Students immediately love The Outsiders, and it is the favorite text among my 8th graders. They can appreciate and relate to the themes, and value an outlet to discuss important issues in their lives, communities and world.
Studying the themes in conjunction with music further encourages students to explore another thematic layer. Looking at music from the 1960s allows for collaborative studies with Social Studies in that students learn to appreciate the historical context of the novel. However, by incorporating music from present day, students continue to explore ongoing themes that impact teens all over the world, and learn to read and analyze yet another ‘text’—music.
The four musical selections allow for discussions of not only the themes, but literary and poetic devices as well. Students practice using text based details, recognizing literary devices and supporting claims. Each song usually takes between 15-30 minutes. Thus, with supplements, this bundle could cover potentially up to a week of lessons.