Outsiders Cover Layered Curriculum

The Outsiders

Layered Curriculum
for 8th Grade

By: Stephanie Ritter
De Soto Middle School

De Soto, WI 

Note: HANDOUTS are available for purchase at http://www.buyteachercreated.com/estore/product/0406.  

Layered Curriculum is, essentially, an opportunity for self-made choice in the process of evaluation.  While reading this novel, YOU get to choose the projects that best help you apply what you’ve read.  Everyone will start on the C layer and work their way to the A layer.  Aim high!  All work done will be quality.  You will be explaining your work through oral defense. 



                  1.  Read the novel.

                        2.  Learn vocabulary.

                              3.  Complete layered projects.

                                    4.  Take quizzes and a test.

C Layer: KNOWLEDGE: Choose the activities you want to do for a total of 50 points.


Vocabulary terms: nonchalantly, unfathomable, premonition, gallantly, hue, eluded, aghast, leery, reformatory, idolized, acquitted, stupor


You must choose one of the following three vocabulary options for your C layer:


____ (15) C1: Create vocabulary flashcards for the novel’s vocabulary words and use them to memorize definitions.


____ (15) C2: Create a vocabulary worksheet for all of the words, with a key.  Both should be typed.


____ (20) C3: Make an illustrated dictionary of all of the vocabulary words. 


You may choose any of the following activities to gain the rest of your C points:


____ (20) C4: Make a mobile of 5-10 objects or symbols from the story.


____ (10) C5: Create a quality, colored illustration of one important scene.  On the back, briefly describe the scene.


____ (15) C6: Design a personal coat of arms for one character in the novel.  Use color!  (HANDOUT C6)


____ (15): C7: Make a Venn diagram that shows the similarities and differences between the Greasers and Socs, with at least 5 items in each section.  Then, devise a “Rules of Conduct” (5 rules) telling exactly what both Greasers and Socs need to do to live peacefully together. 


____ (15): C8: Color and cut out four handout pictures of Greasers and Socs.  (They are about the size of paper dolls).  Then, write a paragraph explaining which group you would fit in with best and explain why.  (HANDOUT C8)


____ (15) C9: Greasers use the term “tuff” in the novel.  Design a large poster/ collage illustrating your idea of what is tuff.  Glue on magazines pictures, fabric samples, cheap jewelry, copies of CD covers, makeup samples, titles of videos, pictures, etc.  (HANDOUT C9)


____ (20) C10: Create a DVD case for “The Outsiders.”  This should be original, and should not look like the actual case.  On the front, include the title, an illustration, a question to draw the viewer’s interest (ex: How far..is too far?), and the back should list the literary elements: setting, characters, plot, and conflict.


____ (15): C11: Read the “About the Author” handout about S.E. Hinton.  Then, write a song about Hinton.  Lyrics should be the length of a typical song.  Perform the song in front of the class for 5 more points.  (HANDOUT C11)


____ (15): C12: Ponyboy and Johnny change their hairstyles.  Have you ever wondered how you would look with a different hair style or color?  For this activity, you will need to provide six small school wallet pictures of yourself (I’d suggest using a scanner to make the copies).  On a handout, you will color six small pictures and paste your school picture behind each frame to discover the new you!  (HANDOUT C12)


____ (15): C13: Create a 10-question quiz and answer key about one of the sets of chapters (1-2; 3-4; 5-7; 8-9; or 10-12).  They must be typed.  Think about important details that students should know and remember after reading the chapter. 


____ (20): C14: Make a set of 3 “baseball cards” about three of the characters.  On the front, draw a picture and write the name.  On the back, list 5 facts about the character.


B Layer: APPLICATION: Choose the activities you want to do for 60 points.


____ (10) B1: Take a survey of attitudes about fighting.  Interview 17 people, of all ages, about their beliefs on acceptable reasons to fight.  They should fill out the chart themselves.  Then, create a large, colorful, neat graph of your results.  (HANDOUT B1)


____ (50) B2: Both the Greasers and the Socs have hangouts.  Using a shoebox and 3D materials, such as clay, cardboard, plastic figures, sticks, rocks, etc., design the perfect hangout for your and your friends.  (HANDOUT B2)


____ (50) B3: Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry live without their parents.  What if your parents decided to leave you alone for a month?  Could you survive?  Working with a partner (who will be your pretend-sibling), assign jobs for yourselves, plan the meals for a week, determine transportation, develop house rules, plan activities, write emergency procedures, and plan ahead for problems.  Put all of these items into a combined survival booklet.  You might want to type it up.  (HANDOUT B3)

____ (40): B4: Record an original soundtrack for the novel.  Choose 10 songs purposefully, that go along with different scenes from the book.  Include at least one song by Elvis Presley (for the Greasers), one by the Beatles (for the Socs), and one by Hank Williams (for Buck Merril).  Create the cover design, a track listing and actually make the CD.  On the back cover, give brief reasons why you chose each of the songs.  (HANDOUT B4)


____ (30): B5: Make a poster that neatly and largely states how to resolve a conflict, following the 7 conflict management techniques included on a handout.  Then, with a partner, act out one of the suggested conflict role-plays, and show the class how to handle it using the 7 techniques.  (HANDOUT B5)


____ (40): B6: Prepare a folder with handouts or notecards (1 sheet on each group/ 4 minimum) of the teenage social groups in De Soto.  Include items such as the following:  What types of different social groups exist? How do groups interact with other groups?  Are there fights? Are there important reasons to be in a social group?  etc. (HANDOUT B6) 


____ (10): B7: With a partner, rehearse a 3-5 minute interpretive dance, depicting the plot of the novel so far.  Perform it in front of the class. 


