To analyze the effect that Greek philosophers had on Western civilization.
1 class period
This lesson begins with a brief introduction about what a philosopher is, and how the first great ones were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. This is followed by seven multiple-choice questions, each of which includes a conclusion that one of the three philosophers came to after studying mankind and the universe. As you read through the questions with the class, students are asked to decide which one of three sentences (a, b, or c) following each conclusion gives the correct meaning. Just prior to announcing the answer, you can ask how many people chose a, how many chose b, and how many chose c.
Next, students read through twelve statements by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They must choose three they agree with, and two they disagree with, and explain why in each case. Later in the period, you can ask for volunteers to read and give reasons for their responses.
To conclude the activity, students will finish four more sayings from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle by putting their own words in blank spaces within each saying. Answers can be funny or serious. Some class members can be given a chance to read their sayings to the class.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.