The Outsiders Novel Study Unit and Activities - PRINT and DIGITAL

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Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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83 pages
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Identity, individuality, prejudice . . . there is a lot to unpack in The Outsiders, but this four-week novel study unit and activities will help you do it! Your students will investigate these topics as they follow Ponyboy’s journey through the contentious world of greasers and Socs.

They will engage in multiple lessons while considering how these ideas relate not just to S.E. Hinton’s novel, but also to our current society. Students will go on a 1960s web scavenger hunt, explore expectations and stereotypes, write a found poem, create a short story, contribute to a Socratic Seminar, write a Response to Literature essay, and create character trading cards.

Afterward, wrap up your unit with a fun “Night at the Drive-in” experience! Quizzes and a final reading assessment are also included, to help you gauge students’ understanding throughout the novel. 


  • Scope and Sequence Chart
    • Use this chart to help plan your activities and time your lessons. Includes an editable version.
  • 3 Reading Quizzes and Unit Test 
    • These short-answer quizzes assess students’ understanding of The Outsiders’ plot, character, conflicts, and topics. They cover chapters 1-3, 4-8, and 9-12. Includes editable versions.
    • This test will assess students’ overall understanding of the story. It contains 25 questions and a paragraph response. Includes an editable version
  • 1960s Web Scavenger Hunt Activity
    • This guided internet search will help students build the background they need to understand the story’s setting. It includes a handout for students to record their responses and a sample answer key for the teacher. Includes an editable version.
  • Expectations Activity
    • In this activity, students will explore the concept of prejudice as they view images of a greaser and a Soc and determine what various groups of people would expect of these teens. Includes an editable version.
  • Evidence Tracker
    • Students will record evidence, quotes, and justification for their choices, all of which will help inform their Response to Literature essay toward the end of the unit. Includes an editable version.
  • Plot Structure Review Materials 
    • These materials will help students understand basic plot structure as well as the plot of the story. They include a handout to explain plot, an Exposing the Exposition handout, a blank plot story arc to fill out as students read, and a teacher answer key. Includes editable versions.
  • Ponyboy Found Poem Activity
    • Dig further into the topic of identity with this found poem activity. This resource is designed as a booklet, which includes student directions, an example of a found poem, a brainstorming page, and a reflection page. Includes an editable version.
  • Defying Expectations Activity
    • A foldable activity sheet to help students explore the topic of individuality. Includes an editable version.
  • An Individual’s Story Project
    • Students will write their own fictional narratives about a character who conforms to or defies expectations. A blank story arc is included for story planning, as well as a dialogue mini-lesson, a peer review checklist, and an easy-to-use rubric for grading.  Includes editable versions.
  • Socratic Seminar Instructions and Materials
    • Host an effective Socratic Seminar with these resources, which include Instructions for Use, 26 discussion questions, an observation checklist, and rubric for grading. Includes editable versions.
  • Response to Literature Essay
    • This resource includes Instructions for Use, a step-by-step student graphic organizer for planning, a sample essay, a peer review checklist, and a rubric for grading. Includes editable versions. 
  • Six-Word Memoir Trading Cards
    • These cut-out trading cards will challenge students to get to the heart of characters’ perspectives using only six words. Includes editable versions. 
  • Night at the Drive-In Activity and Decor 
    • This add-on to the end of the unit will help you transform your classroom into a 1960s drive-in. This resource includes drive-in decor and 6 movie cards, which will help you create stations that students rotate through as they analyze how both greasers and Socs would react to the six movies’ messages. Includes editable versions.  


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Total Pages
83 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.


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