The Outsiders Activities

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

''The Outsiders'' explores gang comradery, violence and punishment, while at the same time allowing us to realize that gang members can feel things, too. These activities allow students to confirm their understanding of the story and its setting.

Gang Violence

The Outsiders explores the continual struggle between two popular gangs. This activity explores current-day gang violence and discourages students from joining gangs.


  • Computer
  • Presentation software
  • Projector (optional)


Divide students into groups of three to four. Assign each group one of the following gangs: MS 13, Barrio 18, Aryan Brotherhood, Mongols MC, Chicago Splinters, Bloods, Crips, Mexican Mafia, and Trinitarios. Ask students to research the following topics about the gangs: history, illegal activities, markings, and convicted crimes. Then, tell students to add pictures of the gangs and their markings to their presentation. After this, allow students to present them to the class. Lastly, ask the following class discussion questions:

  • How do these gangs compare to the gangs in The Outsiders.
  • What steps should schools, churches, the state and federal government and organizations undertake to prevent gang uprisings and violence?

Gang Members Have a Heart

Although everyone in a gang wants to appear hardcore, they do have soft spots. This activity allows students to recall specific events from the story that support this.


  • Red construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Thin blacker marker or dark pencil
  • Glue
  • Crafty items


Prior to this activity, ask students to bring small crafty items from home, but do not give students any information about the activity. During the next class period, give each student a piece of red construction paper and ask them to freehand a large heart. Tell them to cut out the heart and decorate the very outer edges with the crafty items from home. Then, tell students that gang members from the Socs and Greasers have a heart. Ask them to write the character's names and their acts or words of kindness on the cut-out heart. Allow them to share their responses with the class.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Outsiders is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This activity explores the city of Tulsa and allows students to compare modern-day Tulsa with the setting in the book.


  • Blank map of Oklahoma
  • Computer


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