

  • Poetry

  • Argumentative essays

  • Group oral reports

  • Journal writing

    • Blogging

  • Active class discussions

My desired results from the unit are as follows:

  • Be able to correlate Holden’s struggles with growing up with their own by defining what his problems were.

  • Be able to identify what is “phony” in their lives and be able to express what they might feel is wrong with being phony and possibly how to overcome it.

  • Be able to recognize what is dangerous about Catcher in the Rye that has caused it to be placed on so many banned lists yet is still consistently listed on required reading lists across the board in education from High School through to College.

  • Be able to compare and contrast growing up in today’s society as opposed to Holden’s.

  • Explore entertainment’s role in adolescent self identity discovery via books, music, movies, video games, and be able to explain the differences between Holden’s time and ours.

  • To be able to write poetry based on the characters, ideas, and themes in Catcher in the Rye, learning different forms of poetry

  • Be able to write a concise and well thought out letter.

  • Be able to compose and deliver a meaningful argumentative essay and oral presentation.

  • Create a class wiki that is highly informative and thoroughly edited and proof-read

In the end, I think Catcher in the Rye is simply a book in which its principle character is so vibrantly flawed and alive and defined that it causes its reader to become increasingly conscious of their own thoughts and self awareness. Holden is so easy to compare and contrast yourself to. His thoughts cover so much of what adolescents are dealing with. It is a very relevant book for them. And that is why I think it’s an extremely important book for adolescents to study. Like Holden, their personalities and identities are very much like white hot metal, and by reading Catcher in the Rye, hopefully they will gain a greater sense of motivation to discover who they are, and continue to do so.

Unit Roadmap

My unit plan was built working in a Block Schedule. The first half of every class (roughly 30 minutes) will be dedicated to discussing the novel. This will include various methods, from



  • short lecturing,

  • group activities,

  • short writing prompts,

  • vocabulary development using Frayer Models and Graphic Organizers

  • and class discussions.

The remaining time will be devoted to projects that will help the students access the novel’s themes and ideas from different angles and perspectives. One of these projects will be utilizing an online tool known as a wiki. A wiki is a type of web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. In this case, I’ll be using as a study guide for Catcher in the Rye over the course of the unit for the students, who’ll will be its ultimate authors. Not only will it help students work together, and learn about the novel, but it will end up being a fantastic resource for the final projects in the unit. The wiki will end up having six pages full of information, thoroughly edited by all the members in the class, on important topics concerning the novel. The topics the students will be compiling include:

    1. Historical information , context of the novel, time period information, author information

    2. Impact of the novel – banning, relevance, historical significance

    3. Psychological Diagnosis of Holden Caulfield. What is wrong with Holden?

    4. Character Analysis of Holden Caulfield

    5. Literary Elements of the Book (i.e. foreshadowing, imagery, use of metaphor, symbolism, setting ect)

    6. Related Works – Find modern references to Catcher in the Rye in any medium, and correlate them with the novel (poems, movies, songs, novels, TV shows)

Here is a hand out that’ll explain what the students will be doing with each topic and how they’ll compile the expected information:

Name____________________


Class Project - Catcher in the Rye Wiki
Introduction

Many people can relate to Holden: the loner, the sad, depressed rich kid from New York City that has everything yet can't seem to get it together.

One reason is because, although the book is relatively short, there are a number of things going on in the novel at the same time.  Holden is not a one-dimensional character, but rather, he consists of layers that slowly peeled away as the novel progresses.  There is not one reason why this book has made such an impact on America; there are many.

But how can we bring Holden into the modern era?  Your job, as a class, is to create a wiki based upon Holden and his thoughts on the events that happened to him at Christmastime. 

The class as a whole will be responsible for compiling six pages, one each week. Each page should be comprehensive, well thought out and researched, covering the topic in full, all the while trying to be concise as possible.

You will be placed in groups which you will work with throughout the unit. Each group will individually help one another gather information and will be given class time to discuss gathered information. You will also be given time to post your information on the wiki. You can also post at home any time if you have internet access.

When you’re done, at the end of the six weeks, you’ll have a great resource that everyone in the class can benefit from.

Process:

Start looking at google for information, videos (if applicable), and images.  You can find lots of information on literary elements, symbolism, history, etc.  Whatever you get, add it to your web page.  You are going to edit later, so don't worry if you have too much.



