The excellent Cost of College blog points to a time-wasting teachers guide here:
The Outsiders, a young adult novel with a 5th grade reading level, has become a standard assignment in many public schools. These lessons feature cooperative learning, hands on projects, and self-reflective writing.
1. Hands-On Project – “Tuff” collage
“Tough and tuff are two different words. Tough is the same as rough; tuff means cool, sharp–like a tuff-looking Mustang or a tuff record.” – Ponyboy
… For this project, make a collage or montage of what is tuff.
Suggested materials include: a large piece of posterboard for the display; magazines, newspapers, and other print media; fabric samples; jewelry; nail polish and lipstick; pictures of tuff people. (Not very gender neutral?) The finished display is shared with the class.
2. Cooperative Learning Activity – Making Rules
Students are assigned to work in small groups to plan how they would manage if their parents left them alone for a month. They assign jobs to each member, plan meals, make house rules, schedule activities, determine emergency procedures, and resolve conflicts. This activity relates to the main characters in The Outsiders who managed to live without their parents.
3. Reading Response Assignment – Personal Journal
Students are asked to creat a reading response journal to record their thoughts, observations, ideas, and questions as they read The Outsiders. They can use a “diary-type” format, with personal reflections to be read by the teacher in a non-judgemental way with no corrections or letter grades. A list of suggested teacher responses is provided, including “Wow! That’s interesting stuff!”
The two other lessons included a social science group project and a quiz.