Outsiders Sticky Intro

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					Tara Garrett
                Reintroducing The Outsiders in Context, Focusing on Conflict

         Jackson MS is a Portland Public School in Southwest Portland, right between Tigard and
Lake Oswego, just off of the I-5 and 99E. The school serves about 600 students, and I am
currently teaching two seventh grade Language Arts classes of approximately 30 students each:
each class has at least three students with IEP’s, and at least two ELL students. The school is
primarily middle class, about 75% white, and is an accurate reflection of the West Portland Park
neighborhood that the school is located in.
         The students have been quite busy lately, and because of time constraints, haven’t had
time until recently to finish reading up The Outsiders. The students started the novel in October,
read it through most of November, and then were side-tracked: in December, they wrote a paper
that analyzed their own writing, and compared it to a mentor text, then by my work sample
(which was on Twisted Fairy Tales) which they finished in January, and lastly, by their OAKS
writing assessments, which they did at the beginning of February. They finally have a good solid
week (barring the snow days we expect on Thursday, and perhaps Friday), to finish reading the
novel.
         Instead of leading them back into the novel cold, I wanted to try and relate the novel as
best I could to other topics that they’re currently working on, so that they could immediately
relate what they’re reading to ideas that they are currently engaging in. In their Social Studies
class, they are working on a Leonard Bernstein art unit that is focusing on Conflict, using the
game of chess as a metaphor. Since The Outsiders is about individual characters struggling with
conflict, both on an individual level, and at a group level, this seemed just right: it would give the
kids an excellent focal point on which to examine the remaining chapters of the novel. My
goal/learning objective is for the students to be able to identify different examples of conflict
between characters and groups of characters in the novel, and be able to draw parallels to
examples of conflict that they see in reality.

Essential Question: What is the nature of conflict?

Unit Question: Where can you draw parallels between the conflicts that S.E. Hinton was writing
about in The Outsiders, and the conflicts that we see occurring in reality?

Lesson Questions:
    What do you know about the time that S.E. Hinton was writing in?
    What was happening (politically, socially, and culturally) during the period that the
      protagonists were living in?
    Why didn’t S.E. Hinton include much cultural context in her novel?
    Where have you seen conflict in the presentation, and in the novel: between groups of
      people? Between individuals?
    Where have you seen conflict in the novel:
          o Between groups of people?
          o Between individuals?
    Where are conflicts started in the novel? Use concrete examples.
    What conflicts are being perpetuated in the novel? Use concrete examples.
Connection to state standards:
    EL.07.RE.02: Listen to, read, and understand a wide variety of informational and
      narrative text, including classic and contemporary literature, poetry, magazines,
      newspapers, reference materials, and online information.
    EL.07.RE.03: Make connections to text, within text, and among texts across the subject
      areas.
    EL.07.RE.04: Demonstrate listening comprehension of more complex text through class
      and/or small group interpretive discussions across the subject areas.

Background Knowledge: Students should be reading at a fifth grade reading level, and should
have read the first six chapters of The Outsiders in order to apply the information from the
lessons, but need have little to no prior knowledge of 1960’s current events.
Tuesday, February 16th: Reintroducing “The Outsiders” in Context, Focus on Conflict

Grade: 7th

Learning Objectives for today’s lesson, i.e. students will be able to:
    Identify at least three historical events that will provide context for The Outsiders.
    Identify at least one example from the text of how context has improved their
      understanding of the novel.
    Identify at least two examples from the presentation, and one example from the book, that
      are an example of conflict.

Connection to state standards:
    EL.07.RE.02: Listen to, read, and understand a wide variety of informational and
      narrative text, including classic and contemporary literature, poetry, magazines,
      newspapers, reference materials, and online information.
    EL.07.RE.03: Make connections to text, within text, and among texts across the subject
      areas.
    EL.07.RE.04: Demonstrate listening comprehension of more complex text through class
      and/or small group interpretive discussions across the subject areas.

Student prior knowledge:
Students should be reading at a fifth grade reading level, and should have read the first four
chapters of The Outsiders in order to apply the information from the lesson, but need have little
to no prior knowledge of 1960’s current events.

Materials:
   Prezi presentation: ―America: 1965‖
   Writing journal

Technology:
    Computer with internet connection (for the Prezi)
    Projector attached to computer

Essential Question: What is the nature of conflict?

Unit Question: Where can you draw parallels between the conflicts that S.E. Hinton was writing
about in The Outsiders, and the conflicts that we see occurring in reality?

