Downtown Hamburg went back in time on Monday, June 2, as Hamburg Area Middle School eighth grades stepped out in their best Greasers and Socials fashion as they made their way to the Strand Theater to view the film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s classic “The Outsiders.”
This is the third year that the eighth grade students have participated in what has now become known as “Outsiders Day.” Each student gets to pick which group they want to associate with and dress as for the day. So far, the Greasers tend to be larger in numbers.
“Good readers question, visualize, connect, infer and conclude. S.E. Hinton does such a tremendous job creating conflict and characters students can connect with,” explained Lisa Scicchitano, eighth grader language arts teacher, on why Hamburg does this activity with the novel. “The idea for ‘Outsiders Day’ was simply conceived by delving into the lives of the characters further.”
After viewing the film, the students make their way back to the school where they participate in a dodge ball game which is a mock rumble that happens toward the end of the novel between the two social classes.
“Students who dress up as Socials receive special treatment and are given ‘breaks’ by the teachers. Students who dress up as Greasers understand what it felt like to be last simply because of appearances,” said Scicchitano.
With a novel that is read in middle schools all across the country, it is important for the students to be able to connect with the themes throughout the story and to be able to learn from the text. Hamburg teachers found a way to teach the novel and add a day in the life type of experience that allows the students to feel the way that the characters do to some extent.
“Since its inception, Kate Macsisak and I enjoy bringing the novel to life and the student enjoy participating,” said Scicchitano. “Many of the novel’s themes are brought to life and it is a meaningful day for students and staff.”