Seventh-Graders Reflect on Rebellion

Seventh-Graders Reflect on Rebellion
Seventh-grade students in Joyce Kenny's social studies classes participated in a Socratic seminar to answer the question, "When is rebellion justified?" at the conclusion of their unit study of the American Revolution.

The goal of a Socratic seminar is for students to help one another understand the ideas, issues and values reflected in a specific text. They are responsible for facilitating a discussion around ideas in the text rather than asserting opinions, according to the Facing History website.

Using current event articles on topics such as the North Dakota pipeline protests and historical examples from the American rebellion against Britain, students engaged in a discussion on when it is justified to stand up to authority. They were placed in a circle with a partner who used a checklist to monitor them during the seminar. They were then given time to confer with their partner to improve their communication, argument and evidence. Students changed partners throughout the class lesson to ensure that every one of them had a chance to participate.