Product: Presentation, letter, and annotated bibliography

Unit Cover Page
Unit Title: __The Anti-Hero (Specifically looking at how Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye
may function as an anti-hero)__ Grade Level(s): ___10 Honors___
Subject/Topic Areas: __English __
Key Words: __xxx__
Designed by:__Emily Coates__ Time Frame: __4-5 Weeks__
School District: __xxx__ School: __xxx__
Brief Summary of Unit (including curricular context and unit goals):
This unit looks at the idea of an anti-hero in the context of Holden Caulfield, the main character in
J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye. The inspiration behind this idea is from a desire to
help students understand the significance of what Holden is saying and critiquing about the
society in which he lives. Frequently, students think of Holden simply as a boy who complains
too much and doesn’t do anything. I hope to help students understand the value of being aware
of the world around and feeling able to provide a critique.
Stage 1- Identify Desired Results
Established Goals:
Standard 8 – Understanding a Text: Students will identify the basic facts and main ideas in a text and use
them as the basis for interpretation.
Standard 9 – Making Connections: Students will deepen their understanding of a literary or non-literary
work by relating it to its contemporary context or historical background.
Standard 11 - Theme: Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of theme in a literary
work and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
What understandings are desired?
Students will understand:
 How the time period of a novel affects the novel
 That the anti-hero points out flaws in the world
 That fictional characters teach us about our lives
 Understanding how a character’s growth and conflict resolution (or lack thereof) reveal theme
What essential questions will be considered?
 What is the value of the antihero?
 How does a character teach us about ourselves?
 How does a character’s growth reveal theme?
 How does conflict resolution (or lack thereof) reveal theme?
 How does the life and time of an author affect the work?
Students will know…
 The definition of anti-hero
 Fictional characters teach us about ourselves
 How to examine a character’s growth to understand theme
 The life and time of the author (the culture of the 1950’s)
 How characters are revealed/developed (how others see them, how they behave, how they see
Students will be able to …
 Define anti-hero
 Explain how a character is an anti-hero
 Identify and explain theme
 Analyze the relevance of the piece and theme
 Understand the impact the historical setting has on the ideas explored in a novel
Stage 2 – Determine Acceptable Evidence
What evidence will show that students understand?
Performance Tasks (summary in GRASPS form-narrative):
(*Include an appendix with the rubric for this performance task)
Goal: To understand how you can be proactive in calling attention to an issue you care about
Role: Student/Citizen
Audience: Classmates and teacher, for the presentation and the person you write to
Situation: Take a stance! Through the novels, poems, and plays we have studied this year, we have
been discussing and examining a variety of issues; one of the main issues has been man versus
society. Due to specific issues, some characters decide to change their society, some characters have
to change in order to adapt to their society, and still others decide to remove themselves from society
(both literally and figuratively). Regardless of whether the character rejects, accepts, or removes
him/herself from society, that character is dealing with an issue. Holden Caulfield comments:
Did you ever get fed up? I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy
unless you did something? …all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart
enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe
you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do it talk about girls and liquor and sex
all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques… (Salinger 130)
Here is your opportunity to answer Holden’s question, to offer insight into what you care about in
this world. To accomplish this, your final project is going to be to present an issue/some aspect of
society that you are interested in commenting on.
Product: Presentation, letter, and annotated bibliography
Standards: Oral Presentation expectations, visual expectations, and proper letter writing format
Judge by: Me, their teacher
*Worksheet and rubric attached
Other Evidence (quizzes, tests, prompts, observations, dialogues, work samples):
- Since this is an English class, students are expected to participate in both a small setting (book
group) as well as the large class setting. I tally student’s participation on a daily/weekly basis.
We talk about the reading, complementary materials, and anything else on a daily basis.
- I give quick reading quizzes periodically to see what students understand, don’t understand,
and to check to see whether students are reading.
- Students’ will be responding to various quotations and turning their responses in for credit.
- As mentioned in the WHERE TO, students write a creative piece in which they talk about a
person, place, or thing that has importance.
- Students will take a cumulative test on the novel, which will include both detail questions,
quotation responses, and a longer response question that is connected to theme.
Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:
- As indicated in the WHERE TO, students reflect on their understanding of what an antihero is
about 1/2 way through reading the novel.
