This understanding activity and discussion can be done at any point during the reading of The Catcher in the Rye; however, I recommend using it sometime during the second half of the book when students have more information to draw from. During this activity, students rate Holden on 6 different personality characteristics, using a continuum for each characteristic. Students are then asked to defend their ratings. As is typical with the study of this book, answers will vary greatly. Once students have individually completed the ratings, they can discuss in a group or as a whole class. In my classroom, this always led to a lively discussion. For an added visual, the teacher can draw or project the continuums on the board and have all students plot their answers. Then, kids can discuss based on patterns they see in answers across the class. The teaching duration of 50 minutes can be lengthened or abbreviated depending on the length of the discussion.