- (Day 1) Introduce the seminar and its purpose (to facilitate a deeper understanding of the idea of non-conformity). Explain to the students that the responsibility of the quality of the discussion will be their responsibility and this is not a debate and there are no right answers. They are encouraged to think out loud and to exchange ideas openly using their knowledge of the text and their ideas about non-conformity.
- Establish group discussion norms. Ask students what behaviors should be exhibited during the discussion. Record ideas and then identify the set to be used.
Possible Norms for Socratic Seminar:
· Don't raise your hand to speak.
· Listen carefully and respectfully consider other ideas/comments.
· Don't be afraid to speak up/out; use an inside voice.
· Stay focused on the topic; refrain from making irrelevant comments.
· Base opinions on the text using textual evidence to support your ideas.
· Equal opportunity to join the discussion.
· Stay seated, make eye contact.
· Practice self-control and keep negative comments to yourself.
- Provide students with question stems to formulate their questions they will bring to the discussion. Stems can be posted in Edmodo for accessibility. Students should also review their completed TPFASTT graphic organizer (if used during the reading) to serve as a reminder about class discussions relating to the text and the idea of non-conformity. (see attached template)
What puzzles me is...
I'd like to talk with people about...
I'm confused about...
Don't you think this is similar to...
I have questions about...
Another point of view is...
Do you think...
What does it mean when the author says...
Do you agree that...
- (Day 2) Review established norms with the class. Norms may be posted on interactive whiteboard with initial key questions.
- Pass out to each student the Discussion Partner Evaluation sheet. Student names should be pre-written on each.
- Teacher should be seated at the level of the students and remind the students to address each other not you.
- Pose the key question(s). Encourage students to relate their statements to the reading. If students get off track, refocus them on the opening key questions.
- Do you, as a reader, like Stargirl? If you were a student at MAHS, would you reach out to her as Dori Dilson does, or reject her as Hillari Kimble does? Do you think the students of Mica High are ultimately too harsh with Stargirl?
- Popularity, fitting in, and "sameness" are all key themes in Stargirl. Find places in the novel that deal with these themes and discuss. Do you think Stargirl ever wants to be popular? How might she define popularity?
- Once the opening key questions have been discussed, encourage students to enter their questions into the discussion. You may use talking chips (each student is allotted a number of chips to use when they make a contribution) to even the participation. Invite reluctant students to join in. Remember to help students converse with each other not the teacher. All questions and contributions need to be directed to the group not the teacher.
- As the session comes to a close, it can be helpful to summarize the main points of the discussion, either at a quiet point or at the end of the determined time allotted.
Close the class by allowing each student to complete the rubric for peer evaluation on the Socratic Seminar discussion. After a few minutes or as they complete the evaluation, each student should receive his or her evaluation to review and reflect on their own participation. Students should be encouraged to give verbal feedback as well. (see attachment)