socratic_graphic.jpg




Major Activities:



Day 1
Create Class Norms for Socratic Seminar
Day 2
Choose Topic for Socratic Seminar

Brainstorm Topics/Thoughts for Socratic Seminar

Round 1 of Socratic Seminar
Day 3
Round 2 of Socratic Seminar




Type of Lesson: Introductory

Context for Learning: The classroom desks will be rearranged to form two large circles; one circle will be completely surrounded by the second, larger circle. The teacher will be seated (or walking) outside of the outer circle to moderate the flow of discussion. The Promethean board will be utilized during discussions to keep track of time and provide examples of Socratic seminars.


Curriculum Standards Addressed:
This lesson plan was designed according to the 9th-grade curriculum in Montgomery County, Maryland (MCPS) and helps students to achieve the following standards.

Maryland State Curriculum, Core Learning Goals, English
external image MSDE.jpg
Goal 3 - Controlling Language:The student will demonstrate the ability to control language by applying the conventions of Standard English in writing and speaking.
  • Indicator 3.1.1: The student will demonstrate the advantages and limitations of speech and writing when communicating in various situations for specific audiences and purposes.

Maryland State Curriculum, Core Learning Goals, English: Speaking and Listening Standards:

Prepare and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • SL Indicator 1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • SL1.a: Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
    • SL1.c: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
    • SL1.d: Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Objectives:
  1. SWBAT demonstrate comfort and independence in collaborative groups such as literature circles, fishbowl discussions, and Socratic seminar.
  2. SWBAT demonstrate ability to pose open-ended questions and respond to shared inquiry.
  3. SWBAT elicit participation and opinions, and appropriately challenge ideas.
  4. SWBAT connect with different points of view, remain open-minded, and reassess viewpoints.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) English 9.1external image montgomery-b-300x270.jpg

Standard 5: The student will communicate orally in a variety of situations, for different audiences and purposes, and in different formats.
Standard 6: The student will listen effectively in a variety of situations and for a variety of purposes.

Objectives:
  1. SWBAT participate in and contribute to large- and small-group collaboration for a variety of assigned and self-selected purposes.
  2. SWBAT apply skills and strategies to gather and interpret verbal messages.
  3. SWBAT demonstrate understanding of information and ideas communicated orally.


Materials:
  1. Class notes/worksheets from Multiple Intelligences (MI) lesson and Asimov reading
  2. Student Journals
  3. Promethean board
  4. Homework worksheet

Proactive Behavior Management: The two Socratic seminar groups will be selected based upon personalities and academic inclination, in this way disruptions will be kept at a minimum and productive debate will be encouraged. Students who find themselves engaged in off-topic sidebar conversations will be separated and rearranged to promote on-task participation. The student with ADHD will be cued for attention as necessary.

Provisions for Student Grouping: Students will be arranged in two circles. The inner circle will host the students who are actively speaking in the Socratic discussion. Within this inner circle, there will be two “hot seats” which will remain empty and are provided for students from the outer circle to utilize in order to quickly contribute a thought to the discussion; these students will then return to their outer circle seating. The outer circle will host students who are observers and note takers for that seminar. Consideration will be given to the student with a physical handicap in order that he/she can move freely around the room in a least restrictive environment.



Day 1: Setting the Stage


This lesson is adapted from an online lesson plan: http://www.cccoe.net/tdf/Duffy/ss/.

Warm-Up/Opening (5 minutes):
Bust of Socrates in The Louvre (Image from Wikipedia Commons)
Bust of Socrates in The Louvre (Image from Wikipedia Commons)
On the Promethean board, the warm-up question will be posted: Who was Socrates, and what is a Socratic seminar? Students will need to quietly write this question in their journal and answer it while attendance is taken and matters of concern (missing assignments, schedule updates, general information) are addressed.


Motivator/Bridge (10 minutes): We will discuss the warm-up question and share ideas and information regarding who Socrates was and what exactly is a Socratic seminar. Students will share background knowledge about Socrates and what they know of his methods of debate. This will activate prior knowledge and build anticipation for the upcoming activity. Students will view a short video which models a Socratic seminar hosted inside a classroom: http://www.cccoe.net/tdf/Duffy/ss/socratic.mov in order to gain perspective on the structure and format of the discussion. As a class, we will discuss the objectives and anticipated outcomes for the lesson as listed on the whiteboard.

