PLANS FOR SOCRATES'S THOUGHTS ON THE MEANING OF

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					                          UNIT PLAN FOR CIVICS PROJECT:
                                        Socrates’ Thoughts on
                                           the Meaning of
                                        Being a Good Citizen
This unit is geared toward Level 6 / Transition ESL students and is divided into three parts to be completed over
three class periods.

Assumption:

              1.    There are 10 ESL students attending the class. (Adjustments can be made by teacher for
                    varying class sizes.)

Objectives:

              1.    Level 6 / Transition ESL students to identify Socrates’ ideas on what it means to be a good
                    citizen.
              2.    Students will use the vocabulary associated with the test “The Apology of Socrates” and
                    associated discussion questions.
              3.    Students will reach a conclusion about whether or not they believe Socrates’ ideas about what
                    it means to be a good citizen or not.

Materials:

              4.    Copies of Selections from “The Apology of Socrates”, parts 1, 2, and 3.
              5.    Copies of “Vocabulary Sheet” for above reading, parts 1, 2, and 3.
              6.    Flashcards for vocabulary words.
              7.    Students need pens, pencils, and notebook paper.
                                                    DAY 1
I. PRESENTATION

Teacher says/asks: Today, we will have a civics lesson. During this civics lesson, we will study Socrates. Does
anyone know who Socrates is? Who was Socrates? What did he do? When did he live? What happened to Socrates?
Does anybody know what Socrates said about being a good citizen? Do you know what Socrates said about being a
good citizen? Today we will learn what Socrates said about what it means to be a good citizen.

Areas worked on: Listening skills and responding to oral questions.

Time: 5 minutes.

II. VOCABULARY PRESENTATION, PRACTICE, AND ICEBREAKER

Teacher does: Hands out the vocabulary worksheet.

Teacher says/asks: We are going to play a game. I want you to study the first ten vocabulary words so that you
will know what they mean when we play the game. You have five minutes.

Teacher does: Meanwhile, teacher writes the definitions for the vocabulary words on the board. Readies the first
10 vocabulary flashcards. (Five minutes pass.)

Teacher says/asks: Divide into two teams of five people each. Each team will form a line in front of the board. I
will show a flash card. I have written the definitions on the board. When I show a flashcard of a word, the two
people in the front of the two lines will have to point to the definition of that word. Ready, set, go.

Teacher does: Shows flashcards and keeps score. Repeat above steps two more times until thirty vocabulary words
are covered. Award some prize to winning team. (Candies?)

Areas worked on: Learning vocabulary in a fun and active way. (A fast way to cram a lot of vocabulary in their
brains in a short time.)

Time: 30 minutes.

III. GUIDED PRACTICE: READING, PT. 1 (READING ALOUD IN LARGE GROUP)

Teacher does: Pass out the Reading, part 1 with Questions, part 1.

Teacher says/asks: One student reads a few sentences aloud then the next student reads a few more sentences. I
will tell you when to stop reading and when another student can start. As we read, use your pencil to mark words or
phrases that you don’t understand.

Teacher does: As the students read, teacher corrects pronunciation and other mistakes as necessary.

Teacher says/asks: Were there any words or phrases you didn’t understand? What were they? (If they ask you
questions, answer them. If, no, say.) Well, let’s see. Turn the page and answer the questions.

Areas worked on: Reading aloud. Reading silently while other reads aloud. Pronunciation practice. Understanding
what others say as they read.
Time: 10 minutes.

IV. GUIDED PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 1 (ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN SMALL GROUPS)

Teacher says/asks: Now, we know a little about Socrates and what he thought. Get into our two groups. Read the
questions and talk with your group members to find the “right” answers.

Teacher does: Model activity if necessary. Walk around the room and monitor progress. Help students understand
parts of the reading or questions that they don’t understand.

Areas worked on: Answering written questions based on the reading. Conversing in small groups to find the
“right” answer. Writing the answer.

Time: 30 minutes.

V. ORAL FREE-FLOWING COMMUNICATIVE PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 1 (ANSWERING
QUESTIONS AND DEBATING IN LARGE GROUPS)

Teacher does: While groups are working on answers, teacher uses available time to write questions on the board or
an abbreviated version of them.

Teacher says/asks: OK, let’s start. What answers did you get? How about you, group 1, what was your answer for
question number 1? Where did Socrates live? (Etc., etc.)

Teacher does: Under each question that was previously written, teacher writes down the answers or an abbreviated
version on the board to validate responses. For blatantly wrong answers, teacher may correct. But allow ample
opportunity for students to correct each other. Teacher should not correct based on political views. If a student
doesn’t agree with Socrates, it is not the teacher’s place to convince him/her otherwise. It is healthy for students to
engage in debates, however. Just make sure that they “fight fair.” They should not be disrespectful to each other if
they argue. Moreover, they should stick to English. When passions are heated it is easy to break over into home
language.

