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PAIDEIA “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” – Socrates “I Shall answer your questions with questions and question your answers.” - socrates. SOCRATIC SEMINAR. Reading “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury.

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SOCRATIC SEMINAR

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Socratic seminar

PAIDEIA“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” – Socrates“I Shall answer your questions with questions and question your answers.” - socrates

SOCRATIC SEMINAR


Reading august 2026 there will come soft rains by ray bradbury

Reading “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury

  • As you read, you MUST do the following in order to be prepared for the Socratic Seminar scheduled for this Monday, February 3rd:

    • Read for FACTS, DETAILS, and IDEAS!

    • Underline or highlight ideas that are especially intriguing or meaningful.

    • Look at writer’s word choice (diction), imagery, figurative language, tone, & connections to other literary works.


Socratic seminar

Opening Questions (1)-> Analogy #1: what the episode or show is really about-> Analogy #2: a view of the whole forest***no level 1 questions allowed! Level 2 only!***

  • Introduces a broad generalization that directs into the text for an answer

  • Introduces and explores topics & ideas that direct into the text for an answer

  • Introduces and explores themes that direct into the text for an answer

    • Why do you think it has this title?

    • What do you think the theme of this selection is?

    • What is the text saying about _______?


Socratic seminar

Core Questions (3)-> Analogy #1: interactions between characters, the conflicts, plot twists, etc.-> Analogy #2: the individual trees***these are level 2 questions!***

  • Require specific support from the text (quotes)

  • Seek an examination of central points

  • Explore cause-effect relationships

  • Call for interpretation and exploration (of stylistic decisions, word choice, characters, actions, conflicts, etc.)

    • What is meant by “of the people, by the people, and for the people”?

    • How is the use of the river and water symbolic?

    • Why does the author of the story call it a “crystal stair”?

    • How did the researcher reach his conclusion?


Socratic seminar

Closing Questions (1)-> analogy #1: how the episode relates to life now that the tv has been turned off-> Analogy #2: why the forest matters to us at all***These are level 3 questions only!***

  • Establishes relevance (why do these ideas matter?)

  • Asks for a connection with the real world

  • Directs an application to self

    • How have we answered Chief Seattle’s prophesy?

    • What would Socrates think of your life?

    • What is the author trying to tell us about how we should live?


Answering your questions thesis statements

Answering Your questions:Thesis statements!

**Each thesis must meet the following elements (the definition for a thesis):

  • Effectively poses an assertion, a claim made upon a debatable issue (not a statement of fact!)

  • Is stated in thoroughly convincing terms (do not suggest uncertainty by saying things like “kind of” or “maybe” or “I’m not an expert, but I think…”)

  • Uses the present tense

    Remember:

  • Your thesis is the main or controlling idea, the point you are trying to make in your writing.

  • Everything that you will say in your writing must be logically related to your thesis.

  • It should be more general than the ideas and facts that you will use to support it.


Constructing a thesis

Constructing a Thesis

  • Example Core Question:

  • Why did the author choose to use a tollbooth to transport Milo instead of having him go under a bridge or simple drive on a road to the Lands Beyond?

  • Answer = Thesis Statement:

  • In Juster’s novel The Phantom Tollbooth, the tollbooth serves as a one-way barrier through which Milo must pass in order to truly enter a new world and thus become transformed.

  • Yours:

  • In Ray Bradbury’s short story “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains,” …


Using quotes

Using Quotes

1. context:

  • The “where/when” portion of the sentence that will clarify the quote you have selected.

  • This should smoothly lead in to the quote so that it feels like a natural portion of your sentence.

    2. quote:

  • The specific portion of the text that you have selected to interpret in order to illustrate your point.

  • Make certain that you take only the portion that is most helpful to the point you are trying to make—DO NOT TAKE WHOLE SENTENCES!

    3. significance:

  • The “why” it is being included. This is what the quote shows/suggests/implies that makes it important to your thesis.

    4. (citation):

  • This is the original home of the information that you are borrowing.

  • Be as clear as possible so that you can guide your reader to the same information in the text.

    Example:

    In Juster’s novel The Phantom Tollbooth, the tollbooth serves as a one-way barrier through which Milo must pass in order to truly enter a new world and thus become transformed. As Milo is entering the tollbooth for the first time, he remarks, “’I do hope this is an interesting game, otherwise the afternoon will be so terribly dull’” (page 7). This suggests that the main quality Milo must change drastically is his perception that nothing is worth much effort or time, even an obviously exciting adventure such as being transported in a little car to some strange place. Since he is passing though a tollbooth and not a simple bridge or road, he is unable to turn around and abandon the adventure until he is changed and the time is right for him to return to his normal life. 132

thesis


Opening core responses

Opening & Core Responses

  • Primary Trait Rubric:

  • Thesis statement effectively poses an assertion upon a debatable issue using the present tense (1.5 points)

  • Effectively and insightfully develops the thesis; demonstrates original critical thinking (3 points)

  • Very effective specific details/quotes from the text which are relevant and helpful in supporting the thesis (3 points)

  • Quotations from the text are correctly documented (1 point)

  • Quotations from the text are effectively embedded (1 point)

  • Word count appears immediately after response; the response must be a minimum of 100 words (1/2 point)

    Total: 10 points


Closing response

Closing response

  • Closing Question (from The Phantom Tollbooth):

  • How can valuing knowledge improve the quality of our lives?

  • Closing Response Requirements:

  • Must contain a thesis

  • Must contain evidence/example(s)

  • 100 word minimum in response

  • No text evidence from short story!

  • Closing Response Example:

  • Valuing knowledge improves quality of life by showing people the depth and beauty of our world.For example, learning about the universe can prompt further questioning and wonder about what we see in the sky; if we have some knowledge and curiosity about the universe, then we’re more likely to want to interact with it and learn more. With that interaction, the sky is no longer a simple blank space above the earth but rather a whole new frontier filled with secrets and perspective. The same can be said for studying language. The more one learns about words and how to use them, the more one works to choose just the right words to convey exactly what is meant, and the more we get out of that when we hear it. This makes our lives richer and more meaningful as we go through life, and that meaning helps us all feel more fulfilled. 152


Closing responses

Closing Responses

  • Primary Trait Rubric:

  • Thesis statement effectively poses an assertion upon a debatable issue using the present tense (1.5 points)

  • Effectively and insightfully develops the thesis; demonstrates original critical thinking (3 points)

  • Very effective specific detailswhich are relevant and helpful in supporting the thesis (3 points)

  • Word count appears immediately after response; the response must be a minimum of 100 words (1/2 point)

    Total: 8 points


Assignment progression

Assignment Progression

  • Step 1: Read CLOSELY & annotate the text – HW

  • Step 2: Compose questions & get “clearance” to move on – Tomorrow in class (Due 1/27 by end of class)

  • Step 3: Generate thesis statements in response to questions

  • Step 4: Back to the text—find proof , adjust thesis statements as necessary

  • Step 5: Embedding quotes & practice

  • Step 6: Compose responses (Finish for HW, due Mon. 2/3)

  • Step 7: Seminar (Mon. 2/3– 2 daily grades)


Final drafts

Final drafts

  • Option 1: Type using MLA format (refer to handout or links to videos on my website)

  • Option 2: Neatly handwritten on notebook paper. Do NOT write on the back of the paper.

  • Requirements for Both:

  • Full heading

  • Title: “Socratic Seminar Final Responses”

  • Page numbers

  • Word count after EACH paragraph

  • Each question and response labeled


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