For the past few years after my students finish the AP Chemistry exam early May, I have had my students read "The Disappearing Spoon" by Sam Kean - a book that talks about the elements and the scientists who discovered and created them in a really fun, creative, humanizing way. The book is in five parts, so I have my students participate in five Socratic seminar-style class periods (90 minutes each) with these discussion questions to guide the conversation. I put my desks in a circle, and they come with some thoughts jotted down on paper, but we let the discussion go where it takes us. Through these questions, we end up talking about how science influences or is influenced by government/politics, gender norms, historical context, etc. At the end, I ask them to write a college admission-style essay on a prompt relating to the book and our discussions. This is my favorite unit of the year, where we get to blend reading, science, and history all together - and the kids love it! I try to give my students a few days between sections, so I often alternate our discussion days with end-of-year labs. Our discussions also always take the entire 90-minute period, so on a shorter schedule, you may want to break the questions up into smaller chunks. And if you live in the DC area, Sam Kean came to speak to our kids!