Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminar is a structured discussion that teaches students how to engage in discourse that is polite, respectful, focused, and academic. This speaking strategy also teaches students how to think critically about texts. The discussions that take place in a Socratic circle focus on analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating what writers say and do.

Where is this in the Reading Process: Step 5

Explicitly Teach: Explain. Connect. Model. Practice.

Cycle of Independence: I do. We do. They do. You do.

Origin: Mortimer Adler, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago and author of The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto.

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Socratic Seminar Step-By-Step Process

Plan your lesson Plan your lesson

Planning Journal

Teach the skill Teach the skill

Student Activity
Interactive Lesson

Differentiate and support learning Differentiate and support learning

Score Sheet
Dis/Agree Starters
Analysis Starters
Sample Questions
Reading Rubrics

Assess and track growth Assess and track growth

Performance Tracker
Teacher Reflection

Practice skills in all subjects

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Student samples

Note Taking
Discussion Map

Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; and cite specific evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
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