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Levels of Questions: Socratic Seminar

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by

Lydia Brooks

on 28 February 2011

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Transcript of Levels of Questions: Socratic Seminar

CLOSE-ENDED QUESTION (Level 1):
A question about the text that will help everyone in the class come to an agreement about events or characters in the text. This question usually has a "correct" answer.
Stated explicitly in the text
Who, what, when, where kinds of questions
Work on the factual level, establish evidence of basic information
Example: What happened to Hester Pyrnne's husband that she was left alone in Boston without family?
(after the first 4 chapters of THE SCARLET LETTER).

OPEN-ENDED QUESTION
(Level 2): An insightful question about the text that will require proof and group discussion and "construction of logic" to discover or explore the answer to the question.
Implied in the text
How and why questions
Work on the level of interpretation and analysis, pointing out what textual evidence suggests or means Examples: Why does Ophelia’s cooperation with her father disturb Hamlet? How does the symbolism of a catch-22 work on Heller’s novel? UNIVERSAL THEME/CORE QUESTION
(Level 3): Write a question dealing with a theme(s) of the text that will encourage group discussion about the universality of the text.
Go beyond the text to apply its themes to similar situations
Analytic questions
Work on the level of analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation, using the text as a guide to explore larger issues
Examples: How do the politics of power in 1984 parallel the power struggles in our own culture? Are the lessons regarding man’s innate evil in The Lord of the Flies applicable to our own era? LITERARY ANALYSIS Questions dealing with HOW an author chose to compose a literary piece. How did the author manipulate point of
view, characterization, setting, plot, conflict, or theme? Example: In MAMA FLORA'S FAMILY, why is it important that the story is told through flashback?
Elements of plot Conflict Setting P.O.V. Characterization Theme Conflict P.O.V. Theme Elements of plot Setting Characterization Theme P.O.V. Conflict Setting Elements of plot Characterization Level 1 Examples 1) What happened to Elie's older sister? (Night)

2) How did he kill the old man? (Tell-Tale Heart)

3) Why was one of the old man's eyes murky? (Tell-Tale Heart)

4) Where was Walter Mitty? (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) Level 2 Examples 1) Why didn't anyone try and fight back when the Nazis were rounding up the Jewish people? (Night)

2) I wonder why the window was boarded (The Boarded Window)

3) Why did her parents' conversation make Lizabeth want to destroy Miss Lottie's flowers? (Marigolds)

4) How did the narrator kill the old man? (Tell-Tale Heart) Level 3 Examples 1) Do traumatic events (like being forced into a concentration camp) change one's outlook on life? (Night)

2) Do most murderers convince themselves that they aren't "mad" and that they'll get away with it? (Tell-Tale Heart)

3) Do you think the theme of The Perfect Murder is to forgive and forget?

4) Were Murlock and his wife punished for not being a part of society (would something like this have happened to them if they lived around more people)? (The Boarded Window)
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