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Catcher in the Rye

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Day 1 -- Read and discuss the poem "Comin' Thro' the Rye" by Robert Burns.

    Discuss Jenny's motivation for going through the stream.
    Why is she always wet? Seldom dry?
    What does "kiss a body" mean?
    What does "need a body cry" mean?

    Play Garth Brooks "Standing Outside the Fire."

    Discuss risk vs. playing it safe. What are the benefits of each? Downside?

Day 2 -- Ask students to quick write where they have risked and been successful and happy!

    Risked and failed and regretted? Learned and gained from the failure?

    High Self Esteem vs. Low Self Esteem? What is it? Where does it come from?

Day 3 -- Present with a group of 3 situations wherein one of the members discusses a situation and points out why this particular action is based on HIGH SELF ESTEEM or LOW SELF ESTEEM.

    E.g. Smoking -- The high self esteem person might say, "I'm so cool nothing can hurt my beautiful body." The low self esteem person might say, "I have no life and smoking is a slow suicide. Since no one cares about me -- I guess it doesn't really matter."

    Students should realize that most of us are motivated by low self-esteem. Where do we get high self-esteem?

Day 4 -- Ask the students for several Universal Truths in Catcher in the Rye. E.g. "All mothers are slightly insane." Cite chapter and page on a 5 x 8 graffiti card. Ask students to make 10 (approximately 1 every 20 pages) graffiti cards for posting on the black boards. For more Universal Truths click here.

Day 5 -- Each student will select a favorite card and present the meaning through Bloom's Taxonomy -- What, Explain it, Apply to a song, a movie clip, news aritcle, or personal experience, Analyze it, Synthesize it, and make a conclusion. Ongoing throughout the unit.

Day 6 -- With a group of 4 select 4 characters from the book -- develop a skit wherein your skit character stays in the stereotypical roles that Holden has given us. Perhaps choose scenes that would be behind the scenes of what we see in the novel. E.g. conversation with Stradlater, Ackley, Broussard, et al about Holden after Holden has left Pencey.

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