Socratic seminar is an excellent and engaging way for students to practice higher order thinking skills. This 63-slide PowerPoint resource with printables is a Socratic seminar featuring the poem “A Poison Tree” by William Blake. This seminar would be an excellent way to address problems with bullying or to discuss openly anger management skills. The resource includes a well-organized protocol for conducting a formal discussion or Socratic seminar based on Blake’s poem. On Day 1 and Day 2 students complete several poetry, writing, and vocabulary pre-seminar activities designed to help them engage in an effective seminar. On Day 3, the students engage in a formal discussion of the poem. The student leader asks open-ended questions while the inner circle participants listen closely to the comments of their peers, think critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and responses to the thoughts of others. Students chosen for the outer circle observe the inner circle participants or leader using rubrics designed to focus the observations. All students practice 21st century skills as they learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly. On Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6 students engage in a seminar debriefing and complete post seminar reflection, self-assessments, writing assignments, Poetry Art activity, and a recitation activity related to the seminar topics and Blake's poem. The resource is appropriate for middle school, high school, and adult learners. An agenda is included for Days 1-6.
All of the following are included in this resource:
*63 Slides with Teaching Notes underneath Slides
*Common Core Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
*Teacher Preparation Slides for Days 1-6
*Agendas for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6
*Socrates Background Information/Brief Writing Activity
*William Blake Background Information/Brief Writing Activity
*Socratic Seminar Goals
*Socratic Seminar Norms
*Poem: “A Poison Tree” by William Blake
*2 Pre-Seminar Independent Thinking Printables
*Pre-Seminar Critical Thinking Questions Printable
*Seeing Red: Test Your Knowledge of Anger
*3 Slides with Quick Writes Using Quotes Related to the Poem
*23 Example Socratic Seminar Question Stems
*Seminar Debriefing Activity and Questions
*Post Seminar Recitation Activity with Rubric
*Room Arrangement Options
*4 Vocabulary Slides related to “A Poison Tree” poem
*Time Keeper Responsibilities
*Inner Circle Responsibilities
*Outer Circle Responsibilities
*Leader Questions for “A Poison Tree” Socratic Seminar
*Socratic Seminar Sentence Starters
*Outer Circle Observation Checklist Printable
*Inner Circle Self-Assessment and Reflection Printable
*Observation of Leader Checklist Printable
*Teacher Evaluation of Seminar Option 1 Printable
*Teacher Evaluation of Seminar Option 2 Printable
*Antithesis Language Skill Activity
*Post Seminar: Wrath/Anger Poetry and Art Activity
*Post Seminar: Anger Management Tips, Questions 1-3, Writing Assignment 2
*Post Seminar: Literary Devices / Paragraph Writing Choice A or B Writing Assignment 3
*Exit Ticket Text Evidence Summary Template
*Entry Ticket Text Evidence Summary Template
*44 Seating and Participation Assignment Cards for Socratic Seminar
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Socratic Seminar and Activities: Poetry Analysis of “A Poison Tree” by William Blake
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