LOTF Socratic Circles

Our Socratic seminar circles will give us the opportunity to share our ideas about Lord of the Flies as well as practice effective discussion techniques. The goal of the Socratic seminar is discussion not debate. As such, although you should come to your group with ideas to share, you don’t need to know everything about your topic beforehand. Again, this isn’t a presentation, but an exploration. The goal is to be learn more about your topic and the text by talking with others.

Each group will discuss for a minimum of 10 minutes (if your conversation can go longer, awesome!). The following list of positive discussion techniques will be observed for each participant in the circle:

  • Speaks in the discussion
  • Makes eye contact with other speakers while talking
  • Refers to the text
  • Asks a new question
  • Asks a follow-question
  • Responds to another speaker
  • Paraphrases and then adds to another speaker’s ideas
  • Encourages others to speak

In contrast, try to avoid interrupting others, engaging in side conversation, or dominating the discussion.

Those in the outer circle will need to listen carefully and take notes on the group’s discussion, especially when important points or ideas are made.

At the end of class, each student will turn in a reflection, which will be given a grade.

(PERIOD 3: As a reminder, here were your topics:

  • DRIVER: What is the role of the conch shell?
  • PASSENGER: What is the meaning of the beasts?
  • BEHIND THE DRIVER: What do Jack and Ralph’s conflicts reveal?
  • BEHIND THE PASSENGER: How and why do the boys lose their innocence?)


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