This comprehensive unit for S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" is designed to teach the novel in four reading chunks: chapters 1-3, 4-7, 8-10, and 11-12. The essential question throughout the unit is "What does it take to persevere?"
The unit begins with an anticipation guide and case studies to get students thinking about the themes in the novel. Bellwork questions, PowerPoint slides with visuals of pop-culture references, vocabulary tasks, constructed response writing prompts, and a character review activity are also included. The vocabulary lessons use the strategy of concept definition maps and personal connection sentences.
Formative assessment tasks for each reading chunk require students to tap into their reading comprehension skills of inferences, connections, sequencing, problem/solution, visualization, prediction, symbolism, and author's purpose. The literature circle tasks can be done in a variety of methods. Students can work independently and then share in small groups, or they can collaborate on certain tasks with partners.
For summative assessment, there is a final multiple-choice exam with Common Core style questions. To mimic PARCC, teachers can require students to locate textual evidence in the novel for each question. The "True or Baloney" test review game helps students prepare for the type of critical thinking questions in a fun, interactive method. There are also two vocabulary quizzes for teachers opting to do the vocabulary lessons.