After reading Creation of the Titans and Gods and My Misbegotten Christmases, the 8th grade students discussed the texts through Socratic Seminar, a student-led discussion based on Socrates’ method of inquiry consisting of a series of questionings.
There’s no one way to do a Socratic Seminar, but in our class, what we did was divide the class into two groups. The first group formed a circle and discussed open-ended questions related to the texts while the second group took notes from the first group’s discussion, and vice versa. Each student should give a meaningful input to the discussion at least twice.
This activity was a good opportunity to hear the ideas of students who rarely volunteer to recite in class. Some of them came up with interesting points as well. “Prometheus didn’t deserve the freedom he received because he’s a snitch,” a student quipped while discussing the fates of the titans and gods. “Why not? The titans didn’t listen to him so he brought up the idea to the gods, so that doesn’t make him a traitor,” argued another. In the end, they just had to agree to disagree.
Since the Socratic Seminar is student-led, we further got a glimpse of who can facilitate discussions well among the 8th graders. This was a good start in training them in speaking in front of their classmates as they have to do an individual oral presentation at the end of the first quarter.