Make connections: Look at what you have and ask yourself the following questions

  • What does this say about Holden?

  • Do I have a better understanding of his character?

  • Is there something more I can say about this?

  • But what does this have to do with the novel?

Go to the wiki and make additions and changes.

Edit, Edit, and Edit again.

Remember:  This is a project that will be seen by all of your classmates.  They are relying on you to give them the information necessary for the projects we’ll be covering on this novel.  It is up to YOU to provide them with what they need.



  • Make sure your information is correct.

  • Make sure you have information that supports your claims.  For example, if you feel the ducks on the lagoon are a symbol in the novel, give examples in the novel of when it is mentioned and resources from the web to support this.

  • Do your best to spell everything correctly and follow the conventions of standard English, such as using complete sentences, watching subject-verb agreement, and avoiding short cut language that one might use when instant messaging. 

DO YOUR BEST!

Weekly topics include:

Topic One - Historical information

You are responsible for finding all the information you can about life in 1949.  Here are some things you might want to think about:  what was it like being a teenager in 1949?  Holden's use of language is very distinct in the novel-- is this the way most teenagers spoke at the time?  How did they dress?  What did they like to listen to?  What was the median income?  What was the median income for people like Holden's parents?  You can include recordings of popular songs, pictures, links, anything you want, as long as it’s connected to life in the late 1940s.

Topic Two - History of the novel

Why did this book have such an impact on Americans of the 20th century and today?  Here are some suggestions:  Look for information on book reviews when it was published in 1951, link interviews with current writers that were affected by Holden and add them to your webpage.  How did teenagers react to the book when it was first published?  Why was the book banned?  Are the letters readers wrote to the author? See if you can find some reasons. 

Topic Three - What's bothering Holden?

You are responsible for adding the possible psychological reasons for Holden's madman days around Christmas.  Find out about the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, the five stages of grieving and loss, the impact of death on a family, and any other reason you think Holden might be failing out of school and wandering New York City.  You can give Holden your diagnosis and find out how doctors would treat him today.  Would Holden be on medication?

Topic Four - Character analysis

Create a page describing most of the characters in the novel.  Your webpage should include information about Holden, Pheobe, Stradlater, Allie, Ackley, and Mr. Antolini.  It can (and would get a higher grade) if it included information on Maurice, Sunny, Old Spencer, D. B. and Holden's parents.  Write your own details about each character, add pictures if you think they capture a character's physical appearance (hair, height, weight), link descriptions that others have written about any of these characters and include links that you think describe them. For example, create a link from Pheobe to a website that has information about gifted children.

Topic Five - Literary elements                                    

Research all that you can about the literary elements used in the novel and give examples of the following:  foreshadowing, imagery, Salinger's use of metaphor, symbolism, setting (this one should be easy!), irony, tone, point of view, conflict and theme.  You can use what we've discussed in class, cite quotations from the novel and create links from other sources to support your position.

Topic Six - Outside Elements

Salinger mentions a number of other authors and famous literary characters in The Catcher in the Rye, for example Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa, Somerset Maughm's Of Human Bondage, Emily Dickinson, Ring Lardner and Gatsby.  Write a brief summary of each author, character or novel mentioned and a reason why Salinger may have included them in the book.  Do these authors tell us something about Holden?  The title of this novel is taken from a poem.  Why?  What is the significance of this poem?  Why do you think Salinger used this?  Feel free to look at other sources written about this question and link it to your page of the wiki. 



Evaluation

You will be evaluated by your group members at the end of the unit when the wiki is finished.

I’ll expect high quality work and will be grading each page according to the following rubric. Points will be applied to the class as a whole, so make sure each page is well done.




 

Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Exemplary

4

Score

 

Research information

Information presented from research is vague and inadequate.

(0-1 point)



Information presented from research is appropriate but needs significant revision.

(2-4 points)



Information presented from research is appropriate and adequate.

(5-7 points)



Information presented from research is appropriate, specific, and used in a creative manner.

(8-10 points)






 

 

Wide use of research materials



Completed research is inadequate to properly complete the task.

(0-5 points)



Completed research shows a small sample of the information available on the topic.

(6-10 points) 



Completed research covers topic, but not in a thorough manner. 

