socratic seminar Essay examples

971 Words Aug 11th, 2014 4 Pages
To Kill a Mockingbird Socratic Seminar

On the upcoming block day we will have a Socratic Seminar in which we discuss the chapters in To Kill a Mockingbird that deal with Tom Robinson’s trial and its aftermath. Your assignment is to prepare for the seminar ahead of time, participate in the seminar and capture the main ideas of the discussion in your notes.

A Socratic Seminar is a formal discussion, named after the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, who literally gave his life for his belief in the power of provoking people to uncover the deeper meanings of important topics. The purpose of our dialogue is to build understanding together of the text we are reading, using the process of rigorous and thoughtful dialogue. In a Socratic
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6. When Tom is being cross-examined by Mr. Gilmer he says, “I felt right sorry for her.” Why was this a mistake? Why is it that “nobody liked Tom Robinson’s answer.” P. 197
7. Review Atticus’ closing remarks pp. 202-205. Detail his reasons for why Tom Robinson should not be convicted.
8. Why do you think the jury convicted Tom?
9. What do you learn about the different attitudes toward Maycomb’s black population from the conversation at Aunt Alexandra’s ladies tea? How do these attitudes help explain Tom’s conviction? Why does Miss Maudie get so angry? Pp. 231-233
10. Re-read Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie’s conversation on p. 236. What are they saying about the moral responsibility of the citizens of Maycomb in the trial’s outcome?
On Socratic Seminar Day—Facilitation notes

Physical arrangement: Students who are caught up on the reading (through chapter 24), may participate in the discussion and sit in the circle. Those who are not prepared to participate need to sit outside the circle and read while students inside the circle write, then listen and take notes while the discussion is going on.

Bell work on day of the seminar: rank in order of culpability for the death of Tom Robinson the following characters: Mr. Gilman, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, individuals on the Jury, Dolphus Raymond and Tom Robinson himself. Give students 5 minutes to write to this in the Socratic seminar circle.

Spend 5-10 minutes on

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