Socratic Seminar

Not as tricky as you may think!

What is Socratic Seminar?

Based on the Socratic method, the primary functions of this strategy are to encourage respectful patterns of dialogue and to gain a deeper understanding of the text. SOCRATIC SEMINAR is a dialogue, not a debate. It is designed to help students develop higher order thinking skills through discussion, questioning and efforts to define abstract concepts like truth, justice, beauty and equality

Inner and Outer Circle in Action

Take a look at a video from a 7th grade classroom using Socratic Seminar.

Opposing Views

  • To use this database you can access TexQuest with your school's login information. Click on the link for the Gale Database. You can also choose one of the many other databases as well. Here is resource guide to help you select one that is suited for your needs.
  • Once you are in the Gale Database select Opposing Viewpoints in Context .
  • Once you are in the database you can search and select articles by topics.
  • When you have selected articles you can choose to download them in a variety of ways which include to your Google Drive. It creates a folder with the name of the database.
  • To get us started I pulled two articles about the minimum wage issue.

"Fight for $15 protests: why they're about more than fast- food wages"

"Raising Floor Wages Pushes Economy Into the Unknown"

Asking Good Questions

To facilitate students asking good questions you can use a Q Chart.

Getting Started


  • Students will need to first prepare by having the article/s read that you plan to discuss. This could be done in class or for homework.
  • Students can use the Q Chart to prepare questions in advance for the discussion. Teacher note: Be prepared with higher level questions in case the students only provide lower level questions.
  • If you have the Q Chart posted on a wall you can have students put their questions on post its and post them on the wall. If not you can have students read them as you cold call them.
  • Attached you will find step-by-step instructions to help get you started.