Socratic Seminar/Group Discussion: The Crisis of the Civil War

This Socratic Seminar/Group Discussion: The Crisis of the Civil War lesson plan also includes:

High schoolers work in four different groups to examine the many factors that led to the American Civil War. They research an assigned topic, prepare questions, and finally engage in a class discussion using the Socratic Seminar method.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Extend learning by asking scholars to write reflective essays about a cause of the Civil War discussed by a different Socratic seminar group
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires handouts and class notes from the first semester/first half of the year 
  • Before beginning the activities, each group must understand certain significant events in history, such as the Compromise of 1850
Pros
  • Provides a long list of primary sources to use
  • Includes a grading rubric to help assess learning
Cons
  • None