Ah. Catcher in the Rye. Whenever I mentioned this book title at Back to School Night, it never failed to elicit a lot of groans from the parents in front of me, as well as the question: "I read that in high school. WHY are kids still reading Catcher in the Rye?" Uh...I don't really know? It's on the curriculum so I teach it....? And then once I taught it I wanted to KEEP teaching because kids react very strongly to Catcher. Most kids hate read Catcher and think Holden is ridiculous but there are always a few kids in the back clutching the book who are like "this book is my life!!" I love teaching any books that elicits a strong emotion in either direction rather than a lukewarm response or apathy....so therefore, I always loved Catcher. On a personal level, I love rereading Catcher because I always react differently to it. In high school I connected to it, in college I felt bad for Holden in adulthood I thought he was hilarious. I always tell kids to go back and reread Catcher in college or beyond....if they want.
I taught Catcher for a few years in a row and below are my materials. I did not use all of these materials every year. The materials are in the general order in which I used them.
Before Reading Materials
During Reading Materials
Catcher 1st Page Literary Terms Matching Quiz (paid product)
Isolation Quotation Analysis (Group work)
For this activity, I gave each group of students a different quotation related to isolation and required them to complete the analysis steps. I had each group share out when everyone was done.
Catcher Analysis of Chapters 11-14 (a different version of the YouTube video assignment below).
Symbolism Analysis & Presentation Groups
Similar to the isolation activity, I gave each group of students a different symbol and required them to complete the analysis steps. When everyone was done, they had to share out to the class.
Symbol Analysis Group 2 (Movies)
Symbol Analysis Group 3 (Phone)
Symbol Analysis Group 4 (Museums)
Symbol Analysis Group 5 (Ducks in pond)
Symbol Analysis Group 8 (Jane/Checkers)
Symbolism Presentation Make Up Assignment
I always give my kids detailed and annoying reading quizzes. To each their own. These are all the different quizzes I have used over the years but I never managed to make answer keys for them.
Catcher Chapters 1 & 2 Reading Quiz (no answer key)
Catcher Reading Quiz Chapters 25-26 (no answer key)
After Reading Materials
Catcher Paper (Assigned Essay 2018)
Catcher Research Paper
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez In this novel, the main character's sister has died and Julia wanders around Chicago trying to come to terms with it. I don't know if this book is supposed to connect to Catcher, but that is what it reminded me of.
Ordinary People by Judith Guest. This was my favorite book in high school and even for a few years beyond that. In the book, the main character has lost his brother, his mom has moved out, and he is very down. My teacher in high school had us read this book with Catcher and write a compare contrast paper. I wrote about the similarities in which depression was depicted in each novel.
Salinger Biography by David Shields and Shane Salerno. Whoa. If you have a hankering for some creepy dirt, you should read this biography about Salinger. It is very long and you will not move until you get to the end.
These are all of the materials that I thought would be helpful for Catcher. If you have any materials that you would like to share with others, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.