Socrates Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will provide classroom activities about Socrates. Students will watch a video lesson, participate in a mock interview about Socrates, and engage in other collaborative activities.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe Socrates' life.
  • Summarize Socrates' philosophies.
  • Explain Socrates' influence on other philosophers.

Length

This lesson will take 60 - 120 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.10

By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Materials

  • Access to technology to watch Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy video lesson
  • Copies of the lesson worksheet/quiz, one for each student
  • Computer/Internet access
  • 1 set of index cards for each small group, with the following topics on each set (one topic per card):
    • success
    • love
    • justice
    • happiness
    • reality

Lesson Instructions

To activate prior knowledge, have students do a five-minute quick write about what they know about Socrates. Then have students share their thoughts and ideas with a partner.

  • Watch the video lesson Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy as a class. Pause at 1:14 to ask:
    • What is known about Socrates?
    • Why is information about Socrates limited?
  • Continue watching the video. Pause again at 3:03 to ask students the following questions:
    • What is the Socratic Problem?
    • How did Plato's work change over time?
    • What motivated Plato to write about Socrates?
  • Watch 'A Socratic Dialogue' section of the video. Pause at 5:10.
  • Have students turn and talk with a partner about what they learned about Socratic dialogue in this example.
  • Watch the remainder of the video with students. Ask the following:
    • Why were leaders threatened by Socrates?
    • Describe Socrates' philosophy.
    • What is the difference between knowledge and belief? Provide a real-world example.
    • What influence did Socrates have on future philosophers?
  • Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

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