This would be better as a wrap up rather than an intro but...when I worked as a youth services librarian in a public library, I would have the students read the book on their own and then see the movie. We would then compare and contrast the movie with the book. I would have them come up with a series of interview questions for the characters as if they were a news crew reporting on the big events in the plot such as the death of the "Soc" and the burning of the old church, saving the child from burning, etc. You could have them write a newspaper article and use various Web 2.0 tools to publish them. You could do your usual practice of reading the book as a class or as homework and go from that point. The other aspect of the book is the Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. I would post the poem in the library where the students would see it and then invite them to discuss their perspective. You could use an online tool like Blogster.com or Voicethread. They could use http://edu.glogster.com/ to create a "collage" of the poem bringing in videos/ images/ other poems or their own essays (they could do this as a collaborative effort). They could use Voicethread to read the poem and embed it in their http://edu.glogster.com/ project.
I also like to emphasize the fact that the book was written by an eighteen year old girl speaking from the perspective of a sixteen year old boy. This book was also the first book to be officially categorized as a young adult book. You could do a writer's study on S.E. Hinton and include that in the http://edu.glogster.com/ collaborative project. Your media specialist can help your students do research using the school's databases. There should be one dedicated only to biographies.