Socratic Seminar Preparation: Poetry

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SWBAT analyze the meaning of a poem by completing a seven-step poetry analysis.

Big Idea

Preparing to discuss a poem in a Socratic Seminar.

Word Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

Today, we work through five more examples of our word roots in action.  Again it is important that students copy the entire definition of the word so that they can use them to study.


5 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I simply read the excerpt from Whitman's Song of Myself that we will be using for tomorrow's Socratic Seminar. 


From “Song of Myself”


I exist as I am, that is enough,

If no other in the world be aware I sit content,

And if each and all be aware I sit content.


One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,

And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,

I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait


                        --Walt Whitman


Getting Down to Business

30 minutes

Now that we have reached the end of our poetry unit, students are equipped to prepare for tomorrow's Socratic Seminar independently.  During class today, they will complete a seven-step analysis for the excerpt of Whitman's Song of Myself

While they are working, I will circulate to make sure everyone is on task.  If I see someone struggling, I will direct them back to their Figurative Language notes (Parts I and II) or their Sound & Structure notes.  I want students to know where to find answers rather than simply expecting me to provide an answer.

Did They Get It?

5 minutes

At the end of today's class, I will pass out a ticket for tomorrow's Socratic Seminar.  I remind students that to be admitted to the seminar, they must have four open-ended questions on their ticket.

To make sure that students remember the term open-ended question, I will have them do a think-pair-share.  I have them think about what that means and then turn to an elbow partner and tell them what they were thinking.  Finally, I ask for volunteers to share what they discussed with their partners.  The goal of this, of course, is to make sure that all of the students remember that an open-ended question is one that does not have definitive answer.  We want our Seminar to be based on questions that require deep thought, referring to the text, and engaging discussion.