(11-15 points) 



.

Completed research is diverse and wide-ranging, covering multiple aspects of the topic.

(16-20 points)





 

Application and organization of research 

 


Research presented in an unprepared, haphazard manner.

(0-5 points)

.


Research presented fairly well, but does not complete all requirements for each group role.

(6-10  points) 

 


Research presented in an organized fashion and all requirements for each group role are completed.

(11-15 points)



Research presented in an organized, creative, interested manner. All requirements are met and presentation suits the material and audience.

(16-20)




Total Score______________ /50

Side note, just for reference, here’s a link to a site that hosts wikis for teachers for any interested in using a wiki for their class

http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
Reading Schedule

Roughly 46 pages a week, about 6 pages a day. Student will be asked to write a reader response journal alongside their journey into Catcher in the Rye that will help them articulate what they think about the novel. I’ll be creating a class blog, hosted through google’s blogger (http://www.blogger.com) wherein the students will post their thoughts so the whole class can read and respond. They will be given guiding questions, key passages, as well as be given the option to simply write about whatever they want that correlates with the text. Reading Journals will be expected to be posted on the class blog once every two weeks.

The schedule is as follows:
Week 1: Read Chapters - 1-4

Week 2: Read Chapters - 5-9

Week 3: Read Chapters - 10-15

Week 4: Read Chapters - 16-20

Week 5: Read Chapters - 21-23

Week 6: Read Chapters - 24-26

Before I go into detail, here’s the unit put broadly:

Week One – Introductions, History, and Context.

This first week I plan to introduce the students to the novel detailing the controversial history of the novel, the reclusive author, inform the students about the fact that the book has been banned from many educational reading lists. We’ll go over activities that let the student collect background information for the novel via a class wiki which we’ll be compiling throughout the 6 week unit. First rough draft wiki page due at the end of the week.



Week Two – Research Project

The second week, along with discussing the novel, I’ll be presenting a Research project wherein the class will research what it would take to live on their own, getting in groups, and outline how much it would cost, where they would live, where they would have to work, how much they would have to make, what they would have to buy ect. Reading blog posting due. Wiki page 2 compiled.



Week Three – Work on Wiki/Letters to J.D. Salinger

This week we’ll be focusing on developing the wiki, being that it’ll be half way done, editing it, and correcting information. We’ll also be about half way done with the novel and we’ll be reading letters people have written to J.D. Salinger about his novel, and the impact it had on their lives, some negative, some positive. Wiki page 3 done.



Week Four – Persuasive Project

This week we’ll begin work on writing a persuasive essay and studying how to construct them. The argument I’ll be proposing to the students is whether Catcher in the Rye should be taught in schools. They will be asked to take a stand, for or against and draw up an argument (2-4 pages) detailing their arguments which they’ll turn in. To give the project some color, I’ll invent a situation where a fictional school board is proposing banning the book from the school’s curriculum. My students will be placed in groups according to their stance, sharing their arguments with their peers and compiling them to be presented in class orally, with a chosen spokesman. At the end, the class, acting as the board now, will vote whether or not the book is taught. This project will take two weeks. Blog posting due. Wiki page 4 should be gathered.



Week Five – Continue persuasive project/ Work on writing a letter to J.D. Salinger

This week we’ll conclude the persuasive essay project and conduct the book trail at the end of the week. The students will also be working on writing a truthful letter to the author of the book, saying exactly what they want to tell Salinger.



Week Six – Wrap up wiki, write a final blog, poetry

The final week of the unit, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the wiki, going back and editing it for clarity, conciseness, and correctness. Students will write one final blog posting with this topic: “Is Catcher in the Rye relevant today? Is it relevant to you? Why or why not?” And to cap the unit off, we’ll be writing a poem, using various forms, about the novel as a whole.


Week One – August 27th – 31st - Introduction and Context

Things that will happen this week:

Introduction to the novel


    • Lecture about how dangerous the novel is perceived, detailing the controversies surrounding the novel, the history of where the book has been found, all with the idea to intrigue the students with a book that they might initially view as just another book

    • Introduce the Unit, explaining expectations clearly so that the students know exactly what it will take to perform well in the class.

