This unit has an emphasis on setting to analyze character & plot development along with authorial intention while identifying textual evidence. It fits nicely into an adolescent search for identity & independence/Coming of Age Unit as well.
The unit has three essential questions that become the Final Essay (included). The students read Looking for Alaska by John Green and Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger back to back. The unit uses the idea of the power of place in a character's life and in authorial intention. Instead of using traditional comprehension questions, the students are asked to keep a Place Journal (included) in which they report every setting of the novel. They then use "place" to analyze the character and the author's intention of creating those places. The unit also includes a reading worksheet that can be used at any time. There is a final project for each novel included which requires the students to visually lay out the novel. The final assessment is a final paper on both novels (prompt, outline, peer edit, and rubric included).
I experienced better comprehension and analysis with having the students examine the novels from this point of view.