This Socratic seminar (part of my Shades of Gray novel unit
) is a culminating discussion of Carolyn Reeder's Reconstruction novel Shades of Gray. The document contains 17 engaging, open-ended questions to get students talking; there are introductory questions about general themes in the novel, specific questions about the novel's characters and events, and closing questions to help students make connections to themselves and the modern world.
These questions are meant to be used as a unit (for me it takes almost a whole class period, and I usually have to cut the discussion short so the kids have time to move their desks out of the Socratic circle), but if you don't have a whole bell, you can chunk them for use over several days or just choose to discuss the most interesting questions. I recommend choosing at least one question from the beginning, middle, and end to give your seminar a logical structure!
At the end, there is also a follow-up writing activity, which you can use to evaluate each student's individual understanding of the novel.
As a way to introduce the Socratic seminar, I've included a page of tic-tac-toe writing prompts. There are nine thematic prompts to get students thinking about key ideas and connect their own lives to story themes. I have my kids write a short paragraph about any three in a row before starting our discussion, but you can use these engaging prompts in a variety of ways before or after a seminar or anytime during a Shades of Gray novel study.
**Teaching Shades of Gray? This resource is part of my Shades of Gray Novel Unit!
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(Cover background from Lovin Lit)