This handout includes the poem, as well as Common Core aligned questions for close reading and analysis. Students must really dig into the poem, in order to uncover its deeper meaning. This activity requires students to analyze the text, and try to uncover Hinton's intention behind including the poem in The Outsiders.
Once students understand the poem's true meaning, they are able to understand/appreciate its use within the novel. Many students, after experiencing this activity, gain a new appreciation for poetry, and tell me that it's their favorite poem :)
The activity includes a guide for integrating quotes from a poem into a literary analysis response.