Grade: Middle
Subject: Literature

#4712. Language Use in The Outsiders

Literature, level: Middle
Posted 04/24/2013 by Kelly Kraft (Kelly Kraft).
DeeMack Junior High School, Mackinaw, IL USA
Materials Required: Novel, SmartBoard, PowerPoint Slides
Activity Time: 90 min.
Concepts Taught: Language Usage, Word Choice, Jargon

Grade Level: 8 Subject: Language Arts Prepared by: Kelly Kraft

Overview and Purpose Education Standards
- Recognition of language use in The Outsiders, specifically in chapters 1 & 2
- Understand purpose and function of the language use
- Decide on certain language to define characters in our own writing CC.8.R.I.4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative,
connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies
or allusions to other texts.
CC.8.W.1.b Text Types and Purposes: Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate,
credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
This lesson can be completed over 2 days or in one 90 minute class period.
Materials Needed: Copy of the novel, pencil, notebooks, presentation slides (Google Drive) 2 excerpts from novel, Smart Board for projection, teacher copy of text with examples highlighted

Objectives: -Understand the definition of jargon
- examine the importance of word choice by authors
- identify use of jargon by S.E. Hinton in the novel
- identify jargon used today in our own lives
- apply this jargon to our own writing with similar functions in mind
Process: Anticipatory set:
- In a journal entry, students will recall the meaning of the word jargon from a prior lesson. This word is the 'academic word of the week' and we are constantly apply its meaning. Journal entry to be posted: " Recall the meaning of jargon and think about where jargon might be in the novel." This journal writing will take place in the first 5-10 minutes of class. A short discussion of student's ideas can follow.
Process Day 1 or 1st 45 minutes:
- Explain that in partners (predetermined) students will examine more closely where jargon exists in the novel. Show students the Google drive slides and ask them the Intro Question. (How do the characters feel about the way they talk and about their looks?) Students should discuss with their partners and then share out with the class. Continue to read further directions on the slide.
- Each student is responsible for finding several examples of jargon that these characters use.
- While students are scanning the first 2 chapters of the book, facilitate the groups and give guidance if necessary.
- Confirm student examples or if some students are struggling, provide direct examples of this jargon/language use that is unique to the Greasers.
- This will also provide an opportunity to define unknown words -- students should use background knowledge established in pre-reading activities pertaining to the 1960s, as well as context clues.
- After 15-20 minutes of finding examples, share out some with the whole group for 2-3 minutes.
- Show students the second Google drive slide that contains the culminating question. Explain that they will use their evidence and their own understanding of the novel to explain "what affect does this language use have on the reader, and what affect does it have on the other characters?"
- This question can be discussed within partner groups before students write their response. Students should use examples to support their ideas. This can be completed towards the end of class and completed as homework.
Process Day 2 or 2nd 45 minutes:
Anticipatory set: Journal entry to be posted for students: "Recall some of the examples of 'greaser jargon' found in the text yesterday." Students should write for the first 5 minutes of class and a short discussion can follow.
Next, show students an excerpt from the text and read it aloud. Ask students to identify unique jargon used. Next show students the same excerpt that has jargon removed and replaced with generic terms. Ask students what the absence of the unique language does for the reader.
- Now, students can share what they wrote for their homework response. What does this unique language do for the reader and the other characters? Some students may need to add to or make changes to their responses.
- Finally, ask students to apply a similar tactic that the author has as far as language choice. Students should write a scene from their own lives involving friends that uses current language/jargon that is unique to their culture and helps to define their friends.
- To get students motivated and on the right track, write an example live on the board. "My friend and I usually display mad skills on the basketball court." -- the example of the jargon would be 'mad skills'.
- Student writings should be at least 8-10 sentences in paragraph form.
- After about 15-20 minutes of writing, ask students to share their piece with their partner from yesterday. Partners should identify the jargon in their partners piece.
- Finally, show students a culminating question to respond to before they exit class. This response can be in their journal.
"What unique language did your partner use in their piece? How did this contribute to your impression of the characters or friends in the piece?"
-If time remains, students can share out after 5-10 minutes of writing.
- Collect writing pieces for verification, along with homework question responses from yesterday.

Verification: - Students should have explained in their homework responses how the characters are defined by this language use by Hinton. Also, other characters in the novel feel differently about the greasers because of the way they talk, act and look in the novel.
- In student's own scenes they should have used unique contemporary jargon to help define their own characters/friends.

Excerpt 1
"We're poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I reckon we're wilder too. Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and a asset to society the next. Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while."
Excerpt 2
"We're poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I think we are wilder too. Not like the Socs, who beat up greasers and destroy houses and throw beer parties for fun, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old refurbished cars and rob gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while."

GOOGLE DRIVE SLIDE 1 (this is text only for submission purposes)
Intro Question
How do these characters feel about their looks and the way they talk?
An example of this is on pg.12 when Ponyboy talks about tuff and tough.

Each person in your group is responsible for finding their own example of language use unique to the Greasers. Record the phrase, the page number and the meaning of the phrase.
You may be writing an idiom - a phrase with an alternate figurative meaning

Collect your group member's examples along with your own example.

What effect does this use of language have on the reader?
What effect does this have on other characters?
8-10 sentence paragraph

Culminating Question Day 2
"What unique language did your partner use in their piece? How did this contribute to your impression of the characters or friends in the piece?"