Open Access Senior Honors Thesis
The main goal of this unit is for students to critically think about the novel and the world around them. This unit is built on students responding to and exploring elements within the novel. With each discussion and experience, simply have the students write. The culmination of all their writing placed and bound together will create a journal.
As the students read, they are to highlight quotes they wish to discuss or respond to. This will allow the students to critically think about and process what they have read. It also teaches students how to pick out important concepts within literature. Having students choose what they think is important plays a large role in the affective domain. They will feel a connection with the literature.
The discussion questions and journal writing assignments included in this unit are to be used as starting points. I have chosen key themes, quotes, and ideas to address through discussion and writing. Expand on the questions given in every way possible. Many times your students’ highlighted important/discussion quotes will feed into the discussion topics—Use this to your advantage!
Use the discussion questions, journal entries, and essays to introduce the students to major literary elements. The more acquainted students come with these terms, the better and more correctly they can analyze literature.
The final goal of this unit is to strengthen essay writing skills. As the students are writing their final essays, they will be able to look back and reflect on all they wrote for their journals. Using the journals, they will be able to effectively cite the novel and their own thoughts for support—an essential component to writing about literature. The better students can support their thesis, the more effective writers they will be.
Farrugia, Audrey Michelle, "The Catcher in the Rye: A Teaching Unit" (2005). Senior Honors Theses & Projects. 73.