2 What is a Socratic Seminar? A Socratic seminar is a way of teaching founded by the Greek philosopher Socrates.Socrates believed that:students learn best by asking questions.It is the teacher’s job to moderate the discussion instead of leading the discussion.
3 Why do we have Socratic Seminars Socratic Seminars help us engage a text in class.The thought process is when we work together to understand a text it will help everyone’s understanding.
4 How do we prepare for a Socratic Seminar? The day prior to the seminar you will be given a Socratic Seminar prep sheet. Your job is to complete steps 1 – 4 for homework.It is essential you read the text and prepare yourself with important questions and quotations.
5 What type of questions should I ask during the seminar? There are three levels of questions.You should come up with a minimum of 1 question per level.
6 Level 1 (Knowledge Questions): Knowledge means being able to show understanding by talking, writing, signing, drawing.Please use the following stems in creating your Knowledge Questions:Can you state, in your own words?Can you describe?Can you defend your position?Can you summarize the information?
7 Level II (Application Questions): Application means supporting your ideas with evidence.Please use the following stems in creating your Application Questions:Explain how …Explain why …Interpret the reasons …Compare and contrast …Connect and explain …
8 Level III (Synthesis Questions): Synthesis means combining or connecting two different elements.In terms of the Socratic Seminar you will be connecting two texts with each other OR connecting a text to the outside world.
9 Level III (Synthesis Questions) Continued Please use the following stems in creating your Synthesis Questions:Imagine …What would happen if …?Hypothesize …Theorize …Speculate…How is Text similar to Outside World?
10 What will the seminar look like? The classroom will be arranged in a two concentric circles.You will be assigned to either seminar A or seminar B.You will be assigned a partner in the opposite seminar.FOR EXAMPLE:If I am in seminar A my partner will be in seminar BMr. Sun-K will be facilitating, but NOT participating in the seminar.
11 What’s the deal with partners? If I am in Seminar B, I will be sitting in the outside circle taking notes for my partner who is in the inner circle participating in the Seminar A.Then we will switch. I will participate in the seminar and my partner will take notes for me.We will be switching notes at the end of each seminar to be used for Step 5 of the Socratic Seminar Prep Sheet.
12 How does the discussion work in a seminar? The seminar is to serve as a discussion, not a lecture. Just like in a casual conversation, no one begins the conversation, a conversation begins naturally.
13 Seminar GuidelinesPlease listen and look at each other when you speak.One person speaks at a time.Each person will have a chance to ask a question.Respond to the person who asks the question.Use evidence from the text to support yourself.Always treat each other with mutual respect.
14 How will I be assessed on the seminar? By completing the seminar prep sheet. (30 pts).By contributing to the conversation following these guidelines:- Ask a question.Respond to a question.Cite evidence from the text.All three requirements: 30 points.Two requirements: 20 points.1 requirement: 10 points.No requirements: 0 points.
15 What do we need to do after the seminar? The last minutes of class on the day of a seminar:Please complete step 5 of the prep sheet using your notes from your partner as a reference. Please staple your partner’s notes to the back of your prep sheet and turn it in the “In-Box.”
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