The Outsiders Chapter 1 Questions

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson to guide your students through the first chapter of the novel ''The Outsiders''. Questions are included for before, during and after reading, as well as simple recall and high-level thinking.

Setting the Stage for Reading

The Outsiders may seem like a simple, straight-forward read, but don't underestimate the significance of the novel. Get students ready to read by providing these pre-reading activities:

  • Social groups are central to the novel. Ask students to reflect on social groupings in their world. How does this look? Why did these social groups form? What impact do they have on day-to-day life? Journal and share ideas.
  • Many characters in the novel have nick names. Have students create nick names for themselves and explain. Extend by asking students to create nick names for others.

Questioning During Reading

Use these questions to help students navigate the text.


  • Who is telling the story? What literary device is this called?
  • How does the author refer to the gangs? Why?
  • Describe Ponyboy's living situation.


  • Ponyboy is accused of always reading but not having common sense. What is the difference? Is one more valuable than another?
  • Why are the Greasers especially important to Johnny?
  • Why do you think the Socs torture the Greasers?

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