The Watsons Go to Birmingham: Socratic Seminar

This The Watsons Go to Birmingham: Socratic Seminar lesson plan also includes:

How does The Watsons Go to Birmingham teach readers about prejudice? Pupils brainstorm thoughtful questions about ‎Christopher Paul Curtis's 1963 novel to prepare for a Socratic seminar. They write leveled questions, make connections from the text, and challenge and develop one another's ideas to thoroughly analyze the themes of the novel.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Warm learners up with a fishbowl activity to set expectations for academic discussion
Classroom Considerations

  • Move your seats so pupils sit in a large circle to promote discussion
  • Socratic seminars take time to grow conversational skills; be prepared to encourage students that are not enthusiastic about the activity 
Pros

  • Socratic seminars differentiate and personalize learning 
  • Provides a document to self-grade student performance and monitor their contributions to the discussion
Cons

  • None