War and Honor: Use of the Outsiders to Study Aggression, Cause and Effect, and Peace

Cheryl Hanly, Language Arts, McClintock Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


This unit is meant to bring to the attention of middle school students the notions of aggression, war, enemies, honor, and peace education in a comprehensive unit. We will study the previously mentioned terms, what causes their presence in our society, what causes conflict, and what the effects of those conflicts are, both immediate and long term. The novel The Outsiders is used to supplement these lessons and provide an in-depth analysis of how aggression and hatred of “the other” lead to destruction. The second part of this unit focuses on how to change these outcomes by implementing messages of peace and conflict resolution when instances of aggression occur.  All lessons and activities are aligned with the Common Core Standards for 6th grade ELA in North Carolina and contain practice of a wide array of skills for reading literature, informational texts, and for writing. This unit will be taught over the course of 35 school days and include a class journal, formative assessment based on the reading, a vocabulary unit for words used in context, and a final project presenting on a topic related to the unit.