Chapter 4 Outsiders Activity

Comprehension Lesson Planning
For The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Chapter 4
Chapter four is a pivotal chapter in The Outsiders. This
is the point when Johnny kills a Soc in self defense and
must deal with the consequences of his actions. To
introduce this chapter, first have the students write a
paragraph answering the following question:
Have you ever made a mistake that seemed small at the
time, but later had significant consequences? Write about
what happened and how you felt.
Before they start writing, share an example. I will share
the example of when I had just turned sixteen and gotten my
drivers license. Two days after I received my license, I
was backing out of my driveway and I forgot to look. This
little mistake had big consequences. I hit a car on the
other side of the street and actually totaled it! If after
sharing a personal example the students still don’t know
what to write about, simplify the question. The students
could simply write about something they did in the past
that they regret now. They could also share someone else’s
experience (i.e. a family member’s). The students should
write for 5-10 minutes. When they are done ask for
volunteers to share what they wrote.
Ask the students to read chapter four independently, pages
51-67. As they are reading, have them mark (probably with
post-its if they don’t own the book) any indications of how
Johnny feels during this chapter. They should infer his
feelings through his actions, the dialogue, and what
Ponyboy says about him.
To report their findings about Johnny’s experience, the
students will write a journal entry from Johnny’s point of
view. The students should write as though they are Johnny,
writing in his journal before he falls asleep that night in
the church.
Christy Bateman, 2006
The students will also discuss in partners the
similarities/differences between Johnny’s experience and
their own.
Christy Bateman, 2006