Lesson Questions:
    What do you know about the time that S.E. Hinton was writing in?
    What was happening (politically, socially, culturally) during the period that the
      protagonists were living in?
    Why didn’t S.E. Hinton include much cultural context in her novel?
    Where have you seen conflict in the presentation, and in the novel: between groups of
      people? Between individuals?
Key Concepts:
    It’s important to read a story in context, so that you can better understand the characters
      and the setting, and the impact that it has on plot.
    In 1965, the year that The Outsiders was written:
          o President Lyndon Johnson was president
          o The Vietnam War was escalating: 150,000 troops were sent overseas
          o Public protest of the war escalated, both in the media, and in the streets
          o The Beatles and Elvis Presley were pop idols
          o Dune and The Biography of Malcolm X were published
    Every single example of 1960’s current events listed above is an example of a conflict.
    There are conflicts between individuals, and between groups of people, in The Outsiders:
      inside of the protagonist’s family, in his school, and in his town.

Class-work: 1 hour
    Free-write topic: What was the world like for the characters and/or the author of The
       Outsiders? 5 minutes
    Prezi Presentation: ―America: 1965‖ –spend the majority of the lesson talking through the
       presentation, drawing out prior knowledge from students, making connections between
       prior knowledge, the presentation, and the novel. Emphasize conflict, specifically through
       the Vietnam War, The Beatles v. Elvis, and the Civil Rights movement. 40 minutes
    Free-write topic: What did you learn from the presentation that makes something from
       the novel more relevant/make more sense? Where did you find conflict, culturally or
       politically, in the 1960’s? Where do you see conflict in The Outsiders? How are the
       conflicts similar/different? 10 minutes

Homework:
   To read up to Chapter Seven of The Outsiders, so that when the students start reading
     again on Wednesday, they’ll be at the same place.
   Students are encouraged to google/youtube the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Sonny & Cher, the
     Ed Sullivan Show, clips of President Kennedy, of Vietnam War protestors, or anything
     else relevant to the period that catches their attention.

Differentiation:
    Linguistically diverse learners:
           o The presentation has a lot of visuals, which will help illustrate the captions and
              the discussion.
           o The majority of the class is being spent in discussion: most ELL students have a
              greater facility with verbal skills before their reading/writing skills, so spending
              the majority of the class in discussion with the teacher and classmates should help
              with comprehension.
    Culturally diverse learners:
           o The majority of the presentation is focused on major events and popular
              figures/literature from 1965; I’ve referenced several culturally relevant events
              (like the publication of ―The Autobiography of Malcolm X‖ and the Civil Rights
              Movement).
          o Students are encouraged to share their histories (relevantly) to provide more
             context for their classmates.
      Cognitively diverse learners:
          o The lesson appeals to a broad range of learning styles and developments: the
             presentation is visually and aurally appealing, the discussion is excellent for
             verbal learners, and the writing will give linguistic learners a good place to learn.
          o The lesson will appeal to cognitively diverse learners because all of the students
             are relatively equal in their lack of prior knowledge.


Assessment and Criteria:
Children will be formatively assessed throughout the class on their participation, on their
contribution(s) to the conversation, and on evidence that they are paying attention and interacting
with the presentation. Summatively, students will be assessed based on their journal entries,
which should answer the posited questions as clearly and thoroughly as possible.

Rationale/Reflection:
    S.E. Hinton doesn’t provide much in the way of context (culturally, politically, current
      event-ly). This bothers me, because it is too difficult to read a novel in a vacuum, and too
      easy for students to impose their own ideas onto a text when they don’t have that
      contextual knowledge. So the Prezi that I created gave the students a (very broad)
      overview of 1965, which is the year that Hinton write The Outsiders. Class discussion
      covered the entire period, from major events that happened under the Kennedy
      administration, to the pop stars, famous books and movies that came, all up to the end of
      the Vietnam War in the 1970’s.
    Although the students were eager to discuss their background knowledge about the
      period, and to connect it to what they were seeing in the presentation, they had a difficult
      time connecting the information directly to the novel—which is fair, seeing as Hinton
      rarely wrote places that make those connections simple, aside from those which I
      included directly in the presentation. I tried to make clear parallels between attitudes and
      social standards that Hinton used in her novel, and the major events of 1965, the national
      attitudes, social standards, etc. that we can see through the different events.
    The students are studying ―Conflict‖ as a theme (and a Bernstein Unit) in their Social
      Studies class, so I wanted to continue emphasizing the theme of conflict in their reading
      of the novel, because The Outsiders is all about conflict, both between individuals, and
      between groups (classes, particularly).
    Because of time constraints, the students haven’t picked up The Outsiders in about four
      weeks, so I really wanted to re-introduce them to the novel with something sticky. They
      had so little prior knowledge of the time period, that I felt like I was teaching more of a
      social studies lesson than I was language arts. I also feel like the students might
      understand a lot better the social pressures that the characters are so clearly living with.
Wednesday, February 17th: Reading The Outsiders with a focus on Conflict

Grade: 7th

Learning Objectives for today’s lesson, i.e. students will be able to:
    Read a substantial portion of the novel.
    Identify at least two examples of conflict in the novel:
         o Between groups of people
         o Between individuals

Connection to state standards:
    EL.07.RE.02: Listen to, read, and understand a wide variety of informational and
      narrative text, including classic and contemporary literature, poetry, magazines,
      newspapers, reference materials, and online information.
    EL.07.RE.03: Make connections to text, within text, and among texts across the subject
      areas.
    EL.07.RE.04: Demonstrate listening comprehension of more complex text through class
      and/or small group interpretive discussions across the subject areas.

