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"ReadWriteThink.org is a constant source of inspiration for me, and has been an invaluable tool as I strive to be the most creative and engaging teacher I can be."
Jackie Regales's Story
Making Facebook Friends with Holden Caulfield
When I teach "The Catcher in the Rye" with my ninth grade students, we always discuss how Holden is a product of his cultural context, but also contains many classic traits of what we know today as your typical teenager. We talk about his heavy use of slang, his fears and insecurities about becoming an adult, his struggles with identity and communication. Once we have done some informal writing to help them explore these ideas in their own lives, I often ask them to think about what Holden would be like today. What bands would he listen to on his iPod? What movies would he love, and what books would be in his backpack?
The ReadWriteThink interactive Profile Publisher tool is a really great way to help students make a Facebook page for Holden Caulfield. The tool includes spaces to add a photo, favorite quote and "song now playing," but also prompts students to write a blog entry as the character, responding to specific events in the text and what the character plans to do next. Using the tool for Holden, or any of the minor characters in the novel, helps build close reading skills while also encouraging students to make predictions about what might happen next and think critically about characterization in the novel. This tool could be used also to create an interesting reading quiz at any point in the book, or students could complete the the profiles in groups, each taking a different minor character for certain sections in the book.
Using the Profile Publisher helps my students think both creatively and critically about this classic American coming-of-age story, helping them make connections between their own world and the landscape we see in the book.
I teach in the Upper School of a K-12 all-girls independent school in Baltimore, Maryland, where I also live with my husband, twin daughters, three cats and two hamsters. I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in American Studies, and In my spare time, I enjoy baking, watching cooking shows, reading, and blogging.