Researching the 60s
Completing a presentation that showcases the time period of the Outsiders novel will give students a better understanding of the novel and will help students hone their research skills. This is a cooperative learning activity where students work in smaller groups and then come together as a class for the final presentation.
Organizing the Groups
Before beginning the project, tell students that they will be working as a class to learn as much about the 60s as possible. There will be five groups that need to research specific items about the topic. These groups can be hand selected by the teacher or students can sign up to be in a group. The important thing is that each student has a role and a specific task to complete.
The groups will be assessed on the material presented and their ability to work as a group. It is best if the groups are graded using a rubric and each person turns in a small written report for an individual grade.
The groups should be no larger than five students. Three to four students per group are more desirable.
Directions for Cooperative Group Lesson
Step 1 -- Place students in groups: history or newsworthy events of the 60s, popular music and dances, fads and technology, fashions, and popular food and entertainment of the 60s.
Step 2 -- Each group needs to meet and select a leader. Then, the group needs to go to the computer lab and find as much information as they can about the specific topic. Each student needs to write a 1-2 page summary of what he or she found along with a bibliography or works cited page.
Interview Neighbors or Relatives
Step 3 -- For homework, each person needs to ask a grandparent or older neighbor about the 60s. It is wonderful if old yearbooks, newspapers or magazines from the 60s can be brought in to display.
Create Visual Aid
Step 4 -- Each group needs to present its information with a visual aid. The visual aid can be a table display of items from the 60s, actual food, a "style show" of the 60s fashions, students dancing to popular music of the time, etc. The key is to be creative and to try to find actual artifacts.
Step 5 -- Each member must help present information during the presentation. It is key to grade the presentation with a rubric and assess the information as well as the teamwork.
This is a fun, memorable activity for the students. Many grandparents will enjoy sharing their items and a few may even request to come to class to watch the presentation.