Areas worked on: Answering oral questions based on the reading. Conversing in large groups to find the
consensus about the “right” answer. Speaking the answer. Engaging in free-flowing conversation when debates
arise.

Time: 30 minutes.

Note: As you may have noted, only an hour and forty-five minutes has passed. While it is possible to proceed to
the second phase of the plan (“Day 2”), I don’t recommend it. By this point, they are pretty exhausted by the new
vocabulary, difficult reading, and “heavy” nature of some of the thought questions. Better to switch gears and work
on something different. Perhaps you could incorporate a highly active exercise on a completely different subject
area—one that isn’t so heavy. Give them a chance to breathe.
                                                    DAY 2
I. WARM-UP / PRESENTATION

Teacher says/asks: Today, we continue our civics lesson about Socrates’ ideas concerning what it meant to be a
good citizen. Do you remember what Socrates was? Where did he live? According to Socrates what qualities did a
good citizen have? How did Socrates think we should make each other better citizens? According to Socrates, what
was the basic difference between the upper class and the lower class? How did Socrates spend his days? Who
brought charges against Socrates? Was he working alone? Socrates clamed that they were charging him because
they didn’t like him and wanted to silence him. Why didn’t they like him? Who was Chaerephon? What did he ask
the oracle? What was the answer he got? Did Socrates agree with the answer?

Areas worked on: Listening skills and responding to oral questions.

Time: 10 minutes.

II. VOCABULARY PRESENTATION, PRACTICE, AND ICEBREAKER

Teacher does: Hands out the vocabulary worksheet.

Teacher says/asks: We are going to play a game. I want you to study the first twenty vocabulary words so that you
will know what they mean when we play the game. You have ten minutes.

Teacher does: Meanwhile, teacher writes the definitions for the vocabulary words on the board. Readies the first
20 vocabulary flashcards.

(10 minutes pass.)

Teacher says/asks: Divide into two teams of five people each. Each team will form a line in front of the board. I
will show a flash card. I have written the definitions on the board. When I show a flashcard of a word, the two
people in the front of the two lines will have to point to the definition of that word. Ready, set, go.

Teacher does: Shows flashcards and keeps score. Repeat above steps two more times until fifty vocabulary words
are covered. Remember to only give them five minutes to study for the last “round” of studying. since they are
covering 10 vocabulary words instead of 20. Award some prize to winning team. (Candies?)

Areas worked on: Learning vocabulary in a fun and active way. (A fast way to cram a lot of vocabulary in their
brains in a short time.)

Time: 1 hour.

III. GUIDED PRACTICE: READING, PT. 2 (READING ALOUD IN LARGE GROUP)

Teacher does: Pass out the Reading, part 2 with Questions, part 2.

Teacher says/asks: One student reads a few sentences aloud then the next student reads a few more sentences. I
will tell you when to stop reading and when another student can start. As we read, use your pencil to mark words or
phrases that you don’t understand.

Teacher does: Model activity if necessary. As the students read, teacher corrects pronunciation and other mistakes
as necessary.
Teacher says/asks: Were there any words or phrases you didn’t understand? What were they? (If yes, answer
them. If, no, say.) Well, let’s see. Turn the page and answer the questions.

Areas worked on: Reading aloud. Reading silently while other reads aloud. Pronunciation practice. Understanding
what others say as they read.

Time: 10 minutes.

IV. GUIDED PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 1 (ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN SMALL GROUPS)

Teacher says/asks: Now, we know a little more about Socrates and what he thought. Get into your groups again
and answer the questions.

Teacher does: Model activity if necessary. Walk around the room and monitor progress. Help students understand
parts of the reading or questions that they don’t understand.

Areas worked on: Answering written questions based on the reading. Conversing in small groups to find the
“right” answer. Writing the answer.

Time: 30 Minutes

V. ORAL FREE-FLOWING COMMUNICATIVE PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 2 (ANSWERING
QUESTIONS AND DEBATING IN LARGE GROUPS)

Teacher says/asks: OK, let’s start. What answers did you get? How about you, group 1, what was your answer for
question number 1? (Etc., etc.)

Teacher does: Teacher writes down the answer or an abbreviated version on the board to validate responses. For
blatantly wrong answers, teacher may correct. But allow ample opportunity for students to correct each other.
Teacher should not correct based on political views. If a student doesn’t agree with Socrates, it is not the teacher’s
place to convince him/her otherwise. It is healthy for students to engage in debates, however. Just make sure that
they “fight fair.” Moreover, they should stick to English. When passions are heated it is easy to break over into
home language.

