The Outsiders Reading and Book Discussion: Flexible Schedule

Star Educator
Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(895)
In this fast-paced four week course, students will read award-winning novel by S. E. Hinton and discuss how a family of boys overcome the bullying and violence that threatens to tear them apart. #academic

Class Experience

US Grade 4 - 7
Week One Chapters 1-3: Students will be introduced to the main cast of characters. We will discuss the differences between the Greasers and the Socs and compare the hatred of those groups to groups in our current era. We will discuss Cherry's relationship to the other Greasers and why she is so important to this story. Students will also discuss Ponyboy's friendship with Johnny and the importance this relationship might have on the overall story. 

Week Two Chapters 4-6: Students will discuss Johnny and Ponyboy's actions. Who was ultimately responsible? Were Johnny and Ponyboy right to run or was there another option they didn't consider? Students will talk about Ponyboy and Johnny's time at the church. What is the significance of the Robert Frost poem? How has the story's mood and tone changed? Are Ponyboy and Johnny unlikely heroes? What motivates them to run into a burning building? How were their actions motivated by their previous choices at the water fountain?

Week Three Chapters 7-9: Students will have a chance to discuss Ponyboy's home life. Is Darry a poor parental figure? Should Ponyboy be put in a group home? Or is any family unit better than none, even with all of its dysfunctions? Students can talk about the complexities of relationships. Was Johnny right to avoid seeing his mother? Was Cherry right to avoid Johnny because he killed Bob? How much responsibility should be placed on alcohol and the people that sell it to minors? Students will also talk about the violence of the rumble. Were they surprised by what happened to Johnny? Or did they feel Hinton's writing hinted at Johnny's final outcome? 

Week Four Chapters 10-12: Were students surprised by Darry's reaction to Johnny's outcome? Why did Darry react with violence? Could the Greasers have done something to change Darry's final outcome? What thoughts do students have now that they've read the whole story? Do they find it ironic that the Greasers "won" the rumble but lost almost everything else? What have the Greasers learned through this experience? The have the Socs  learned? What does Ponyboy learn from talking to Randy? What do we, the reader, learn about Ponyboy? 
I have a Master's Degree in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults. I was a substitute teacher for three years and tutored and wrote curriculum for two more years. During that time, I read, discussed, and talked about The Outsiders multiple times! The first time I read this remarkable book, I was in seventh grade and it opened my mind to a world of different possibilities. Years later, my son read The Outsiders for the first time. I was impressed with the conversation we were able to have about current social issues. I hope to pass on enthusiasm for this book to my students and continue to foster that conversation. My goal is that they will come away with a respect for this story, the author, and her amazing characters.
Students will read three chapters a week on their own time. Each Sunday, students will have access to the new video and a corresponding one page worksheet with discussion questions and places for fill-in-the blank answers. Each week, I assign a short writing assignment focused around that week's discussion questions and ask the students to share their responses in the classroom. There are also daily activities each day like vocabulary words, an I Spy game, word searches and crossword puzzles to test their comprehension from the weekly chapters. 
Students will need a copy of The Outsiders to read on their own. It can be borrowed from the library or even listened to as an audio book. The students will not need a physical copy of the story in class, although they may find it helpful to have while filling out their worksheets or working on their writing assignment.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
The more questions, comments, and posts that students share in the classroom, the more I can understand their knowledge and comprehension of the topics we are discussing. I respond to all completed worksheets and writing assignments to help foster discussion and clear up any remaining areas of uncertainty. I post comments on students' vocabulary sentences and offer corrections if the word is used incorrectly.  Students can challenge me to find their own I Spy challenge. This is another great way to foster discussion as each person's individual choices show a lot about what they found important or liked in the story so far. Quizzes and puzzles are a fun way to wrap up the week and also leads to discussion about the difficult or unexpected questions and answers. Once, a crossword puzzle led a student and his mother to bake chocolate chip cookies and share the picture with the class! 
No live meetings, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
There is a large amount of violence in this story. Knives and guns are prevalent weapons in this story. Two characters kill another in self-defense when they are attacked. One main character dies after a house fire. Another is shot dead by the police after refusing to put down his weapon. While the story is fairly simple to read, the content may be better geared for an emotionally mature student.  I post comments on students' sentences and offer corrections if the word is used incorrectly.  

Available times

Table of available sections

Meet the teacher

Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(895)
I currently teach English Composition at the collegiate level. I have a Master's degree in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults, so I teach reading and writing classes. I worked as a substitute teacher for 3 years, in all age ranges and... 
Flex Class


weekly or $39 for 4 weeks
4 weeks

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(2)
Completed by 8 learners
No live video meetings
Ages 9-14
1-9 learners per class

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