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Socratic Seminar Assignment

 

Here’s your chance to put your literary analysis, listening, and speaking skills to the test.

 

What is it?

A Socratic Seminar is a student-led discussion that is based on an "essential question." Socrates, an Athenian philosopher born in 469 BC, is credited with formulating this method of discussion. Encouraging participants to sit in a circle, Socrates would draw knowledge from the group by presenting a series of deeply philosophical questions. A seminar consists of four elements: a text, essential questions, a leader, and active participants.

 

**The essential questions you will be discussing:

 

  1. 1.     Do all human beings have the capacity to be evil, particularly when they are empowered as part of a group?

 

  1. 2.     How are Golding’s beliefs on the nature of evil similar/different to those of Shakespeare or Stevenson?

 

  1. 3.     How can a change of environment affect a person?

 

What are your responsibilities while preparing?

  • Refer to the text when needed. A seminar is not a test of memory. You are not "learning a subject"; your goal is to understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in the text.
  • Ask questions about the reading or issues related to the reading.
  • Ask for clarification of something you don’t understand.
  • Make judgments that can be defended with the text.
  • Locate facts and examples that can be cited as evidence for an argument.
  • Connect the reading to the real world

What are your responsibilities during the discussion?

  • Stick to the point currently under discussion; make notes about ideas you want to come back to.
  • Move the seminar forward—avoid repetitions.
  • Listen attentively and patiently.
  • Exhibit mature behavior with patience and self-control.
  • Speak up so that all can hear you.
  • Talk to each other, not just to the leader or teacher.
  • Be aware of time in terms of how long you speak and in terms of the needs of others to speak
  • Use specific examples when you speak and avoid generalizations.
  • Avoid speaking for the group; use “I statements” when possible.
  • Avoid interrupting someone when he or she is speaking and avoid side conversations.

 

How will you be graded?

  • Come to the seminar prepared with five excellent discussion questions, answers to the three essential questions with three quotes per question, and a marked copy of Lord of the Flies (10 points.)
  • Participate five times in a meaningful way during the seminar.  To participate in a meaningful way means to make a comment, make a connection to the text, ask a question that builds on what other participants are saying—this is beyond the requirements listed above (25 points)
  • Being an academic participant (15 points).  Participate at least 3 times during another seminar

 

Do you:

*Speak loudly and clearly?                 *Listen to others respectfully?                           *Stick with the subject?

*Avoid inappropriate language (slang, technical terms, sloppy diction, etc.)?         *Seem prepared/interested?

 

 

Your seminar will be on:                       covering chapters                   with                                                    

                                        date                                                                        group members

 

Group leader:                                       (the group leader still participates in the discussion, but is also responsible for moving things along J)

 

 

In order to prepare for the upcoming Socratic seminar on Lord of the Flies, you will need to gather significant quotations and examples from the book.  I will be grading you on your level of preparedness. 

 

Socratic Seminar Assignment

 

Here’s your chance to put your literary analysis, listening, and speaking skills to the test.

 

What is it?

A Socratic Seminar is a student-led discussion that is based on an "essential question." Socrates, an Athenian philosopher born in 469 BC, is credited with formulating this method of discussion. Encouraging participants to sit in a circle, Socrates would draw knowledge from the group by presenting a series of deeply philosophical questions. A seminar consists of four elements: a text, essential questions, a leader, and active participants.

 

**The essential questions you will be discussing:

 

  1. 1.     Do all human beings have the capacity to be evil, particularly when they are empowered as part of a group?

 

  1. 2.     How are Golding’s beliefs on the nature of evil similar/different to those of Shakespeare or Stevenson?

 

  1. 3.     How can a change of environment affect a person?

 

What are your responsibilities while preparing?

  • Refer to the text when needed. A seminar is not a test of memory. You are not "learning a subject"; your goal is to understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in the text.
  • Ask questions about the reading or issues related to the reading.
  • Ask for clarification of something you don’t understand.
  • Make judgments that can be defended with the text.
  • Locate facts and examples that can be cited as evidence for an argument.
  • Connect the reading to the real world

 

What are your responsibilities during the discussion?

  • Stick to the point currently under discussion; make notes about ideas you want to come back to.
  • Move the seminar forward—avoid repetitions.
  • Listen attentively and patiently.
  • Exhibit mature behavior with patience and self-control.
  • Speak up so that all can hear you.
  • Talk to each other, not just to the leader or teacher.
  • Be aware of time in terms of how long you speak and in terms of the needs of others to speak
  • Use specific examples when you speak and avoid generalizations.
  • Avoid speaking for the group; use “I statements” when possible.
  • Avoid interrupting someone when he or she is speaking and avoid side conversations.

 

How will you be graded?

  • Come to the seminar prepared with five excellent discussion questions, answers to the three essential questions with three quotes per question, and a marked copy of Lord of the Flies (10 points.)
  • Participate five times in a meaningful way during the seminar.  To participate in a meaningful way means to make a comment, make a connection to the text, ask a question that builds on what other participants are saying—this is beyond the requirements listed above (25 points)
  • Being an academic participant (15 points).  Participate at least 3 times during another seminar 

 

 

Step 1:  Finding Evidence from Lord of the Flies:  Find specific examples from the book that help to answer each “essential” question.  YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST THREE QUOTES FROM YOUR SPECIFIC CHAPTERS FOR EACH QUESTION.

 

 

Essential questions #1:  Do all human beings have the capacity to be evil, particularly when they are empowered as part of a group? 

 

 

What you think:

 

3 supporting quotes (include page numbers):

 

 

Essential questions #2: How are Golding’s beliefs on the nature of evil similar/different to those of Shakespeare or Stevenson?

What you think:

 

3 supporting quotes (include page numbers):

  

Essential questions #3: How can a change of environment affect a person?

What you think:

 

3 supporting quotes (include page numbers):

  

 

 

Discussion Questions:  Write down 5 discussion questions that you might introduce to the group.  Remember, good discussion questions are “open ended” and produce more than just “yes/no” answers, or answers that are easily found in the book.  Ask deep, “so what” questions to enrich your discussion!

 

 Question:

 Question: 

 Question: 

 Question:

 Question:

 

Any questions?  Email Ms. Sweeney (ksweeney@frhsd.com)