The Outsiders Lesson 2: Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10824

As a teen today, you may think teen life in the 1960s was so much easier: no online bullying, more privacy, less worries, better music -- but is this just an uninformed stereotype? Enter their world!


Literary Studies

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch this brief video clip from Ditto Greetings: Final Essay: The Breakfast Club:

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Think about how you judge others and how others judge you.

Are stereotypes always fair?

Do you think stereotypes are a recent development or do you think they have been something that has plagued teens for generations?

Take a few minutes to discuss the types of kids mentioned in the video.

Can you relate to any of those groups? When you hear the names of those groups, do any people come to mind? If so why?

Take a look at this short Mean Girls cafeteria tribes clip from the movie Mean Girls:

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In the movie, they give the new student the map as a means to help her fit in and understand the dynamics of the school.

In your opinion, are they really helping? Are the kids who are giving the advice any better than any of the groups they are labeling? Explain your thoughts and feelings with your teacher or parent.

Now, think about labeling and stereotyping. Do you think this is a new (or newer) concept? Do you think it was easier for kids to fit in to a crowd or group, say, back in the 1960s? Why or why not? Spend some time discussing your answer with your parent or teacher.

Before we delve into chapter one, it's time to delve into 1965, the year in which the novel was written and is set. In order for you to fully understand this — the largest generation in terms of population — you need to know a little bit about the social climate of the time.

Following WWII, young soldiers were eager to return home and begin normal lives, which meant getting married and starting families. And this is exactly what they did. The generation that followed were named "Baby Boomers" due to the quick increase in births between 1945 and 1955. This is the generation that formed the new America. Let's find out why.

Maybe you know someone from this generation, like an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or neighbor. Invite them to watch through the following video with you and see what they remember from the 1960s. Or, ask a parent or teacher to share his or her thoughts as you view this "blast from the past" together.


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