Present and Engage
Power Point is an excellent software program for teachers to relay information to their students. Yet, when paired with videos from http://www.teachertube or http://:www.youtube.com, students find the presentation irresistible.
Before beginning, you must ask yourself what information is touched upon in your novel that students might not have been introduced to in today’s world. In 1967, Elvis was popular and the Beatles were breaking music records in the U.S. and around the world. Both groups are mentioned by The Outsiders characters, and students would have no idea how startlingly different both music choices actually were. Through knowing more about Elvis and the Beatles, students will realize how the Greasers preference in music (Elvis) and the Socs choice (The Beatles) is very symbolic of their characters’ conflicts with one another and society.
A plethora of videos can be found on http://www.youtube.com for both The Beatles and Elvis, but you don’t have to stop there. Videos on fashion, entertainment, and current events of the 60s can be found on http://www.youtube.com. Intersperse you textual information slides with links to the videos, and the students’ attention will be captured and their curiosity peaked.
A background presentation on The Outsiders could include textual information on Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hinton’s setting of the novel. Videos on Elvis, The Beatles, 60s fashion, cars (like the Mustangs and Corvaires) that are discussed by the boys in the novel). Commercials from the sixties could even be included to depict the wholesome persona exemplified on family television shows. This image is a stark contrast to the hard life the characters in The Outsiders live. Students will be able to see why the Greasers are so frustrated with their lot in life, when everything around them is perceived to be happy and full of sunshine.
Teaching background on a novel should be an eye-opening experience for students, and using Power Point and Youtube can make the lesson even more enriching. Strive for creativity and high-interest pieces that relate well to the novel and its theme, and learning about the background of the book will be knowledge students will never forget.