Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
2
Tags:
  • IRPELA
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Leading Socratic Seminars (AIG IRP)

    Leading Socratic Seminars (AIG IRP)

    Overview

    After whole class participation in a Socratic seminar led by the teacher, with procedures and ground rules stressed, AIG students will be grouped in pairs to plan and lead small group Socratic seminars for their second grade class. The seminars will focus on fables during a fables and folktales literature unit. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Overview

    Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: After whole class participation in a Socratic seminar led by the teacher, with procedures and ground rules stressed, AIG students will be grouped in pairs to plan and lead small group Socratic seminars for their second grade class. The seminars will focus on fables during a fables and folktales literature unit.

    Time Frame: Two class periods

    Type of Differentiation for AIGs:

    • Enrichment
    • Extension
    • Acceleration

    Adaptations for AIGs:

    • Process
    • Product

    Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: The thought-provoking questions essential in a Socratic seminar provide appropriate critical thinking practice for AIG students. They typically thrive on discussion and opportunities to express opinions, and can effectively use evidence from the text to support their ideas. They will also benefit from the challenge of planning and conducting small group seminars with their classmates as an extension of the whole class instruction. They will develop leadership skills as small group facilitators. They will engage in the task as they choose the fable for their small group seminar.

    Needed Resources/Materials:

    Sources:

    • Bunyi, Angela. (2010, November 19). Higher Order Comprehension: The Power of Socratic Seminar. Retrieved May 19, 2012, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top_teaching/2010/11/higher-order-comprehension-the-power-of-socratic-seminar
    • A Sampler of Generic Questions For Socratic Seminars. Retrieved May 19, 2012, from http://www.avidregion4.org/resources/documents/tutorial/SocraticSemQuestions.pdf 

    Teacher Notes: ​​​​​​​Introduce Socratic seminar to the whole class if you have never used this teaching method. Post procedures and ground rules. Have students help determine the ground rules. It may be helpful to watch a video clip of a class engaging in Socratic seminar. If your basal reader does not contain fables, you will need to download copies of classic fables for the whole group instruction and for the small groups led by the AIG students.

    Stage 1: Engage

    • Near the end of a fables and folktales literature unit, introduce Socratic seminar as a way to increase comprehension and make connections with the text. Explain the procedure and post ground rules: ex: Read the text carefully, Listen to others, No interrupting, Speak clearly, Make eye contact, Use each other's names, Support your responses with evidence from the text, All students need to participate, etc.
    • Students may add to the ground rules. 
    • Explain that the questions will be open-ended with no right or wrong answers as long as students can support their answers with evidence from the text in order to align with the standards. Emphasize that thinking and expressing ideas is the focus of the discussion. It may be helpful to view a video clip of a Socratic seminar. 
    • Arrange the desks (chairs) in a circle.
    • Provide copies of a classic fable. 
    • Read the fable aloud. Have the students read it silently. They may use highlighters to select key features of the fable: ie: characters, events, dialogue. Have them write their interpretation of the moral or lesson of the fable.
    • Facilitate the seminar through posting thought provoking questions you have written to guide the seminar. Ex: Based on evidence of character response to challenges in the original fable, what do you think would happen if the hare and the tortoise have a rematch? As you reflect on the behavior of the tortoise, how did he respond to the challenge of racing a much faster animal? 
    • Redirect the students as needed and consistently emphasize the ground rules. 
    • Record the names of the students who contribute and a summary of what they share for assessment. 
    • At the end of the discussion, direct students to write reflections about the experience, the fable, and new thoughts or ideas.

    Stage 2: Elaborate

    • At the conclusion of the whole class Socratic seminar, meet with the AIG students to explain that they will be leaders conducting small group seminars with their classmates to discuss another fable of their choice. 
    • Review the ground rules and seminar procedure.
    • Pair the AIG students.
    • The pairs will select a fable to analyze.
    • Make copies of the fables they choose for their small groups (6-8 students).
    • Provide a list of generic seminar question stems.
    • Have the pairs write 6 open-ended questions which require text-dependent support for their seminar groups.
    • Arrange the class in small group circles spread out in the classroom. 
    • Monitor the AIG students as they lead the group discussions through introducing the selected fable, asking the open ended questions they have written, and facilitating their group sessions.  The small groups will write reflections on their analyzed fable and discussion.

    Guiding questions:

    • What were the main events in the fable?
    • What was the central message, lesson or moral of the fable?
    • How did the characters respond to major events and challenges in the text?

    Stage 3: Evaluate

    Evaluate the reflection writings of the students in the whole group and small groups led by the AIG students using a rubric to assess:

    • Recount of the fable,
    • analysis of moral or lesson,
    • description of character responses to major events and challenges.

    Use a scale of 1-5 in each area for a possible total of 15/15.  

    The AIG students will also be observed and assessed on speaking skills, leadership, and quality of questions written for their groups.