what they do. When you’re a gang, you stick up for the members.”
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS/GRADE 8
Sentence Stems for Student Generated Questions Excellent readers generate excellent questions as they read. This ensures that they comprehend the text, think critically about it, and are able to participate in an intelligent discussion with others. Use these sentence stems to help you generate questions as you read each chapter. Avoid developing questions that have “yes” or “no” answers. The best questions are ones that may not have a definite answer, but rather begin discussion.
What would happen if…
Do you think…
If I were…
What is your opinion…
What can you infer…
Reading Guide Questions – Chapter 1
What conflicts are introduced in this chapter? Explain who is involved and what the conflicts are about.
Directions: While reading The Outsiders, keep track of the quotes that you think are thought provoking or significant to teens today. Use the space below to record a quotation that you find significant. Be sure to include the page number for the class to refer to. Then, explain why you chose this quote to record. We will use these to decorate our back bulletin board throughout the unit.
Self-Defense or Murder? Oklahoma Case Sparks Debate By CLAYTON SANDELL (@Clayton_Sandell) , SABRINA PARISE and KATIE KINDELAN
May 30, 2011
A story of crime and punishment that is dividing an Oklahoma community has now entered the online world, raising questions about what is self-defense and first-degree murder.
The debate stems from the life sentence an Oklahoma City, Okla., jury handed down to pharmacist Jerome Ersland on May 26 for a first-degree murder conviction in the killing of 16 year-old Antwun Parker.
Ersland's attorneys told jurors throughout the murder trial that their client had acted in self-defense when he shot Parker six times during an attempted robbery at his Oklahoma City pharmacy. Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued Ersland went too far.
"This defendant was absolutely not defending himself or anyone else," Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance told jurors during closing arguments Thursday.
Defense attorney Irven Box asked jurors to close their eyes and imagine what they would do in the same situation.
"He eliminated the armed robber," Box said.
After 3.5 hours of deliberation, the jury — eight women and four men — recommended a life sentence.
Self-Defense, or Murder?
In the days since the verdict, an outpouring of support erupted in Ersland's hometown of Oklahoma City, with calls for Oklahamo Gov. Mary Fallin to commute the local man's sentence.
"I'm gonna spend the rest of my career, however long it may be, trying to right this wrong," one prominent supporter, Oklahoma State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R), told ABC News.
Ersland, 59, had been hailed as a hero for protecting two co-workers during the May 19, 2009, robbery attempt at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City.
Dramatic surveillance video of the attempted burglary shows Parker and an accomplice running into the pharmacy in the crime-ridden neighborhood and pointing a gun directly at Ersland.
The video then shows Ersland, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel, firing a pistol at the two men, hitting Parker with one shot that knocked him to the ground.
After chasing Parker's accomplice out of the store, Ersland retrieved a second gun and returned to shoot Parker five more times, 46 seconds after firing the first shot.
Ersland's lawyer told ABC News that the pharmacist saw Parker moving and thought he was still alive, and still a threat."
Now the debate over his sentencing has taken to Facebook, with pages both for and against Ersland's punishment, and Twitter, where posts and tweets have been just as divided.
One Facebook page supporting Ersland has more than 2,000 followers, while other groups say his punishment is deserved. Facebook pages such as "Free Jerome Ersland" and "Pardon for Jerome Ersland" have also sparked petition sites with goals of sending more than 5,000 signatures to Gov. Fallin.
But any action by the governor on the case will not be soon.
First, Ersland must go before the judge in the case, Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott, on July 11, for sentencing.
The judge could suspend part or all of the life term. If he chooses to uphold the jury's full suggestion, Ersland will not be eligible for parole for another 38 years and three months.
Jurors had the option of finding Ersland guilty of first-degree manslaughter instead of murder, or of acquitting him.
Ersland's attorneys have vowed to appeal the murder conviction of their client, and have also asked that the formal sentencing be rescheduled for as soon as possible.
Directions: Use the space below to record the details from the case that would qualify the act as either murder or self-defense.
Reading Guide Questions – Chapter 5
Describe the conditions in which Johnny and Ponyboy are living.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You’re not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you
Don’t be reckless with other peoples hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind the race is long, and in the end, its only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..
Dance even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen...
And Now…Your Final Writing Assignment for 8th Grade…!!!
Consider all that you have learned about life over the past three years. Record a list of all of the advice that you would like to pass down to incoming 6th grade students. This advice can range from lessons that you have learned as far as schoolwork, relationships with others, or just life in general. Be sure to type your advice. Refer to the best advice I took from last year’s 8th grade class provided on the next two pages for ideas.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the EIMS Class of 2012,
Life goes by so fast, so don’t rush it.
Life isn’t always fair. Get over it.
Less is ALWAYS more. Period.
Embrace yourself in every way possible.
You never learn a lesson if you don’t learn it the hard way.
Trust your gut. If you have a feeling inside, whether it’s good or bad, trust it.
Having good friends that you can trust is better than having a lot of friends that aren’t trustworthy.
Take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt.
Remember, “Things are rough all over.”
Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. You may find that you really enjoy something which could open up a whole new world to you.
