The Outsiders Partner Debate

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					                                          The Outsiders Partner Debate
       It’s no secret that the Greasers and the Soc’s in S.E. Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders, don’t like
each other. And it’s no secret that their resentment of each other leads to serious problems. But who’s
to blame for these problems?

       1) In a group of two, you will be assigned to be a greaser or a soc. Then, you come up with arguments that support
       the opinions in either “Position A” or “Position B” below. For the purpose of the debate, it is not important
       whether you actually agree with the position you will be asked to defend.

       2) You will then use the book The Outsiders to come up with evidence for your arguments. Each argument should
       be 4-5 sentences in length. Your arguments should be reasonable, using the factual information you’ve been able
       to get from the book. Name calling, personal attacks, yelling, and the like have no place in this debate.

       3) On debate day, you will be paired with a group from the opposite gang.
                  • I will choose 3 questions out of the 6 that you will use for the debate. I will not tell you until debate
                  day which 3 they will be.
                  • One group will read their argument first.
                  • The other group will then read their opposing argument.
                  • Then each pair will take 3-5 minutes to prepare a counterargument and then each pair will share the
                  counterargument, refuting specific points that the opposing group made in their original argument.
                  • You will be expected to listen carefully to your opponents’ arguments. Your responses to what they say
                  are important. If you don’t listen carefully, your responses may not be as good as they could be.

       4) After the debate is complete, each group will evaluate themselves and the opposing group using a reflection

                                                       The Arguments
                             POSTION A                                                    POSITION B
                             The Greasers                                                  The Socials

             Johnny was justified in killing Bob.                        Johnny was not justified in killing Bob

             Johnny and Ponyboy should not have stayed and               Johnny and Ponyboy should have stayed and taken the
              taken the consequences for Bob’s death.                      consequences for Bob’s death

             The Socials were responsible for starting the               The Greasers were responsible for starting the
              rumble.                                                      rumble.

             The Socials were responsible for causing Johnny’s           The Socials were not responsible for causing
              death.                                                       Johnny’s death.

             Dally was not responsible for causing his own               Dally was responsible for causing his own death.

             The primary theme of The Outsiders is "true                 The primary theme of The Outsiders is "nothing
              friends are friends forever."                                good lasts forever."

                                             Adapted from the lesson originally created by Edgar Daniels, Smithtown Middle School
Sample Frame for Argument:

   We think
                             Your argument from page 1

   Because (list reasons from the story that support the above opinion).

Example: We think that Johnny was justified in killing Bob because Bob was practically killing

Ponyboy. Ponyboy said that when he was under water he thought for sure he was dead and even

blacked out. Plus, Johnny remembered Bob and his infamous rings. Bob had brutally attacked Johnny

before so Johnny knew what Bob was capable of. Johnny gave Bob a chance the first time and he

knew Bob could be trusted the second time.

Sample Frame for Counterargument:
   You say that
                             The opposing group’s argument

   However (list some reasons why their opinion is “wrong” or “not as good” as yours and why your
   opinion is better)

      Example: You say that Johnny was not justified in killing Bob because he had been violent in

      the past but you don’t really know Bob, do you? Can you really say you know a person after

      having one encounter with him? Cherry Valance, Bob’s girlfriend, knew Bob better than anyone.

      She admits that Bob has his dangerous side ,but she still loved him. This proves that Bob was

      not an overly dangerous guy every second of his life. These two brief attacks were out of

      character. Sadly, Bob was killed because of a lapse in judgment that was probably nothing

      more than a cry for help.

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