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Unit 2: Socratic Seminar

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1 Unit 2: Socratic Seminar

2 What is a Socratic Seminar?
The purpose of a Socratic Seminar is to achieve a deeper understanding about the ideas and values in a text. In the Seminar, participants ask questions, examine issues, and discuss different points-of-view. The goal is that through group discussion, students will gain a deeper understanding of the text through analysis, interpretation, listening and speaking participation.

3 Rules/Expectations If you are not prepared you are not participating.
Do not raise your hand during discussion-if you have something to say, state your name and then begin. Do not interrupt another person while they are speaking. Be respectful of other’s opinions always! I am not a part of this discussion so don’t speak to me. Support all claims with evidence you found within the speech (use your notes you completed for homework). Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, there are no “Right Answers”

4 The inner circle The only people within the class that will speak.
You will sit on the floor (at the same level) Engage in discussion about the text read the previous night (approximately 12 minutes)

5 The leader Two leaders (one per inner circle) Responsible for:
Keeping the discussion flowing Encouraging all members within the circle to speak Asking follow up questions Keeping the group on topic Informing group of the time

6 Questions to help the leader
Who has a different perspective? Who has not yet had a chance to speak? Where do you find evidence for that in the text? Can you clarify what you mean by that? How does this relate to what _______ said?

7 The outer circle You will sit on the desks to observe the conversation and behaviors of the inner circle. When the inner circle’s time is up, you will provide feedback on what you assessed from the inner circles conversation. You will set goals for your group based on your assessment. You will become the inner circle for the next 12-minute discussion.

8 Assignment (outer circle)
While the inner circle is discussing, you will be responsible for taking notes on what you observe and hear. This will be submitted and count for half of your participation grade for the Socratic seminar. Information located on Schoolwires under Socratic Seminar section.

9 Teacher’s role I am merely here to help facilitate and ask questions if need be. While you are discussing, I should not be spoken to or looked at. You are discussing with peers, not with me. I will be sitting away from the circle documenting your participation.

10 Annotation of speech You will complete the reading of the speech at home. you are to actively annotate while reading the speech. Which big 4 persuasive techniques can you identify? How is the technique being used in the speech? How effective is the technique? What evidence is being presented in this speech? Is the evidence credible? Relevant to the topic? Does it have quality that enhances the message? What language choices are made by the speaker that grab your attention in either a positive or negative way?

11 Conversation starters
What puzzled me was… I’d like to talk with the group about… As I was reading, I was confused about… I’m interested by how… Don’t you think this idea is similar to…. I have a question about… Do you think… What does it mean when the speaker says… Do you agree that…

12 Additional information to highlight/answer
Any vocabulary words that you are unfamiliar with- look up prior to discussion. Key phrases that are made within the speech. How the argument unfolds throughout the speech. Word patterns (repetition) or language choices (powerful diction, loaded language) that stand out. Additional questions you have while reading.

13 Potential Questions that will begin the discussion
What is the main objective of this speech? What is the speaker’s purpose? What does _____________ mean? What is the most important word/sentence/phrase?

14 Potential Questions that will help wrap up the discussion
How do the ideas in the speech relate to our lives today? What does the message mean for us personally? Why is this material important to talk about?

15 Assignments- post discussion
For homework, everyone will complete a reflection piece about the Socratic seminar discussion. You will reflect on the following topics: Performance (individual and Group) Content Thesis statement Paragraph overview of main points Connections between speech and personal experiences Information located on Schoolwires in Socratic Seminar section.

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