The Catcher in the Rye Themes Textual Analysis Activity → Includes editable files! Revised August 2019.
Teaching The Catcher in the Rye provides so many opportunities for explorations of theme. This is an engaging literary analysis activity to be used after students have read at least most of the text. You will need the following materials: eight large envelopes, markers, chart paper, and sticky notes.
Working in small groups, students will receive a folder with approximately 7-8 quotations from the text. They will read each of the quotations and then attempt to decide upon a theme that can relate to all of the quotations. After checking with the teacher, students then begin to create a wall poster. On their poster, they will include the most powerful quotation to represent their theme as well as a detailed analysis of the author’s use of language.
Following completion of the wall posters, students will participate in a carousel discussion in which they review other groups’ posters and ideas.
This is a hands-on activity that my students thoroughly enjoy! It is also a great form of test prep if you are preparing students for AP exams and Common Core final exams. I use this with my Honors and AP students to deepen their comprehension of the play before they write an extended critical analysis essay.
This lesson plan is classroom-tested and includes the following:
A teacher lesson plan with…
• Common Core objectives
• preparation steps
• a classroom agenda
• assessment strategies
A class PowerPoint with…
• student-friendly objectives
• student directions
• activity time limits