This lesson plan is a comprehensive guide to introducing, applying, and assessing an authentic Socratic seminar in your English classroom! This summative assessment is scaffolded off earlier formative lessons in the unit (also for sale) and is related to the overall guided question “Is Rebellion Ever Justified?” The question was formulated after I noticed how it thematically connected to other pieces of literature study, including “The Crucible.” The formative lessons ask the students to identify and analyze how speakers in history (Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “A Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Malcolm X’s interview with talk show host Les Crane) have incorporated elements of rhetorical to appeal to their audience. They can be bought and used to prepare the students for the seminar, or you can modify and insert other primary sources that reflect strong rhetorical language.
The handouts contain: background information on a Socratic seminar, thematic questions related to the topic of rebellion (divided into two groups of students for two rounds of seminar,) rubrics for assessment (which can be modified depending on the teacher’s grading practice,) and observation notes. All activities reflect current skills necessary for success in the classroom and beyond: critical thinking, writing, reading, and oral presentation.