    • Short group activity where students are given various facts and biographical information about the novel contained in different sections of the room and asked teach the rest of the class what they learned

    • Give the students the books and ask them to read, if they dare, the first couple of chapters by next class

Introduce students to the wiki

  • Students will be placed in groups they’ll be in throughout the 6 week unit

  • Students will be given handout that’ll detail what is expected of them and how they’ll accomplish each page of the wiki as a class.

  • We’ll be exploring the first couple chapters as a class

Wiki work

    • Continue class discussion on the first couple of chapters

    • The rest of the class will be devoted to compiling the first page of the wiki in a computer lab

    • Homework: Continue finding information on the wiki. Read further in Catcher in the Rye


Week Two - September 3rd – 7th - Research Project

  • Class discussion on the novel, gear up for first student blog entry on the class blog

  • Introduce a few entertainment mediums that deal with Catcher in the Rye, talk about the idea of how the entertainment we induce influences our identities and perceptions

    • Green Day’s "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"

      • Lyrics:

        • A thought burst in my head and I need to tell you
          It's news that I for thought
          Was it just a dream that happened long ago?
          I think that I just forgot

          Well it hasn't been the first time


          And it sure does drive me mad

          There's a boy who fogs his world and now he's getting lazy


          There's no motivation and frustration makes him crazy
          He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting.
          Someone help him up or he's gonna end up quitting

          I shuffle through my mind


          To see if I can find
          The words I left behind
          Was it just a dream that happened long ago?
          Oh well...
          Never mind.

          Well it hasn't been the first time


          And it sure does drive me mad

          There's a boy who fogs his world and now he's getting lazy


          There's no motivation and frustration makes him crazy
          He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting.
          Someone help him up or he's gonna end up quitting



    • The Offspring’s “Get it Right” is another modern punk song that deals with Holden

    • We’ll be doing a Research activity this week wherein the class will research what it would take to live on their own, getting in groups, and outline how much it would cost, where they would live, where they would have to work, how much they would have to make, what they would have to buy. This activity will be used to get the students thinking about what Holden was thinking about, helping them empathize with him, all the while giving them valuable relevant real world information. Plus it will give students a taste of experience in researching in preparation for an upcoming project.

    • First Blog entry expected to be posted on the class blog.

      • Topics students can pick:

        • “Do you like or not like Holden so far? Why”

        • “Why doesn’t Holden like school? Why is he failing? Is he dumb?”

        • “Is Holden writing his story, or do you think what you’re reading is him narrating it? Why?”

        • Free write option

Week Three – September 10th – 14th - Work on Wiki/Letters to J.D. Salinger

  • This week we’ll be working in depth on the wiki. Half of the class time will be devoted to compiling information and posting it on the wiki. I will begin to suggest that pages start to get really polished and edited.

  • We’ll also be studying a collection of letters readers have written to Salinger over the years, discussing them and what people think about Catcher in the Rye.

  • Wiki page three should be done at the end of the week


Week Four – September 17th – 21st - Persuasive Project

This project will compromise two weeks.



  • Class will put together group created Argumentative essays that argue for or against why Catcher in the Rye should be taught in schools. And then as a group, present them to the class. See description above.

  • 4th wiki page will be compiled

  • Second blog posting will be due over the weekend

    • Topics

      • “In chapter 6, What did Holden’s actions toward Stradlater and his date with Jane make you think about him?”

      • “When Holden writes a composition for Stradlater we learn about his brother Allie’s death. How you think Allie’s death affected him?”

      • “After the fiasco with Sally, in chapter 17, Holden retreats into nostalgic desires to return to childhood. In recalling his visits to the Museum of Natural History, Holden indicates that he wants life to be like the tableaux he loves: frozen, unchanging, simple, and readily comprehensible. Do you think Holden is afraid of change? Is he afraid to grow up? Why?”

      • Free write


Week Five – September 24th – 28th - Persuasive Project continued/write a Letter to Salinger

        • We’ll finalize our persuasive papers. I want them to be short and concise, and well thought out. Students will turn their papers in for grading. At the end of the week we’ll pit groups of students who have collaborated on their arguments against each other who stand on each side of the issue with whether they think Catcher in the Rye has educational value or that it doesn’t. After which they’ll vote as a class whether they think Catcher should be banned.

