Socratic Seminar: Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird and in Modern Day
As part of the To Kill a Mockingbird unit, the ninth grade team plans to have students participate in a Socratic Seminar using To Kill a Mockingbird and other non-fiction and multimedia sources. The central topic of the seminar is racism in society.
The post, Students Coaching Students Socratic Seminar: A Step-By-Step Process, will provide guidelines for the Socratic Seminar model where students coach students in the discussion process.
Socratic Seminar Questions
- What is racism? Is it a belief, an illness, an action, etc?
- Is racism still a major problem in society today, and what causes racism?
- Has racism affected you or people you know?
- What are the effects of racism in society? Explain.
- What are the effects of racism on individuals (both the aggressor and the victim?) Explain.
- What lessons can people learn from Atticus Finch?
- Do you think Atticus Finch would have taken the case to prosecute George Zimmerman if he were asked? Why or why not?
- “Trayvon Martin Case: Questions, Answers and Facts,” by the Associated Press
- “Is Racism an Illness?,” by Noliwe Rooks
- “Why are People Sexist, Racist, and Judgmental?,” by Rachel Murphy
- “Racism May Speed Aging in African American Men,” by Melanie Haiken
- “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King Junior
- “Ferguson Unrest,” by BBC News
- “Prejudice Can Cause Depression” by the Association for Psychological Science
- “Ten Great Talks to Celebrate Black History Month” by various presenters of TEDTalks
- “Trayvon Martin and 2013 Revealed Harsh Reality of Racism in America” by Michael McAuliff
- “Glory” by John Legend and Common (video) and song lyrics
- “Blowin’ in the Wind” song lyrics by Bob Dylan
Handout for students with questions and a list of sources: