The life of Ponyboy Curtis, one of the the main characters in the novel, is surrounded by gang violence, friendship and brotherhood. There are several gangs in Ponyboy's town, however, none concern him more than his gang, the Greasers, and the Socs. The Socs are a group of clean looking, rich kids from the West side of town who never get in trouble. Ponyboy needs to know who his real friends are, as they are the ones who will be watching his back in times of trouble. It takes some time and a lot of growing and maturing before Ponyboy eventually learns that the Greasers and the Socs are more like one another than either gang is willing to admit. He finally realizes that both gangs feel pain and must learn to cope with it.
Scenario: There has been a murder. A young boy is found dead in a local park. He is a victim of a stab wound. No further information is known. Your job is to investigate this mystery. You may choose one of the following activities as your individual assignment. You may choose to be a detective, a newspaper reporter, or a social worker. Further instructions can be found on the following pages:
Your job as the detective is to fill in the blanks that the book doesn't cover. Draw a diagram of the crime scene (include a chalked outline of where the body was found). Describe the scene in detail, analyze the fingerprints, and describe the murder weapon, as well as where it was found. You may add information that was not found in the book, such as some of the incidents that may have happened between the Greasers and the Socs before the incidents in the book took place. You must come to a conclusion as to who committed the crime, how , when, why etc... You will write a report based on what you found and what your final conclusions are.
Your job as the reporter is to interview, the Greasers, the Socs, and other members of the community to get information about the murder. You should interview all of your witnesses and suspects to find out what they know. You need not write out a formal interview, but should be thinking about a series of questions that you will ask of each of your people that you are interviewing and how they might respond to them. You should include in your list:
A. Two Greasers
B. Two Socs
D. S.E. Hinton (As if she saw something that night)
E. Anybody else of interest to you (You may make up Characters/community members if you wish)
Write your article using columns and be sure to answer the 5 w's (who, what, when, where, why). Make sure your information is accurate and you have an appropriate title for your article.
As a social worker your job will be to write a report based on what you found out while speaking to Johnny. You are encouraged to create a timeline outlining the events that Johnny told you in your meetings together. You may add information that was not found in the book, such as some of the incidents that may have happened between the Greasers and the Socs before the incidents in the book took place. Upon completion of your timeline, you will write a report stating the most important information that you found, as well as what you recommend as treatment for Johnny.