Socratic Seminar Lesson Plan – Grade 6 Death of Socrates
Text: Excerpt from Plato’s Crito and worksheet, Plato’s Crito (Platos Crito link at http://www.proteacher.com/090083.shtml)
SS.HAW.c Make decisions and analyze decisions of individuals, groups, and institutions in other times and places, and evaluate the consequences
SS.HAW.60.02e Evaluate the achievements and limitations of political and social institutions that developed in Athens, Sparta, and other Aegean city-states
SS.HAW.60.02.e.2 Analyze the relationships among maintaining order under the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and providing for the common good
SS.HAW.60.02e.3 Analyze the concept of citizenship and explain how the concept has changed at different times and in different places
SS.HAW.60.04g Explain the significance of Socrates
Objective(s): Students will explore the reasons for the death of Socrates and what it says about the rule of law.
Time Required: 45 minutes
For the teacher: Socratic Seminar Record Sheet
For each student:
Copy of selected text and worksheet
Rules for a Good Fishbowl Discussion
Fishbowl Discussion: Overview
For each participant:
Teacher’s Evaluation of Participant’s Performance
For each coach:
Coach’s Evaluation of Participant’s Performance
Provide students with some background knowledge of ancient Greece.
Provide background material on Socrates (see suggested links above).
Provide selected text and worksheet for students to read and complete prior to Socratic seminar.
Participants and coaches will meet for a pre-conference to discuss the participant’s goals for the discussion.
Why was Socrates tried and put to death?
Was Socrates’ trial and death justified?
What was Socrates accused of?
What proof or testimony was offered against Socrates?
Were the charges justified?
Why was the Assembly actually angry?
What is meant by “rule of law”?
Does the trial of Socrates reflect “rule of law” or mob rule?
Does Socrates have an obligation to obey the law?
Should a person obey a bad law?
Post Seminar Activities:
The teacher will thank students for their participation and summarize the main ideas and concepts examined during the discussion.
Coaches provide feedback to the participants during a post-conference to acknowledge strengths and identify weaknesses.
Students may extend the discussion and compare Socrates to another historical figure, such as Martin Luther King, who also challenged the laws of his day and spent time in jail.
Students may write an appeal to the Athenian court citing evidence to persuade the court to release Socrates.
The teacher will evaluate participants and coaches using rubric provided.
If time permits, students may write a paragraph or complete an exit ticket to explain what they learned from the seminar.
The Baldwin Project: The Story of the Greeks (http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=guerber&book=greeks&story=socrates&PHPSESSID=6bdd32be3cd2ac573d1393d4f2b44742 )
The Last Days of Socrates (http://socrates.clarke.edu/)