- The major assignment asks students to reflect on the world around them and then to create a
presentation based on their interests
Also, at various points, I ask students to discuss what the importance is of a character
commenting on the world around them
Sometimes, to help students empathize with Holden, I ask them to write about any
experiences they may have had that are similar to Holden’s
Stage 3 – Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
Label the WHERETO elements (to be clear, on some days, multiple points listed below are covered).
1. Rearrange students seats and allow students to choose their book groups. There should be 4-5 students in
each group. For each unit of the school year, students are in new book groups. For some units, I let them
choose their own groups, for others, I choose the groups. (T)
2. Pre-reading: Each group is given a few pictures of various movie, television, and literary characters and
ask them if they can identify any similarities among the individuals? How do these individuals behave? Ask
students if any of the characters add something positive to society? Negative? (H)
3. Define antihero (E)
.4 Ask the so what? question. Why have characters that point out flaws in society? Do they add value? (H, E)
.5 Provide the Unit overview (W)
6. Show part of the film “Seeds of the Sixties” and discuss what the societal expectations were in the 1950’s.
Then, discuss what it might be like to live in that decade? Have students guess what a character might rebel
against. (H,E)
7. The next day the students come to class, quick quiz defining the antihero. (E)
8. Journal expectations- As indicated on the unit overview sheet, students are to maintain a journal while
reading Catcher in the Rye. They are to focus on Holden: what he values, criticizes, conclusions he draws
about people and places, what depresses him, his “I” statements, him and women, when he isolates himself
from others, and times he seeks others out. (W,E,R)
9. Students are provided guiding chapter questions- for my Honors students, answering the questions is their
decision. They are expected to know the information, however. (E)
10. Class discussion on what are the symptoms of depression- based on their health class experiences. (H,E)
11. Creative writing piece after chapter five- students are to describe a person, event, object that is important.
In their description, they are to use powerful language to draw in the reader. Students are to bring the object,
if possible, to class on the day the assignment is due and show us the object as they read their pieces. (T)
12. After reading chapters 6 and 7 read the short story “A&P” by John Updike. Discuss the similarities. Why
do Sammy and Holden want to make a point? Who do they make the point for? Can they go back after
making the point? (E)
13. Ask students to discuss Holden’s teachers and classmates to understand why he does not identify with
them. After reflecting on Holden, are you noticing any of Holden’s expectations and disappointments in
people? (R, E)
14. Ask students to journal about whether they have ever been disappointed in a teacher or classmate. How
does it feel? (E-2)
15. Ask students if any of them can relate to Holden? (R)
16. After reading chapter 11, any ideas of why Holden might be an anti-hero? (R)
17. “Ticket Out” any questions they have about Holden, the novel, or the idea of anti-hero? (E-2)
18. Discuss the first reference to the title of the novel in chapter 16. Then, read the Robert Burns’ poem
“Common’Frae The Town”, discuss and compare the meaning and words of the poem with Holden’s
memory. How are they different? What does that tell us about Holden? (E, R)
19. Also from chapter 16 is Holden’s revelation about change. Why is this revelation important to our
understanding of Holden? (E)
20. Analyze Holden’s conversation with Sally Hayes to get a sense of what he is critiquing in society. (E)
21. Introduce the final project; ask students to start thinking about what upsets them in the world or
who/what they think needs more attention or to be changed. (E, T, H)
22. Chapters 21 and 22 Quotation/Theme connection sheet- work in groups and then discuss as a class. (E)
23. Chapters 23 and 24: What is the advice Mr. Antolini gives Holden? How does it connect with Holden’s
critique of the world? Does the advice add to or diminish the importance? (E)
24. What does Holden understand at the end of the novel? Does he answer/solve his own issues with the
world? Does he find the value in it all? Does this reveal theme (E,R)
25. In groups and as a class, we will discuss the motifs and the major themes of the novel. (E, R)
26. In groups, students will provide a summary of who Holden Caulfield is and whether or not Holden is an
antihero. (E.R)
27. As individuals, students are to reflect and write up why it is important to reveal a flaw in society? (E-2)
Bibliography of Required Tools Necessary for This Unit
Google Images of the anti hero’s listed
Making Sense of the Sixties. Ricki Green and David Hoffman. WETA, 1991.
McTighe, Jay and Wiggins, Grant. Understanding by Design. Virginia: ASCD, 2004.
Salinger, JD. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little Brown, 1951.
“What is an Antihero” January 2010. The Gallery of Antiheroes and Villians.