Shameless request for lesson planning support...

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Jody Barsch*
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Shameless request for lesson planning support...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 21st 2004, 4:51 am

Ok, the 10th graders are about to begin out Catcher in the Rye unit, and I would like to bring in some clips from films and TV to help them place what Holden is experiencing. I already do an end of the book unit where we watch harold and Maude and compare it to the book, but I want to bring in some other scenes as kind of "into" activities. I thought maybe the police station scene ("you're tearing me apart"), or anyone of the parent fight scenes in Rebel Without a Cause, maybe the scuba diving scene, or when Ben is getting lectured for just lying around the house, in The Graduate. I thought maybe of some scenes between the kids and their parents from Splendor in the Grass ... I'm thinking maybe something from The Breakfast Club (but I'm not quite sure what, and I already use the cofessions scene in a unit I do with The Canterbury Tales). I would like to bring in some
MSCL if I can tie it in, but couldn't think of anything that definitely fit -- possibly Guns and Gossip, maybe Life of Brian ...
Others films I thought of: DPS, Chocolate War, SLC Punk (maybe the posers speech, or when he says he does not want to be his dad), I also thought maybe Suburbia, but now I'm not sure...

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- I'm bascially trying to set a tone for the book, establish for the kids the kind of angst/ isolation/ contempt/ depression/ confussion etc... that Holden experiences



I was also thinking about starting off our discussions of rebels by bringing in music from different decades that had shock value and belonged to the counter-culture ... I definitely want to bring in a Rage song, but havn't chosen one yet, a Bob Dylan song (probably "the times they are a changin'") any suggestions ... (I'm thinking from the 1930's on)

Thanks ahead of time to anyone w/ suggestions! (and YES, we do do A LOT of real, or traditional, work in my class as well)
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 21st 2004, 4:56 am

I don't know if this will help with your particular lesson plan, but maybe a future class discussion:

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Post by emmie » Sep 21st 2004, 1:01 pm

wow, Jody, you sound like such a cool teacher!! I remember I hated my senior literature teacher in high school. she was just out of school and around 23. you would think that she would have connected really well to us. but no. she was so close-minded and uptight, she ruined the class. she wouldn't let us read Stephen King's "The Eyes of the Dragon" even though it was on the school curriculum, because she personally didn't like King. she thought the book would be bad, gory, horror. maybe if she had actually read the book....

ooops, sorry about that rant there. just had to get that out! ha ha. back on topic, The Graduate is my all-time fav movie (behind the Princess Bride of course). both the scenes that you mentioned were really good. even the opening scene where he is being bombarded by people and has to retreat to his bedroom could be seen as isolation. I think Donnie Darko is great as far capturing angst and frustration. the only problem is that the best examples are riddled with curse words. ooops.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 21st 2004, 4:37 pm

Yeah, see, I've never seen Donnie Darko. A lot of people whose tastes I respect love this movie, but something about the rabbit turns me off. I don't know, probably if I sit down and watch it I would like it, I'm just not sure that's gonna happen unless someone sits me down and makes me. Thanks for the feedback!
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Post by wicked » Sep 21st 2004, 5:03 pm

geeze I wish I could help...but I didn't read catcher till I was an adult, and personally still think it's a highly overrated book....maybe not the best person to supply ideas for lesson plans.
:oops:

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Post by Nostradamus » Sep 21st 2004, 8:14 pm

I never read The Catcher, though I do have a strange compulsion to buy a copy whenever I see one.

:new-alien:

From your description, Clerks might be a good fit, though as Emmie pointed out there could be content issues.
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Post by TomSpeed » Sep 21st 2004, 10:02 pm

What's the American educational system coming to? I haven't read Catcher either. Whenever I heard teachers discuss it, they were talking about how overrated it was. I've been meaning to read it. But, I've already dutifully reread Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury this year. I'm reading the Stephanie Plum novels and listening to music now.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 22nd 2004, 1:51 am

I don't get it, who are you people who haven't read this book? I was fishing with this guy last summer, my age, he had never even heard of the book; I was shocked. Catcher is by no means the best book I've ever read, it isn't Nabokov or Faulkner, but I think it's worth the read. If for no other reason, it's such a huge part of our culture. Basically, it's the story of Holden having a break down, coping with loss, disapointment, disalusionment, depression, pressure, innocence/experience, etc. He's an interesting character, who moves in and out of a fantasy sequences, depressions, and a somewhat Bueller-esque trip to NY. I don't think it is overrating the book to call it "a great American novel", but poeple over 23 who claim it as their favorite book, tend to lose their credibility with me.

Yeah, the content thing is always an issue (I just rewatched the posers scene from SLC Punk, that's a no-go, too much language.) Some parents already question reading books like Catcher or Romeo and Juliet.

I always liked that storyline in Conspiracy Theory. I feel that way about Perks of Being a Wallflower. I always have to go visit it, and if there aren't any copies, i make them order some.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 22nd 2004, 2:38 am

It's strange, but a lot of banned books were required reading in my school district. I read Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Flowers for Algernon, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, A Day No Pigs Would Die, My Brother Sam Is Dead, MacBeth in middle school/high school. None of the parents ever raised a fuss over us reading these books.

