“The Outsiders” Chapters 1 & 2

“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:

greaserThis is me dressed up as a Greaser!  The back of my bowling shirt actually says, “Greaser”!

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!

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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.

fb1 2 fb1greas

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.

readers theater pin

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.


“The Outsiders” – Pre-Reading Activities

I’ve just begun my eighteenth year teaching “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, and it just gets better and better.  Some might think a teacher might get sick of teaching the same book over and over, but I feel it’s just getting more and more enjoyable over time.

This year, I’ve begun to finalize some of my activities for all the pre-reading activities leading up to the book.  I also have a short 1960’s research paper, but that’s for another blog.  If you like my work, check out my MEGA bundle on “The Outsiders” here!

Check out this FREE PowerPoint for some fun, intense, pre-reading discussion questions.  My kids LOVE this activity and it really raises the element of intrigue for the novel.  would would you ever 8

“The Outsiders” Pre-Reading Activities

The above hyperlink  is one week of classroom activities that serve as pre-reading activities for the novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton.  This includes cooperative learning tasks, expository writing based from nonfiction text, and vocabulary.  I use the vocabulary as the introduction (bell work) activity each day.pre read pin2

Day 1 –

Vocabulary Link:  Read through list of 10 words and fill in the blanks.

Introduction to Stereotypes: 

There is a one page lesson procedure and three pages of images to use under a document camera.  There are discussion prompts to discuss general, gender, and teenage stereotypes.  Then, there is a cooperative learning group activity that discusses stereotypes in school.  The purpose of this lesson is to lead to uncovering the stereotypes given to Greasers and Socs.

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Day 2 –

Vocabulary:  Crossword puzzle

“The Life of Reilly”:

This lesson includes a link to a website about an article on ESPN dealing with stereotypes.  The lesson requires students to complete a close read on the article and answer questions dealing with the stereotypes given within the article.  I put the article under the document camera and model highlighting and annotation techniques.  Students then answer the questions with their group.  The lesson includes a Ticket out the Door for individual assessment.


Day 3 –

Vocabulary:  make flashcards of each of the words using index cards

Questionnaire:  This is a FREE lesson!

The students are each given a series of questions that they have to answer individually about issues that will arise in the novel.  Then, they circulate the classroom and tally their classmate’s responses.  The teacher will conduct a discussion about the experience and students will complete a Ticket out the Door for immediate feedback.


Day 4 –

Vocabulary:  Game (laminate pictures for game pages).

 S.E. Hinton:  Expository Writing

This activity requires the students to read a brief article about author S. E. Hinton.  Then, students complete an expository writing task where they are required to use evidence based details from the text to answer questions.  This is one of the first times I introduce using text-based details to enhance student responses (a common task required in CCLS)


Day 5 –

Vocabulary:  assessment

Would you ever…..

This is a cooperative learning activity where students will circulate the room and discuss eight task cards about issues from “The Outsiders”.  Students will move through each of the stations and spend about 2 minutes discussing each of the topics.  (I laminate the task cards and place them around the room so students are able to move about the classroom).  As we read the novel, I always refer back to these discussion prompts so the students see their relevance.

Like my work?  Check out this middle school lesson for Black History Month!