Catcher in the Rye
I don't remember who I was talking to about it, but here's a cool unit for Catcher in the Rye:
At the end of a close reading of The Catcher, you will act as part of a peer case review committee at the hospital from which Holden is telling his story. With access to the transcript of Holden's own words, plus selected related materials, you will write a diagnostic report for the hospital and a prescriptive letter to Holden's parents explaining what (if anything) is wrong with Holden.
In addition to this culminating performance task, you will be given three quizzes on the reading and a writing exercise in which you will describe Holden from the perspective of another character. Following each reading assignment and before the next class, please respond in your Reading-Response Journal to two questions: "What is the most important thing you learn about Holden in this section of the novel?" "What is the most important unanswered question about Holden at this point in the novel?" Your responses to these questions will begin and end daily class discussions.
At the end of the unit, you will be asked to reflect on your evolving understanding of the novel, as chronicled in your daily journal entries. Final questions for the last days are: "What changed in the way you saw Holden as the book went along" and "If, as some people claim, "misunderstanding is inevitable" when you encounter new material, what were your misunderstandings at any point during this unit?" Finally, if you were to teach this novel to next year's students, what would you do to ensure they understand the novel as apposed to just knowing some facts about it?