When I went to Catholic school, we read A Wrinkle in Time, A Light in the Attic, The Chocolate War, How to Eat Fried Worms, etc. and again, no complaints.

By the way, Banned Books week begins on September 25th. For more info, go here. I love that they are using Captain Underpants on some of this year's merchandise.
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Post by Nostradamus » Sep 22nd 2004, 3:24 am

I heard that the LotR series was banned once, but it was required reading at my Catholic grade school. I also read a lot of Mark Twain at the time; IIRC his works have been accused of racism. A classmate of mine even did several book reports on Anne Rice's steamy Vampire Chronicles!

:vamp:
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
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I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
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Post by starbug » Sep 22nd 2004, 9:07 am

I've never read Catcher either... I sense it isn't pushed too hard in british schools.

But I did an exam piece of coursework at the age of 16 which compared Jaws and The Silence of the Lambs. Basically I was comparing writing styles and the use of tension/suspense reality/fiction to achieve the author's aim of scaring someone witless. My teacher was dubious (she seemed to think that I shouldn't do my work on films...til I pointed out that the novels predated the films on both counts). I scored an A* (that's a super-duper A which at the time was given to the top 1-2% of entrants) :D

I often think that teachers' preconceptions about what is worthy of study have the effect of ruining school and the learning process for too many kids. I learned more from doing something that had never (so far as I knew) been done and thinking for myself than grabbing some crib-guide off the shelf comparing Jane Eyre with Pride and Prejudice and regurgitating it would have taught me, like some of my class-mates did.

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Post by Nothingman » Sep 22nd 2004, 10:29 am

starbug wrote: I often think that teachers' preconceptions about what is worthy of study have the effect of ruining school and the learning process for too many kids. I learned more from doing something that had never (so far as I knew) been done and thinking for myself than grabbing some crib-guide off the shelf comparing Jane Eyre with Pride and Prejudice and regurgitating it would have taught me, like some of my class-mates did.
Couldn't agree with you more starbug. It's the act of learning and the knowledge that we have the ability to pick up two books and analyze them in a way that no one else has that we take with us. There is relevence in selecting books that deal with topics that highschool students are interested in or experiencing. One, it gives them a sense that they are not alone in dealing with things, and two, it's a vehicle to get them to talk about these issues. Exposing them to important authors and stories in our culture has some merit, but as far as remembering any of those in dept discussions on writing styles, no one ever does. We are much more likely to remember something we learned on our own through guidence from our teacher than what we were told to learn.

My favorite literature class was SciFi/Fantasy. We read some really interesting short stories and watched movies like War of the Worlds, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The thing I remember the most is my teacher always said "Science Fiction is the only genre that deals with reality". I never realised that untill then, and then I understood that good SciFi always asks a fundamental question about our reality. The irony is many people view it as the furthest genre from reality, close minded fools. I guess I just played my geek card. There was one kid in the class that spent his time making his own chain mail armor everyday. He and a couple other guys would make thier own midevil weaponds and then go battle in the park, the whole concept was lost on me. The class had a lot of people I only saw for that hour of the day and only that semester.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 22nd 2004, 12:32 pm

candygirl wrote:It's strange, but a lot of banned books were required reading in my school district. I read Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Flowers for Algernon, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, A Day No Pigs Would Die, My Brother Sam Is Dead, MacBeth in middle school/high school. None of the parents ever raised a fuss over us reading these books.

When I went to Catholic school, we read A Wrinkle in Time, A Light in the Attic, The Chocolate War, How to Eat Fried Worms, etc. and again, no complaints.
I read a most of those books in my ditrict too. I never read A separate Peace, or A Day no Pigs would Die, but we did read The handmaid's Tale and Eqqus (the play where the kid sleeps with the horses). It says a lot ablut the district which books they select as their core novels, but there are always a few parents who question them. I just had one father question why we teach Romeo and Juliet to freshman as it sends the message of suicide.
By the way, Banned Books week begins on September 25th. For more info, go here. I love that they are using Captain Underpants on some of this year's merchandise.
Yep, we celebrate it every year. I havn't seen this year's posters yet.
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Post by lance » Sep 22nd 2004, 10:21 pm

Nostradamus wrote:I heard that the LotR series was banned once, but it was required reading at my Catholic grade school. I also read a lot of Mark Twain at the time; IIRC his works have been accused of racism. A classmate of mine even did several book reports on Anne Rice's steamy Vampire Chronicles!

:vamp:
I often wished we were required to read LOTR in my public school years, but alas not. We did read Catcher though.

-LanceMan

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Post by Nostradamus » Sep 22nd 2004, 10:39 pm

starbug wrote:I scored an A* (that's a super-duper A which at the time was given to the top 1-2% of entrants) :D
Another one for the cultural translation file; most American schools give a letter grade with a '+' or '-' modifier, based on the percentage score. Being a shameless grade-whore, I always did the extra credit questions and thus sometimes scored over 100%.

:oops: :-P

While I'm thinking of it, what is an 'O-level'? I hear that on a lot of Brit-coms.

:?:
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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