        • After the trail, and after they’ve had some significant time thinking about the book critically, students will be asked to write a letter to Salinger themselves. I want them to be as honest about their current thoughts about the book as possible. They will posted their letters on a website I’ve found that contains hundreds of letter written to Salinger.

          • http://members.aol.com/jdsletters/guest.html

        • Wiki page 5 will be completed.


Week Six – October 1st – 5th - Wrap up wiki, write a final blog, poetry
Students will create a poem based on Catcher in the Rye using various poetic forms: limerick, Ode, Poem from a different point of view, Found poem, Haiku ect
1. Limerick Poetry

A limerick has a particular form and rhyme. It is usually humorous and contains 5 lines.  The last words of the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other (A), and the last words of the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other (B).

Ideas for this poem can come from any place in the book.

Here is an example: 

Everyone you meet, you think is a phony (A)

Not one of them would you call a crony (A)

You meet life with fear (B)

Only Phoebe and Allie stay dear (B)

When will you learn that your philosophy is baloney? (A) 
 

2. Ode To Allie

An ode is a poem of praise to a person, place, or thing. An ode does not have to rhyme.   Your poem will honor Allie.  Some questions to help you write your poem:

            What was Allie like?

            Why is he so important to Holden?

            Why does Holden feel this way?

            What might Allie represent or symbolize?

      Here is an example: 

      Who were you?

      Smiling, red hair bobbing

      Racing so fast,

                  fast, faster

      Leaving life behind

      while I stumble,

                  fall

      I needed you guy.

      You were the best. 
 

3. Poem from a Different Point of View

      Pretend that you are one of the other characters in the book: Phoebe, D.B., Jane,

      Sally, Stradlater, Mr. Spencer, Mrs. Morrow, Sunny, Maurice, the nuns, Carl

      Luce, etc., and write a poem about Holden, describing your feelings and thought about him.

      Here is an example: 

      Mr. Spencer 

      Why do you struggle so

      in a world where you could do anything, go anywhere?

      You fight ghosts

      facing the wrong direction

      With all the light,

      you only see darkness. 

      Oh Holden – youth is elusive,

      Enjoy your time

      Age creeps up and then like me,

      you come full circle.

      Don’t be empty

      Look inside.

      Be someone – something – anything. 


 

4. Found Poem

      Found poems are created by selecting words, phrases, or quotes from the novel.

Then you will rearrange them in poetic form.  Your aim is to create a poem that captures the mood or essence of the novel.  You may want to provide new insight for the reader.  End your poem by using arranged by and your name since the words are not your own.

      Here is an example 

      I won’t Dance – don’t ask me 

      I didn’t feel like it.

      You want to know the truth?

      I NEVER DANCE!

      It wasn’t anything physical 

      I can’t understand

      How the hell should I know why?

      It was very phony

      I’m too big to dance. 


5. Haiku


A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

Example:


Holden. Here ya go:

Why do the Ducks go away?

The Duck Pond freezes


  • One final activity I want to do during the last couple of class discussions about the end of the novel is have the students compose a six word sentence that they feel captures the whole novel. I read recently that Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words and that some consider it to be his best work. (“For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”) I want the students to be able to look at the novel in that light, being able to find that one thing that they felt is the most prominent subject and be able to tell it very succinctly. If anything, that is what I’ve learned great writing is all about and I want students to experience that idea first hand.



Necessary Materials


  • The book Catcher in the Rye for each student

  • Access to a computer lab with internet access

  • Three Ring Binders to compile student portfolio

  • CD Player

  • TV



Rubric for assessment:
I’ll base my grade I give students on a checklist of turned in materials which they’ll be keeping in a portfolio handed out at the beginning of the unit. I feel it’s important that students have an organized summation of their work after having gone through finishing it. I also feel knowledge should be maintained as much as it is obtained, the portfolio’s intention goes to that end. Hopefully the students will be proud of the work they’ve done and take the lessons they learned with them, and perhaps open the binder up years later and see where they’d gone and what they’d become.

Checklist on the first page of the portfolio:

____ Wiki participation (50 points)
____ Class Participation (20 Points)
____ Attendance (10 Points)
____ Three blog entries posted, three responses to other’s blogs (30 points)
____ Living on your own Research Project (20 Points)
____ Persuasive Essay/Oral Report (30 Points)
____ Letter to J.D. Salinger (10 Points)
____ Catcher Poem (20 Points)
____ Six Word Story (10 Points)

___________/200


I’ll pass back the portfolios, comment on them, and the last little bit of class I’ll ask the students to write down a paragraph on what they learned, and have them put it on the first page of the portfolio. And that’ll be it.


