The Outsiders Chapter 2 Questions

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

This lesson provides questions for Chapter 2 of S.E. Hinton's novel ~'The Outsiders~' to use before, during, and after reading for students of all levels.

Questioning for Comprehension

Students aren't necessarily born knowing that asking questions is a comprehension technique that can boost their understanding of text, so we need to explicitly model and reinforce the skill of asking questions before, during, and after reading. Our brains naturally wonder about the books we encounter and learning to recognize these wonderings is essential for students to go beyond surface-level reading.

The Outsiders, a novel written by S.E. Hinton and first published in 1967, tackles themes important to young adult readers such as social groups, friendship, and loyalty. By the time students are in the second chapter, they've been introduced to most major characters and should have many questions on their minds. Use these guiding questions for students to support them as they read the chapter and to follow up after reading.

Chapter Two Questions - Before Reading

Students got a good introduction to the characters and themes in the first chapter. Use these questions to prep students before diving into chapter 2.

  • What point of view does the author use? Why do you think she chose this?
  • What do we know about the main character, Ponyboy? Discuss his appearance, personality, and other character traits.
  • Why does Ponyboy love going to the movies and reading?
  • Why does Ponyboy spend a lot of time alone?
  • Compare and contrast Ponyboy, Darry, and Sodapop.
  • Describe Ponyboy's feelings for Sodapop and Darry.
  • How are the Socs and Greasers alike?
  • Describe Ponyboy's encounter with the Socs in the first chapter. What happened?
  • Create a list of characters. Describe character traits. Include all members of the Greasers.
  • What can we understand about Ponyboy's feelings for the gang members from his descriptions of each? Explain.

Chapter Two Questions - During Reading

As students read, it's important for them to be aware of the questions forming in their minds. This self-monitoring technique helps readers keep a checks-and-balance while reading, pausing to figure things out when something doesn't make sense instead of reading on. Use these questions to guide students as they read chapter 2.

  • Why do the boys sneak into the theater?
  • Why did Cherry and Marcia leave their boyfriends?
  • Why is talking to Cherry and Marcia taboo for the boys?
  • What does Dally say to Cherry and Marcia?
  • How do the girls react to Dally's aggression?
  • Why does Ponyboy defend Cheri?
  • What story does Ponyboy share with Cherry?
  • How does Cherry react to hearing the story?
  • What does Ponyboy say changed Johnny?
  • What has Johnny vowed to do if he is ever jumped again?
  • What does Cherry tell Ponyboy about the Socs that gets him thinking?

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