Rose Acres fifth-graders learn art of dialogue while learning about black history
Rose Acres fifth-graders learn art of dialogue while learning about black history
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Fifth-graders at Rose Acres Elementary School practiced the art of discussion while participating in a Socratic seminar on the greatest achievements of Harriet Tubman during Black History Month.

Socratic seminars are designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of ideas and issues in a text through a group discussion. The leader of the discussion asks open-ended questions and students respond and share their thoughts, reactions and opinions within the parameters of a respectful discussion protocol.

Fifth-graders in Carrie Heine's class at Rose Acres focused their Socratic seminar on Harriet Tubman after learning about her accomplishments, which included leading numerous enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad during the Civil War era. Students were instructed to qualify their opinions based on four factors related to Tubman's actions and accomplishments: risks involved, time devoted, quantity of people she saved and how important it was to society.

Following the seminar, students were tasked with taking what they learned and writing an opinion piece on the same topic of Tubman's greatest accomplishments. They had to state their opinion at the beginning, give multiple reasons to support the topic and restate the opinion in closing.

The photos below show students participating in the Socratic seminar.

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