Core Objectives reached:
Standard One (Reading): Students will use vocabulary development and an understanding of text elements and strictures to comprehend literary and information grade level text


  • Objective 1 (Word Analysis, Vocabulary Development)

    • Vocabulary from Catcher in the Rye will be discussed using Frayer models during class




    • Objective 2 (Comprehension of Informational Text)

  • Close reading reflection will achieved via blog postings and wiki postings


Standard 2 (writing): Students will write information and literary text to reflect on and recreate experiences, report observations, and persuade others


  • Objective 1 (Writing to Learn)

    • Blog postings, Letter to Salinger, Six Word Story, Poem



    • Objective 2 (Extended Writing)

      • Persuasive essay




        • Objective 3 (Revision and Editing)

          • Wiki editing


Standard 3 (Inquiry/Research/Oral Presentation): Students will understand the process of seeking and giving information in conversations, group discussions, written reports, and oral presentations



  • Objective 1 (Process of Inquiry)

    • Living on your own research project



    • Objective 3 (Oral communication of Inquiry)

      • Catcher in the Rye on Trial oral argument presentation


Obstacles:
My unit is full of utilizing technology mediums and I can foresee problems arising from students who either do not have internet access, or struggle with operating websites and using computer programs.
There is a ton of writing involved in my unit. Students who hate to write will feel overwhelmed. I’ll need to take them into account and try to work with them.
Portfolios might get lost during the unit, might have to keep them myself.
Getting the students to actually read the book in full. Class discussions have to be engaging.
Poetry is a tough sell initially, I’ll have to involve modern relevant works throughout the novel discussions so that the students will be used to the presence of poetry before it’s introduced for them to write

Genres used:


  1. Wiki creation

  2. Blog Entries

  3. Poetry

  4. Music

  5. Pictures of NewYork

  6. Written Letters

  7. Persuasive paper

Dear J. D. Salinger,


I have read and taught Catcher and other Salinger works for years, and enjoyed finding, over those years, that one kid, (often far more than one) whose eyes light, who knows that this book...is theirs. I've loved seeing kids who don't feel this book, or ANY book, is theirs...but fall in love with Holden and wanna know if he's real and whatever happened to him and...if they "could" maybe write the guy a letter. Or...an email, now. It continues to be that same galvanizing experience for certain special someone’s that it was when it first arrived. And even the kids it vexes terribly are forever changed--they have something to rail about or against for the rest of their lives. Holden seems to either become who they wanna be or who they never wanna become. And that's fine. I like it that it helps them take what are often their first real looks at themselves. Oddly...it didn't sit well with a lot of my "minority" kids. But the mavericks among 'em took it deeply to heart, and were soothed and mightily entertained by it. Nobody...just...walked away. But the book did. Hundreds of copies--it's the only book I ever could count on having to buy new sets of every year while I was still teaching middle and then high school. I never got 'em all back. They left the room hidden in the oddest places, as if it were a game to see who could find the oddest one, and slip it past me in the most creative way. And later I'd get a letter from some university about how they still had the old hardcover they stole from me and used it to write yet another term paper using all the notes in the margins. And how...reading it again had reminded them of things they really needed to remember...
Cyn

The final project is due the day that each Core Group makes the class presentation and should have the following components:

1. Outline for a 4-6 week unit plan on a literature/writing topic of your choice. The unit should explore and address a part of the selected Core Curriculum.
2. A multigenre paper that explores this topic and you pedagogy for it.

Guidelines for the unit plan:



a) The plan should be an explicit outline that presents a very clear idea of what you would do.
b) The plan should follow the following design:
1) State the essential question you want students to be able to understand.
2) Clear rationale (1-2 pages). This should include a commentary about how you see the plan connected to the multigenre paper.
3) A clear roadmap (mental timeline, a list of needs for the unit)
4) Anticipated obstacles you anticipate facing
5) Rubric for assessment
6) Unit plan should have at least 7 genres represented in the project
7) Clear definition of which components from the Core Curriculum you are exploring.

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