The Catcher in the Rye Unit Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

'The Catcher in the Rye' is a classic that includes complex themes, such as death, isolation, and loss of innocence. This unit plan will help you guide your high school students through these themes, as well as other literary elements of this novel.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a coming-of-age novel written from the perspective of first-person narrator Holden Caulfield. He is not the friendliest of narrators. Some would argue that he isn't much of a dynamic character as he doesn't make many fundamental changes to his viewpoints or personality. This unit plan guides you through the process of teaching your high school students about the Bildungsroman novel genre, as well as thematic and literary elements. Providing time for discussion and review of novel concepts is essential so resources to help you guide student conversations are included. To wrap up the novel, you may want to have students write an essay response to some of the novel elements. There are ideas here for that, as well!

Prior to Reading

The Catcher in the Rye can be a big read for students and introduces a lot of different concepts. Get your students ready for novel reading through exploring these concepts.

Novel Context

Begin the unit by introducing students to this type of literary work, the novel. Use this Novel Lesson Plan to review the basics. Since The Catcher in the Rye is a coming-of-age story of a teenager, use this Bildungsroman Lesson Plan to introduce students to this specific genre.

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