During these lessons students in Year 3 English are reflecting on their understanding of the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. A story about people who have tried to create the 'perfect' society...a Utopia. But is it really perfect? What's wrong in this society? Instead of the teacher leading the conversation and asking all the questions, students were engaged in what we call a 'socratic seminar'. This is a 'democratic' form of conversation where there is room for an in-depth discussion around questions that each individual in the group has. Students sit in circles, without desks, to allow for a 'safe space' to ask the questions.
Here's a website that explains how 'socratic seminars' work.
The students found it challenging at first, but through guided discussion and with a set of helpful tools students were encouraged and learned to understand the novel in more depth! We will do more sessions like these in the future.
In the pictures: our Danish exchange teachers also joined in to help with the discussions.