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Teachers, get the most out of your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for the award-winning and beloved young adult novel by S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders. This lesson plan will help you explore with your class Hinton's rich characters as Ponyboy, Johnny, Darrel, and Dallas come of age, determining what it means to be loyal to a group while being true to one's self. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- In The Outsiders, why didn't the Socs and Greasers fight during their first encounter after the movie? The Socs were interested in getting their girlfriends back. The boys knew the girls did not like fights, so they didn't fight. Also, it helped that the girls went along with them willingly. Had the girls protested, the Soc boys may have fought.
- When Dally finally arrives at the church, what news does he bring? He tells the boys that the police are looking for them towards Texas. He brings a note from Soda to Pony. He also tells them that the Socs and Greasers are supposed to have a rumble the next night and that Cherry is a spy for the Greasers.
- Describe Johnny's relationship with his parents. They ignored him or beat him up all of the time. He wanted them to take a personal interest in him and would have liked to please them, but they don't respond. They don't even ask for Johnny when he disappears after killing Bob.
- What happened when Johnny, Pony and Dally returned to the church? The church had caught on fire. Johnny and Pony went in to get some children out of the burning building. Pony got out with minor injuries. Dally went in to get Johnny, who had severe burns and a broken back. Dally came out with Johnny, an injured arm and burns.
- How do we know Dally felt at least partially responsible for Johnny's fate? He said, "I was crazy, you know that, kid? Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay outa trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard. If he'd been like me he'd never have run into that church." Also, remember that Dally sent the boys to the church in the first place.
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