Socratic Seminars - St. Bernard Parish Schools

Socratic Seminars
St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
Aislinn Cunningham
Title I Facilitator
Rebecca Wood
7-8 English Teacher
Thursday, May 30, 2013
LDC Task Essential Question:
What makes a speech compelling?
Today’s Objective:
 Read the passages from both accounts
of Sojourner Truth’s extemporaneous
speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”
Pre-seminar Reflection
Think about your interactions with others—
how do people engage with you? How do
they respond?
What are your strengths as a
What are your areas of refinement?
Set an Individual Goal
What will you focus on today in pursuit of
becoming a stronger communicator?
DON’T raise your hand
Contribute at least three times
Actively listen
Everyone participates
cite the text when
making an argument
disagreeing with
another’s conclusions,
argument or solutions,
briefly state what they said,
don’t interrupt, and be civil
and respectful
concise and stay on point
- Avoid distracting verbal
tics (“um,” “like,” “you know”)
19th Amendment petition
false belief
voting right
social right
social movement
Socratic Seminar: When?
What task?
What makes a speech
compelling? After reading
several speeches on the
subject of women’s rights
and the abolitionist
movement, write a speech
that discusses each
speaker’s claims and
evaluates their use of
rhetorical strategies. Be sure
to support your position with
evidence from the text.
Socratic Seminar: When?
What skills?
Transition to Writing
What instruction?
Socratic Seminar
Socratic Seminar: How?
 Management
 Accountability
Speaking and Listening
Standards Grade 8
Comprehension and Collaboration
› CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1d
Acknowledge new information
expressed by others, and, when
warranted, qualify or justify their own
views in light of the evidence
Discussion Mini-Lessons and
Classroom Practices
Listen, paraphrase, comment
 Qualify & defend
Socratic Seminar: How?
Practice, practice, practice
 Drive forward with formative assessment
and reflection
“In fact, researchers have settled on what they
believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten
thousand hours.”
“Practice isn't the thing you do when you're good.
It's the thing you do that makes you good.”
--Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Socratic Seminar: Why?
“The CCSS emphasize that listeners should
learn to take the stance of evaluator
toward the speakers they encounter in
school, examining points of view, reasoning,
and rhetoric.” Calkins & Ehrensworth, Pathways to the Common Core
Socratic Seminar: Why?
3b: Using questions/ prompts and discussion
A Highly Effective Teacher…
“…uses a variety of series of questions or
prompts to challenge students cognitively”
“…students formulate many questions, initiate
topics and make unsolicited contributions.”
Students’ perspectives…
Students’ perspectives…
“James McBride proves that the view of race on society has
changed for the better. Society no longer identifies you by your
race. We are no longer categorized or labeled because of how we
look. James McBride and his mother are proof that race doesn’t
defy who you are as a person and no one should be defined by their
Students’ perspectives…
As James starts to discover himself and learns his
mothers past his actions reveal this paradigm shift. He says,
“As a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two
different worlds. My view of the world is not merely that of a
black man but that of a black man with something of a Jewish
soul.” In the past society’s view of race was being one race and
however you looked that’s what race you were. No matter
where you came from, what your culture was, how you spoke
or how your parents looked, but as James got older he started
to see the way that society does now in the present day. He
started to see all his races. James also says, “I don’t consider
myself Jewish, but when I look at Holocaust photographs of
Jewish women whose children have been wrenched from them
by Nazi soldiers, the women look like my own mother and I
think to myself, There but for the grace of God goes my own
mother-and by extension, myself.” He’s saying that even though
he doesn’t think of himself as a Jewish man, he still accepts
himself as a mixed man with white, Jewish, and black. This is
him thinking and representing the new paradigm, and he’s
aspiring to be comfortable being mixed raced.
What is possible?

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