Student prior knowledge:
Students should be reading at a fifth grade reading level, and should have finished the first six
chapters of the novel.

Materials:
   Focus Questions handout
   Computer Lab: each student needs a computer
   URL: http://theoutsidersbook.blogspot.com/2005/09/whole-book.html

Technology:
    Computer Lab: each student needs a computer

Essential Question: What is the nature of conflict?

Unit Question: Where can you draw parallels between the conflicts that S.E. Hinton was writing
about in The Outsiders, and the conflicts that we see occurring in reality?

Lesson Questions:
    Where have you seen conflict in the novel:
         o Between groups of people?
         o Between individuals?
    Where are conflicts started in the novel? Use concrete examples.
    What conflicts are being perpetuated in the novel? Use concrete examples.

Key Concepts:
    The Outsiders is a novel that is entirely about conflict:
         o Between family members (example: Ponyboy and Darry)
           o Between individuals (example: Bob and Johnny)
           o Between groups (example: Greasers and Socs)
      The conflict that occurs between individuals can be part of a greater conflict in which
       they are participating (example: Johnny killing Bob is a perpetuation of the conflict
       between Greasers and Socs).

Class-work: 1 hour
    Hand out the focus questions for this lesson and the following two; describe to the class
       the day’s activities: go to the computer lab to read (keeping in mind the focus questions),
       and then pair up to discuss the questions and the reading, emphasizing that they are being
       allowed to self-select their pairs, and to be responsible. 5 minutes
    Read The Outsiders on the computers in class silently. 40 minutes
    Have students pair up through self-selecting (who have you not worked with lately?), and
       discuss the focus questions that are on the handout they were given at the beginning of
       class (and which are also posted large on a whiteboard). 10 minutes
    Go back to a whole-class group to discuss the focus questions, and to evaluate student-
       generated concrete examples from the novel. 5 minutes

Homework:
   Students are encouraged to continue reading The Outsiders during their free time, but are
     not required to do so, knowing that they need to have the novel completed in the next
     week, and that they need to manage their time wisely.

Differentiation:
    Linguistically diverse learners:
           o There is an audio book of The Outsiders available, as well as a tutor in sheltered
              instruction for ELL students.
    Culturally diverse learners:
           o Students are encouraged to share their histories (relevantly) in their pairs to
              demonstrate the connections they are making to the text.
    Cognitively diverse learners:
           o There is an audio book of The Outsiders available for struggling students, and the
              teacher (and often a tutor for sheltered instruction) is available.

Assessment and Criteria:
Children will be formatively assessed throughout the class based on how attentive they are to
their text, and on my evaluation of their paired discussion, which I will either eavesdrop on, or
participate in, depending on whether or not they need some guidance in developing their
answers.

Rationale/Reflection:
    Because the class took so long to read the novel, the class book set had to be returned for
      another class’ use; I found a link for reading the novel online. It will take approximately
      three days for the class to complete the novel, so that’s how many days I’ve reserved the
      computer lab for, with students understanding that they need to read the novel on their
      own time if they feel they won’t be able to complete it inside of class time.
   Although this lesson doesn’t look that sticky on the surface, it’s all about providing cross-
    curricular, integrated context for the students, and context is the cognitive Velcro in our
    minds that holds whole concepts together. It’s relating what they’re seeing in the novel
    not only to their Social Studies lessons, but also to the current events that we’ve been
    discussing in class, in terms of the social unrest in the Middle East, and the decisions
    being made about public education in Wisconsin.
   The students were great about the silent reading, and they came up with some very
    perceptive observations during the course of the paired, and then the class discussions,
    especially in noticing how individuals are caught up in a greater conflict. They tended to
    focus, on the whole, on individuals, like Ponyboy and Johnny’s particular dilemmas, and
    it took some guidance in the discussion to get them to discuss conflicts between large
    groups of people (i.e. that the Socs and the Greasers essentially representing a class
    conflict), as well as small groups of people (i.e. the individuals who make up the cliques
    that end up fighting, like Tim Sheppard’s gang, and all of Bob’s high school buddies).
    The students did get a bit loud and off task during the paired sharing, so I need to address
    that in the following lesson. Next lesson, I will take a few minutes to model what a
    productive discussion would look like with another student, and make it clear that anyone
    can see the difference between a genuine interaction, and social time, between a pair of
    students, even from across the classroom.

				
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