“The Outsiders” is one of my favorite books to teach. This is my 18th year teaching it! As the years progress, I enjoy this classic more and more. It has such valuable life lessons and my students always enjoy reading it. We do a lot of fun role play and simulation activities, as well has delve into some rigorous learning! Here are some ideas I have to help get you started:
First, I like to complete a “Would You Ever…..” activity with my students. Download it free here: Would You Ever….
This is where students are given some pretty intense, seemingly random topics, and they have to discuss them with their peers. As we progress throughout the novel, I’m quick to remind them when I had asked that “seemingly random question”. Please see an entire blog of pre-reading activities here!
Next, I like to begin with vocabulary. I have a few lists created from the book that are all text based lists. The first one I use is attached here: The Outsiders Vocabulary List #1. It is 18 words with enrichment activities, practice activities, and an assessment. I feel the students understand the text better when they’re not worried about decoding.
During Chapter 1, I really like to focus on characterization. There are so many Greasers that the students have to differentiate from one another to fully appreciate the book. Some activities I try are “Create a Greaser” and a “Facebook”. Create a Greaser – students use text to match description and personality in a creative way. Then, I create a Facebook page for Ponyboy where students are allowed to “comment” as another character from the text.
Then, I give them a quiz on Chapter one which is entirely text based. It requires them to match characters with exact quotations from the text and answer a short response using text excerpts as a guide. I usually follow this quiz up with a game called: “What makes you, YOU!!” It helps them to really relate to each character.
After the students finish reading chapter 2, I follow that up with a Reader’s Theater for their re-read. I can’t express how much they love these activities. But, I took actual text and put it into a short “play” that the kids perform in front of the class.
At this point, the kids are ready for their second reading quiz. I give them an open book Chapter 2 reading quiz which requires them to read the text closely and infer their response. Download it FREE here!
I hope this helps you out beginning your instruction of The Outsiders. I will have many more activities to come. Or, visit my store here for many more freebies and lesson plans.