Students LOVE Kafka on the Shore!! They read it. They lose themeselves to it. They talk about it. They do the work associated with it. I get nearly 100% of the homework turned in every day, and it is not unusual for every student in the class to get an A on the homework quizzes.
The only problem with teaching Kafka on the Shore is the few scenes that must be avoided due to explicit imagery. The lesson plan actively works around these scenes, but this I found was not enough. For instance, if the homework for Day 1 has students reading up to page 17, then it is likely that by Day 2 they will have already read up to page 50. I realized all too quickly that if I wanted to continue teaching the novel, and I did, that I would need to actually remove the problematic pages from the book (the lesson plan notes the pages: six in total). This went against all my better instincts, but in the end I was happy I made that editorial choice. The rewards come in seeing the excitement on students' faces as they walk into class each day, animated and energized, eager to talk about the story even before we move into our daily discussion.
"Tell all the Truth but Tell it Slant," by Emily Dickinson.
Donnie Darko, Dir. Richard Kelly.
"The Babies," by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Pan's Labyrinth, Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Kafka on the Shore is a five-week, day-to-day lesson plan. Note: bolded headings in the plan are transitional points within the class period. All homework/handouts are copy-ready (see Blood Meridian preview and description for an example).