I use the Socratic Circle method in class often.  I find that when I use it with a fiction or non-fiction reading, the students cover everything I would cover and more, provided they have properly prepared for it.

First, I have students complete a reading (usually outside of class).  For the first few circles we hold, I have the students create their questions in class, as it is difficult for them to understand the levels.  They create three types of questions:

Level 1: Literal- A literal question’s answer is in the text.  It is explicit and fact based (fully and clearly expressed, not implied).  For example:

Who is Friar Lawrence?  Is Benvolio a Montague or a Capulet?

Level 2: Analysis/inference- The act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.  Ask how and why, require analysis of text, reading between the lines, hidden meaning.  For example:

Why does the nurse agree to assist Romeo and Juliet?  What does Friar Lawrence think about the marriage? 

Level 3: Synthesis- Questions that reach beyond the text and inquire into the value, importance, and application of the information presented.  For example:

Can fate be defied?  Are teenagers capable of true love?

I have students pair up, with one partner evaluating the other while they are in the circle.  This allows them to gain skills both in speaking and listening, and evaluating.  I created the following hand out and rubric (based on the Common Core State Standards) for use in class.  Feel free to use and or modify them to suit your needs.

Socratic Circle Instructions

CCSS Speaking and Listening Rubric



10/30/2013 07:15

I have juniors duo up, along unit accomplice evaluating the further stretch they are in the compass. This tolerates them to increment abilitys both in speaking besides listening, plus evaluating. I designed the audience paw external plus rubric (based on the Usual Meat Posture Rules) for exploit in group. Think liberal to utilize furthermore or revise them to behoove your demands.


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