____ (10): B8: Ponyboy and Cherry realize that all people can enjoy the same sunsets.  Use your hands to make a sunset out of textured art materials, such as colored sand, small beads, spices, colored pasta, fabric scraps, clay, yarn, wrapping paper, glitter, salt, etc.  Then, type up the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost.  Paste the poem onto your sunset page.  (HANDOUT B8)


____ (30): B9: Design a template award certificate and make 3 copies.  (You’ll want to look up sample award certificates).  Then, assign awards for 3 of the characters.  On the back, write one full paragraph (4-5 sentences) for each character about why he or she deserves that award.  You may want to quote from the text.  Example award: “Rebel of the Year” goes to Dally. 


A Layer: EVALUATION: Choose one activity that you want to do for 70 points. 


Process for A Layer:

1.  _____ Choose a topic from the options below.


2.  _____ Research and find 3 good sources.

            This is the information you’ll need for your 3 sources:


3.  _____ Summarize the 3 recent magazine, journal, or Internet articles on your topic, in 3 separate paragraphs.   


4.  _____ Then, write 2 good paragraphs (5-7 sentences make a good paragraph) on your opinion.  Make sure to mention some research in your opinion. 


5.  _____ Check your work.  You will be graded on spelling, punctuation, and grammar, in addition to the quality of your summaries.


A LAYER Questions to Investigate


____ (70): A1: What is a hero?  Who is your hero? 

There are many types of heroes.  Focusing on one famous or unknown hero, come up with your own working definition of the word hero. The topic sentence might be something like, “Rosa Parks is a hero because of her constant persistence, individuality, and courage.”  See the handout to help you start thinking.  (HANDOUT A1)


____ (70): A2: Why do people join gangs?  How do you feel about gangs?

Many young people face the temptation of joining a gang.  Would you enjoy being in a gang?  Can gangs be positive?  Main ideas might include different gangs in America, the process of joining a gang, reasons people choose to belong to gangs, statistics about gangs, the history of gangs, etc. See the handout to help you start thinking.  (HANDOUT A2)


____ (70): A3: How do teenage problems today rate, compared to problems of the past?  Better?  Worse? 

The teenagers in this novel face realistic teenage problems.  Using a handout, brainstorm a list of ten critical problems facing teenagers today.  Narrow the final list down to find your focus.  (HANDOUT A3)  


____ (70): A4: Should high schoolers be allowed to drop out whenever they want?  Why?

Dropouts like Sodapop face many problems in life.  Research high school dropouts.  You might want to talk to Ms. Kilburg, the guidance counselor, about dropouts.  Main ideas might include reasons why students drop out, problems faced by dropouts, warning signs of dropping out, average income earned by dropouts, how parents can prevent this, statistics about dropping out, etc.


Name: __________________________________  #: _________


The Outsiders

Layered Curriculum Scoring Sheet

Remember, it is up to you to keep track of your points earned along the way.  If you’d like, you may keep this form in your classroom folder, just to be safe!  Bring this sheet along to each oral defense conference.  Thank you!

Activity Date Accomplished Score Student’s Initial Teacher’s Initial
C__   /    
C__   /    
C__   /    
B__   /    
B__   /    
B__   /    
A__   /70    

Questions you should be able to answer at each conference:


Your browser may not support display of this image. Layered Curriculum Contract


I, ___________________________, # ________, state that I have done my assignment by reading the entire The Outsiders Layered Curriculum packet.  I understand that I am signing this contract so that I have a plan in mind; however, I realize that I may change my mind and choose different projects at another date.  These are the following choices that I agree to complete as of now:


C Layer Knowledge (50 Points)

Code (Example: C1) Point Value 1-2 Word Description

                              Total Points: ________ (It’s okay if it’s over 50.)


B Layer Application (60 Points)

Code (Example: B1) Point Value 1-2 Word Description

                              Total Points: ________ (It’s okay if it’s over 60.)


A Layer Evaluation (70 Points)

Code (Example: C1) Point Value 1-2 Word Description

                              Total Points: ________


By signing, I agree to follow this plan OR choose alternatives at a later date.



__________________________ (cursive), _________________ (date)


P.S.:  Any questions about the Layered Curriculum packet go here:


Students: Please fill out one slip per project and bring it to your oral defense conference


Name: _____________________________  #: ________


The Outsiders Activity ______

                            (C2, B4, etc.)


Please fill out this slip and attach it to the back of each project.


1.  Tell me about your project


2.  Two strengths





3.  Two weaknesses





4.  What did you learn? *most important*


5.  What grade do you think you deserve?


      _____ / _____ pts.