Catcher in the Rye – Creative Assessment

Catcher in the Rye – Creative Assessment
As a more creative way for you to express your understanding of the novel, you will complete a project
inspired by the following choices. Your project must be related to the novel and somehow represent your
mastery of the novel. You may work in groups of up to four people.
Make a graphic novella inspired by the
novel. In this case, you will tell of
significant events in Holden’s story, yet
tell it artistically in graphic novel format.
The graphics for each page should support
the text for that page and reflect what is
being told. This should be approximately
6-10 pages in length. The quality of your
project will be determined by the
following: the extent to which your
graphic novel includes the most significant
parts of the novel, the quality/effort put
into the artwork, and the general
awesomeness and ability to recreate the
ideas of the novel.
2. Write an updated version of Holden’s
story. Take his basic feelings about life or
the world but tell them in a more modern
format that reflects the language, setting
and times of today. Create an adventure or chapter that sounds like a modern version of Salinger’s
masterpiece. This should be 2-3 pages in length.
3. Imagine that Holden meets with the characters from the novel 6 months to one year after the story
closes. In a type of reunion scenario, write a short scene or chapter that describes a dinner meeting
between Holden and at least three different characters from the novel. Use dialogue consistent with
the way each character would speak and describe Holden’s feelings about each. This may be in narrative
form, like a chapter from the book, or in play form. Make it true to Holden’s character.
4. If you were a psychiatrist, how would you diagnose Holden? What are the sources of his issues, what
are his symptoms and what are his problems? Write a clinical diagnosis of Holden, referring to specific
psychological terms and medical diagnoses. Refer to specific details from his life and his past that you
can infer from the novel. This should sound professional and should be about two pages in length.
5. Make a ten song mixed CD or playlist for Holden Caulfield, if he were around today. In a letter to
Holden, explain why you are including each of the ten songs on the mixed tape. Each song should have a
short paragraph of description or explanation as to why you think he would like it, using evidence
relating to the themes, symbols, motifs, and situations that Holden and the novel explored.
Requirements: 10 songs (artist/song title) on flashdrive or CD, at least a paragraph explanation for
each, use of lyrics to explain rationale, cover for “mixed tape”.
6. Holden's Scrapbook - Compile a digital (or actual) scrapbook of memorabilia that Holden might have
collected or come across during the novel. (You might put together an iPhoto album, or a Web page
recording his journey). Each artifact must be captioned with where he got it, its significance to him,
and the page you found it on. It would be good to include a direct quotation from when the item is
mentioned or suggested. Think of the images that keep recurring in the novel, the places Holden travels
to, and anything he collects. This project will be assessed based on the amount of memorabilia collected
and its presentation. As a benchmark, expect to get at least ten pieces of memorabilia for your
7. Make a movie about or inspired by the novel. This can be dramatization of a scene in the novel or a
newly created scene. The finished movie should be 5 to 10 minutes in length.
8. Write a new chapter in Holden’s style. This can be a chapter that occurs within the events of the novel,
or a new chapter that occurs after the novel closes. You may choose to show what happens to Holden a
week, a month, a year, or several years after the end of the story. Be consistent with Holden’s
language, style and attitudes. Include a title and cover for this story, and the completed chapter should
be about 2-3 pages in length.
Completed project due: ________________________________________
Catch Her in the Oatmeal Written by Dan Greenberg
If you actually want to hear about it, what I'd better do is I'd better warn you right now that you aren't going to believe it. I mean
it's a true story and all, but it still sounds sort of phony.
Anyway, my name is Goldie Lox. It's sort of a boring name, but my parents said that when I was born I had this very blonde
hair and all. Actually I was born bald. I mean how many babies get born with blonde hair? None. I mean I've seen them and
they're all wrinkled and red and slimy and everything. And bald. And then all the phonies have to come around and tell you
he's as cute as a bug's ear. A bug's ear, boy, that really kills me. You ever seen a bug's ear? What's cute about a bug's ear?
For Chrissake! Nothing, that's what.
So, like I was saying, I always seem to be getting into these very stupid situations. Like this time I was telling you about.
Anyway, I was walking through the forest and all when I see this very interesting house. A house. You wouldn't think anybody
would be living way the hell out in the goddam forest, but they were. No one was home or anything and the door was open, so
I walked in. I figured what I'd do is I'd probably horse around until the guys that lived there came home and maybe asked me
to stay for dinner or something. Some people think they have to ask you to stay for dinner even if they hate you. Also I didn't
exactly feel like going home and getting asked a lot of lousy questions. I mean that's all I ever seem to do.
Anyway, while I was waiting I sort of sampled some of this stuff they had on the table that tasted like oatmeal. Oatmeal. It
would have made you puke, I mean it. Then something very spooky started happening. I started getting dizzier than hell. I
figured I'd feel better if I could just rest for a while. Sometimes if you eat something like lousy oatmeal you can feel better if you
just rest for awhile, so I sat down. That's when the goddam chair breaks in half. No kidding, you start feeling lousy and some
stupid chair is going to break on you every time. I'm not kidding. Anyway I finally found the crummy bedroom and I lay down on
this very tiny bed. I was really depressed.
I don't know how long I was asleep or anything but all of a sudden I hear this very strange voice say, "Someone's been
sleeping in my sack, for Chrissake, and there she is!" So I open my eyes and here at the foot of the bed are these three
crummy bears. Bears! I swear to God. By that time I was really feeling depressed. There's nothing more depressing than
waking up and finding three bears talking to you, I mean.
So I didn't stay around and shoot the breeze with them or anything. If you want to know the truth, I sort of ran out of there like
a madman or something. I do that quite a little when I'm depressed like that.
On the way home, though, I got to figuring. What probably happened is these bears wandered in when they smelled this
oatmeal and all. Probably bears like oatmeal, I don't know. and the voice I heard when I woke up was probably something I
So that's the story.
I wrote it all up once as a theme in school, but my crummy teacher said it was too whimsical. Whimsical. That killed me. You
got to meet her sometime, boy. She's a real queen.