Things get tough, but remember, through every dark night there’s always a bright day ahead.
Don’t try to be someone you’re really not.
Your real friends are the ones who like you for who you truly are.
Work hard. Nothing in life will be handed to you.
Be proud of who you are and never change.
Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your mom to see you do.
Enjoy your childhood while you can.
Don’t cry over the little things or the things that are in the future unless they’re set in stone.
Friendship isn’t about who came first and who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who came and never left.
Don’t feed into other people’s drama.
Create your own rules. Innovators, the people who define our generations and improve on what we have, are the few who have made their own rules.
Do everything when you can and do nothing when you can’t.
Work hard and don’t give up because it’s not about being the best, it’s about being the best you can be.
Write down your thoughts. They are important.
Words can hurt. Think about what you say before you say it. One word can change what you think, but the way you say it can change a life.
Popularity is having friends who understand you.
Always take the road less traveled.
Don’t judge if you don’t know.
Listen to your parents more. They want what is best for you.
Every single decision you make, big or small, may greatly influence your future life.
Be kind to everyone you meet. They are fighting a difficult battle.
Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength.
Never go a day without doing something to make someone else smile.
Don’t stress over too many things: worry less, smile more.
Don’t grow up too fast – it’s overrated.
When people hurt you, think of them as sandpaper. They rub you and scratch you painfully, but you end up being polished and smooth and they end up getting worn out.
Always be teachable – you’re never too old to learn new skills.
Have faith in everyone because all people have good in them.
Never wish to be anyone but yourself.
While you can kill two birds with one stone, sometimes it takes longer to line up the shot than to get another one.
When nothing is going right, go left and try something new.
Do not let hate stop you, make it your motivation.
There’s not enough time in your life to live with regrets. Life’s too beautiful to focus on some tiny problem. As time goes on, life shows you amazing sites. Don’t over think things or you’ll miss out on the beautiful picture forming around you.
Nobody will ever be perfect. Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
Reading Guide Questions – Chapter 10
1. What is the difference between the way Johnny dies and the way Dally dies?
1. Situation: Ponyboy goes to the movies alone and must walk home by himself.
2. Situation: Darry hits Ponyboy.
3. Situation: The Socs jump Johnny and Ponyboy in the park.
4. Situation: Ponyboy and Johnny feel responsible for the fire in the church.
5. Situation: Johnny dies.
6. Situation: Ponyboy is failing English class.
Who is S.E. Hinton?
Bom in 1950, Susan Eloise Hinton was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was an avid reader as a child and experimented with writing by the time she turned ten. Her early stories were about cowboys and horses, and she preferred plots with rough riding and gunfights. When Hinton reached her teens, however, she could not find anything pleasing to read. Adult literature was still a bit too complicated for her, while literature for teens consisted of innocent tales about girls finding boyfriends. To please herself, she decided to create a different fictional universe from these annoying "Mary Jane goes to the prom" novels. She wanted to create a realistic story about being a teen. Additionally, like her character, Ponyboy, she wanted to record some events of her high school years. She took inspiration from real events and people to create a story of class warfare between teens. After working on the novel for a year and a half and through four re-writes, she let a friend's mother read it. The mother liked it enough to refer her to an agent, Marilyn Marlow of the Curtis Brown Agency. A contract offering publication arrived during Hinton's high-school graduation ceremonies.
The Outsiders was published in 1967, when the author was just seventeen. Susan Eloise shortened her name to S. E. Hinton so that boys would not know the author was female. Since the narrator was a boy, Hinton’s publishers feared that readers wouldn’t respect a “macho” story that was written by a woman. Hinton says today, “I don’t mind having two identities; in fact, I like keeping the writers part separate in some ways.” Today, more than 40 years after its first publication, The Outsiders ranks as a classic, still widely read and one of the most important books in the field. Finally, someone was writing about the real concerns and emotions of a teenager. The Outsiders brought a new kind of realism into books written for young adults.
The success of The Outsiders enabled Hinton to go to the University of Tulsa, where she earned a B.S. in Education in 1970. While in school she met her future husband, David Inhofe, who encouraged her to write her second novel, That Was Then, This Is Now (1971). Over the next decade, she published a new novel every four years. In 1975, she published Rumble Fish and Tex in 1979. Although she was no longer an adolescent herself, Hinton was still able to bring her sympathy for teens and insight into their lives to her work. She only published one work in the 1980s - 1988's Taming the Star Runner. In the 1990s, she focused more on picture books for younger readers than on novels.
Other than her writing, Hinton is kept busy by family life and her son, Nicholas David. She has also served as a consultant on the film adaptations of her novels and has even appeared in minor roles. She continues to write and lives in Tulsa. Her pivotal role in the development of young adult fiction was recognized in 1988, when the American Library Association awarded her the first Margaret Edwards Young Adult Author Achievement Award for her body of work.
Reading Comprehension Questions
Direction – Answer each of the following questions in COMPLETE SENTENCES.
1. What motivated S.E. Hinton to write The Outsiders?
2. What is Hinton’s real name? Why did she publish The Outsiders under the initials S.E.?
3. Why is The Outsiders considered a classic and important book?