Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Socratic Seminar | Student Generated Close Reading Questions

Socratic Seminar | Close Reading Student Generated HOT Questions 
Socratic Seminars promote higher order thinking, deepen understanding, and the ability to participate full in academic dialogue, use evidence, generate questions, and build on one another’s thinking. 


Purpose This seminar was created to help students understand the deeper meaning of a text through student
generated questions, especially how meaning and understanding can change through Socratic dialogue. Students are asked to read with a goal of generating questions for deeper understanding as part of a jigsaw reading activity.  New information will be constructed and supported by sharing and listening to other student’s ideas. The peers listen and are encouraged to change his or then her perspective, adding to understanding or abandoning their original ideas without criticism or judgment. This engagement protocol is particularly helpful when students find it difficult to understand complex reading materials.
1. The teacher or students make up cooperative groups by selecting a time keeper “organizer”, a ”boss” facilitator, sage and scribe. Strips of paper “Straws” are given to each student to write text based questions.

2. All students read the same text, or individuals may read various texts (differentiation) on a common theme or topic for a jigsaw activity. Text selection is a critical step that is best done using a syntopical approach. Syntopical ‎is a type of text analysis in which different works are compared and contrasted. 

3. Students read aloud with buddy and cooperatively complete a Cornell notes form that records questions, ideas, themes, and opinions. Recorded information should be based on lesson goals, anticipatory sets and or desired learning outcomes. They mark, rank, annotate passages for discussion, clearly labeling them to quickly locate later. Each student must write one question based on the reading that will be discussed later. To promote HOT thinking, design prompts and anticipatory sets that easily drive discussions. Ask students to incorporate their own questions generated from the text, “What are your reasons for selecting a particular passage” and “what is your evidence that supports your point of view”, “why is that of particular importance?” After partners share his or her opinions, thinking, similarities and differences in interpretations new understanding will arise as other individuals share their thinking without judgment or debate.

4. Students all grab one question straw, They take time restudying the text using text evidence from the passage to answer the question, they must give reasons why they selected the passage to answer.

5. Each peer discuses his or her question
“straw”, students responds with a quick praise and then they repeat and rephrases what was shared with a partner! Each peer shares in less than 1 minute.

6. The boss gets the “last Straw”, sharing how his or her thinking evolved after listening to others or re-emphasizing what was originally shared.

7. Student debrief: Students discuss how hearing from others impacted their thinking.

8. Teacher debrief:  What worked in our discussion? What were some challenges? How can we improve next time?

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