Procedural Activities (30 minutes):
The teacher and students will jointly create a set of class norms which will be displayed on the white board and implemented during the course of the two Socratic seminar days. (5 minutes)

Once the norms are agreed upon and accepted, students will work individually to generate thoughts, comments, and questions about the topic of ‘intelligence’ and write these down on paper. They will form into pairs and discuss their ideas, with an emphasis on listening to each others' perspective. (15 minutes)

Students will then present their partner’s thoughts to the class as accurately and completely as possible. These thoughts and ideas will be used to complete the homework in preparation for the next day’s Socratic seminar. (10 minutes)

Summary/Closure (5 minutes): Students will be assigned their inner/outer circle status for the first Socratic seminar the following day (14 students for each circle). All students will be responsible for reflecting upon the ideas they formulated during class, in tandem with the materials from the lesson on Multiple Intelligences, and to prepare their viewpoint to share in the discussion. The objectives for the day will be briefly reviewed.

Homework: Reflection and preparation of materials for participation in the Socratic seminar. Students will review notes and materials completed in class to formulate ideas which they will organize on the “Socratic Seminar Worksheet” provided. This worksheet will be used as a resource during participation in the Socratic seminar.

Formative Assessment: Teacher will listen to student’s ideas and ask questions to clarify and advance thought processes and reflections.
Formative Assessment: The Socratic Seminar Worksheet will be checked for completion and returned to the student.

Reflection:










Days 2 and 3: Socratic Seminars

Warm-Up/Opening (5 minutes): On the Promethean board, the warm-up question will be posted: From your homework sheet, what are three topics you feel are important to discuss during our Socratic seminar? Students will need to quietly write this question in their journal and answer it while attendance is taken and matters of concern (missing assignments, schedule updates, general information) are addressed.

Motivator/Bridge (10 minutes): We will discuss the warm-up question and share what topics are of the most interest to students for our Socratic discussion. We will then vote to choose a launching point question to kick off our discussion. As a class, we will discuss the objectives and anticipated outcomes for the lesson listed on the whiteboard.

Procedural Activities (30 minutes):
Image from gsmstnews.org
Image from gsmstnews.org

The classroom seating will already be arranged to form one inner circle and one outer circle. The ‘hot seats’ will be indicated with red construction paper taped to the backrest of the two seats. Students who were assigned to the inner circle will take their places, and the outer circle students will do likewise. The kick-off question will be introduced by the teacher and he/she will open the floor for initial comments from the inner circle to begin the discussion. Inner circle students will utilize their homework sheet to provide points of support for their position during the discussion. Each student will be required to participate at least twice during the course of the seminar. Students seated in the outer circle will be responsible for filling out a “Partner Participation Sheet” for their partner who is in the inner circle. They will record the number of times their partner contributes to the discussion, what major points he/she made, and critique their partner’s participation. These sheets will be turned into the teacher. The Promethean board will keep time of the discussion and sound off when there is five minutes remaining in class.

Summary/Closure (5 minutes): After the Promethean timer sounds, the teacher will make closing remarks and conclude the seminar. Inner circle students will be responsible for completing a reflection on their seminar experience for homework. The objectives for the day will be briefly reviewed.

Homework: Inner-circle students will complete the worksheet “Post-Socratic Seminar.”

Formative Assessment: Outer-circle students will remit their Partner Participation Sheets. Inner-circle students will remit both their Post-Socratic Seminar and Socratic Seminar Worksheet papers the following day.

Adaptations for Days 2 and 3: Depending upon which day the student with Spina Bifida participates within the outer-circle, he/she will be given a red piece of construction paper to indicate that they wish to contribute a question from the hot seat. This minimizes difficulties surrounding maneuvering between the circles.

Reflection:









Generalization/Extension Activity: There is no extension activity due to the time constraints in maximizing the Socratic seminar discussion period.