Volcanoes: Beginning Socratic Seminar Focus on Vocabulary Continued

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SWBAT closely read an informational text and discuss important vocabulary.

Big Idea

Setting up the socratic seminar takes time: Take time to make time!

Cue Set

5 minutes

This lesson is a continuation of the lesson from yesterday.  We begin the lesson by doing a Rally Robin of the important words that we identified yesterday.  When scholars rally robin they take turns sharing 1 word that they considered important.  This strategy helps to ensure that all scholars participate by forcing them to take turns.  

After scholars rally robin, I take 2 friends from my cup to share their word or their partners word and then I take 2 volunteers for a rally robin showdown.  

The idea here is that we keep the cue set short and sweet so that we can continue on with the lesson. 

Teaching Strategy

10 minutes

I do a very similar teaching strategy as yesterday.  However, today I explicitly teach a few strategies that I noticed would benefit scholars from yesterday.  I explicitly tell them to copy the following questions to help them identify important vocabulary: 

After reading a page, ask yourself: 

1. What is this section mostly about? 

2. Based on what the section is about, what words should I tag? 

3. In isolation, does that word or phrase tell me something specific about the topic? If not, DO NOT tag it! 

I saw lots of unnecessary tagging yesterday, hence the focus on topic, main idea and therefore what word should I tag? Click here for a visual of the tag board inside.  

I then model reading a page of the text and then I walk myself through the questions above to tag appropriate words.  Scholars can work along with me and tag the words in their own books.  I model how to record the tagged word on the vocabulary graphic organizer. -- Recording on the graphic organizer is an essential part of what scholars need to accomplish because once they get into the seminar, they may or may not have their tagged copy of the text.  I share texts between my classes, therefore, they must record any thinking on the graphic organizer to ensure that they have access to it later in the lesson.  

Guided Practice

20 minutes

During the guided practice, scholars finish reading Volcanoes by Simon Seymour.  They continue to discuss key vocabulary and tag it appropriately.  

They split into the same heterogeneous partnerships as yesterday.  Above grade level readers read with grade level readers, grade level readers read with below grade level readers. I do not pair above with below as that can be very frustrating for both scholars.  Scholars are able to get up and move to a comfy place in the classroom so that they can stretch a bit and change scenery.  This enhances engagement and can inspire creativity.  

Here are some partners reading and tagging.  They complete reading the text and continue to mark words with colored post-it notes depending on if they know the important word (yellow), know it in context (orange), or don't know it at all but think it is important (red).  Here is a sample of tagged text.  I pull a small group of my ELL scholars to read aloud to so that they can access the text.  I also need to more explicitly model how to use context to determine the meaning of unknown words.  I build background knowledge during this time as needed.  



Independent Practice

50 minutes

This time is the actual seminar.  Since this is the first time that we've done the seminar, we spend about 5 minutes practicing how to arrange our desks.  There are two circles (one inside of another larger circle).  Scholars who are participating in the discussion are in the inner circle. Scholars who are watching/listening and evaluating the discussion sit on the outside of the circle.  Scholars use a Rating Scale for Socratic Seminar to evaluate one another.  

Scholars in the inner circle discuss the following questions: 

1. What are some of the important words you found?  Why are they important? 

2. What words did you find interesting? 

3. What are some words that you did NOT know? 

4. Questions? Observations? 

Click here for a sample of what the beginning of one seminar looked like/sounded like: Seminar Discussion.   

Scholars in the outer circle give an individual rating to their partner (person sitting directly across from them) and an overall rating for the group.  The rating is a simple fist to five for each desired participant behavior: participate, stay on topic, respectfully agree/disagree, make it interesting ,and remain attentive.  Scholars evaluate their partner and they also evaluate the entire discussion.  This is a participation grade for the week.   

We will do two discussions each lasting 10 minutes so that each group of scholars have an opportunity to discuss.  As scholars discuss, they can continue to take notes on their vocabulary sheet.  This is a part of their checklist for the week.