Fun Catcher In The Rye Assignments For Students

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Students imagine the possibilities afforded by text messaging technology in The Catcher in the Rye in this lesson that serves as a review of the novel, an exploration of Holden Caulfield's character and narrative voice, and a study of a now everyday form of communication.  Students first compare and contrast several forms of communication: telephone, text message, and letter or email.  They then select five moments in the novel in which Holden may have sent a text message had the technology been available.  The lesson concludes with students sharing their text messages and a discussion of the rationales behind their choices.

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FEATURED RESOURCES

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

In the NCTE Council Chronicle article "The Shift to 21st-Century Literacies," Sara Kajder notes that as information technologies continue to evolve, teachers "'have opened up what counts as valued communication' in the classroom" (4).  One way that teachers can acknowledge the continued rapid shift to more technology-driven communication is to allow students to use communication forms that they already value to achieve literacy goals traditionally associated with the English language arts classroom, such as relating to characters and responding to text.

William Kist points to the specific transition from "a page-based to a screen-based society," contending that "'[i]t's a different way of encountering communication or thought or human expression'" (5).  Inviting students to respond to literature in the format of a series of text messages achieves two goals: It shows that teachers value forms of communication in which students already engage, and it allows teachers to discuss with students ways in which new means of communication are similar to and different from more traditional ways expressing meaning.


Further Reading

Collier, Lorna. "The Shift to 21st Century Literacies." The Council Chronicle Nov. 2007: 4-8.

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RELATED LESSON PLANS AND LEARNING NETWORK RESOURCES:
For grades 6-12, written in consultation with Bank Street College of Education. These lesson plans can easily be adapted to supplement the reading and teaching of "The Catcher in the Rye."
  • Search Me (Not)
    Developing Profiles of Literary and Historical Figures by Imagining Their Web Searches
  • I Am Seventeen Going On …
    Creating Podcasts to Examine Adolescence Through the Ages
  • Quiet on the Set!
    Exploring Character and Conflict Development by Creating Short Films
  • Me, Myself and I
    Exploring Expressions of Adolescent Identity
  • Characters' Coming of Age
    Updating Children's Literary Favorites Through Character Development and Creative Writing
  • Class Matters
    Series of Times articles, and related lesson plans, on issues of social class in the United States.
  • New York at 100
    Timelines, photos, articles and more on the history of New York City, decade by decade, including Holden's era.

  • STUDENT CROSSWORD PUZZLES
  • The 1950's
  • Curtain Up: Broadway
  • Great Books and Authors
  • Back to School

  • MORE MATERIALS FOR TEACHING WITH THE TIMES
  • More lesson plans for teaching literature, language arts and writing.
  • Our searchable archive of more than 2,000 lesson plans.
  • Additional selected teaching materials: other Literature, Poetry and Language and Usage.
  • Dozens of additional teaching materials and resources on a wide range of topics.



  • RELATED TIMES TOPICS
  • J.D. Salinger
  • Books and Literature
  • Children and Youth
  • Private and Sectarian Schools
  • Mental Health and Disorders

  • FROM THE TIMES ARCHIVE
  • Aw, the World's a Crumby Place
    Original Times book review of "Catcher."
  • Books of the Times: A Catcher in the Rye and the PDF version
    Original Books of the Times article.
  • Holden, 50, Still Catches
    Article reflecting on Holden's would-be 50th birthday.
  • Holden Reconsidered and All
    Article on the 50th anniversary of "Catcher"'s publication.

  • SELECTED RESOURCES FROM NYTIMES.COM
  • Literary Map of Manhattan
    Interactive map.
  • Get a Life, Holden Caulfield
    Article that explores the attitudes of high school students in 2009 toward Holden Caulfield.
  • Still Paging Mr. Salinger
    Article on the elusive author as he turns 90.
  • Understanding the Temporary Insanity of Adolescence
    Article on teen psychology.
  • College's High Cost, Before You Even Apply
    Article on teen anxiety.
  • Bipolar Illness Soars as a Diagnosis For the Young
    Article on teen mental health.
  • Teen Angst? Nah!
    Article by a high school junior.
  • Feel Like a Fraud? Maybe You Should
    Article on the experience of feeling like a "phony."
  • Ideas & Trends: Lousy Childhoods Ain't What They Used to Be
    Discussion of the film "Igby Goes Down," a quasi-update of "The Catcher in the Rye."

  • RESOURCES FROM ABOUT.COM
  • Reading quiz
  • Robert Burns's poem "Coming Thro' the Rye"
  • Vocabulary list
  • Comments

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