Areas worked on: Answering oral questions based on the reading . Conversing in large groups to find the
consensus about the “right” answer. Speaking the answer. Engaging in free-flowing conversation when debates
arise.

Time: 30 Minutes

Note: As you may have noted, more time has passed (2 hours and 20 minutes) because the longer time allotted to
vocabulary learning. While the teacher may be tempted to proceed to the third phase of the plan (“Day 3”), I don’t
recommend it. By this point, they are thoroughly exhausted by the new vocabulary, difficult reading, and “heavy”
nature of some of the thought questions. Better to switch gears and work on something different. Perhaps you could
incorporate a highly active exercise on a completely different subject area—one that isn’t so heavy. Give them a
chance to breathe.
                                                    DAY 3
I. GUIDED PRACTICE: READING, PT. 3 (READING ALOUD IN LARGE GROUP)

Teacher does: Pass out the Reading, part 3 with Questions, part 3.

Teacher says/asks: This is the third part of what Socrates said about being a good citizen. As before, one student
reads a sentence aloud then the next student reads the next sentence. As we read, use your pencil to mark words or
phrases that you don’t understand. Do not read anything colored in red or green. Just read the black words.

Teacher does: Model activity if necessary. As the students read, teacher corrects pronunciation and other mistakes
as necessary.

Teacher says/asks: Were there any words or phrases you didn’t understand? What were they?(If yes, answer them.
If, no, say.) Well, let’s see. Turn the page and answer the questions.

Areas worked on: Reading aloud. Reading silently while other reads aloud. Pronunciation practice. Understanding
what others say as they read.

II. VOCABULARY PRESENTATION, PRACTICE, AND ICEBREAKER

Teacher does: Hands out the vocabulary worksheet.

Teacher says/asks: We are going to play a game. I want you to study the first twenty-five vocabulary words so that
you will know what they mean when we play the game. You have fifteen minutes.

Teacher does: Meanwhile, teacher writes the definitions for the vocabulary words on the board. Readies the first
25 vocabulary flashcards. (15 minutes pass.)

Teacher says/asks: Divide into two teams of five people each. Each team will form a line in front of the board. I
will show a flash card. I have written the definitions on the board. When I show a flashcard of a word, the two
people in the front of the two lines will have to point to the definition of that word. Ready, set, go.

Teacher does: Shows flashcards and keeps score. Repeat above steps once mor so that the other twenty-five
vocabulary words are covered. Award some prize to winning team. (Candies?)

Areas worked on: Learning vocabulary in a fun and active way. (A fast way to cram a lot of vocabulary in their
brains in a short time.)

Time: 1 hour.

III. GUIDED PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 3 (ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN SMALL GROUPS)

Teacher says/asks: Now, we know a little more about Socrates and what he thought. Get into your groups again
and answer the questions.

Teacher does: Model activity if necessary. Walk around the room and monitor progress. Help students understand
parts of the reading or questions that they don’t understand.

Areas worked on: Answering written questions based on the reading. Conversing in small groups to find the
“right” answer. Writing the answer.
Time: 30 minutes.
V. ORAL FREE-FLOWING COMMUNICATIVE PRACTICE: QUESTIONS, PT. 3 (ANSWERING
QUESTIONS AND DEBATING IN LARGE GROUPS)

Teacher says/asks: (When they are finished, say) OK, let’s start. What answers did you get? How about you, group
1, what was your answer for question number 1? (Etc., etc.)

Teacher does: Teacher writes down the answer or an abbreviated version on the board to validate responses. For
blatantly wrong answers, teacher may correct. But allow ample opportunity for students to correct each other.
Teacher should not correct based on political views. If a student doesn’t agree with Socrates, it is not the teacher’s
place to convince him/her otherwise. It is healthy for students to engage in debates, however. Just make sure that
they “fight fair.” Moreover, they should stick to English. When passions are heated, it is easy to break over into
home language.

Areas worked on: Answering oral questions based on the reading . Conversing in large groups to find the
consensus about the “right” answer. Speaking the answer. Engaging in free-flowing conversation when debating.

Time: 30 minutes.

Note: Day 3 should be about the same length as Day 2, perhaps a little longer because the thought questions are
more intense. While I advised switching to something else at this point on the previous days, at this point on Day 3,
I advise plowing ahead. Give the students a chance to “over-learn” the material by a responsive writing. Yes, they’ll
be exhausted but it will never be clear in their minds than it is now. You can see if they understand the material and
see how they really feel about Socrates and his ideas about citizenship. (Coincidentally, it also lets you incorporate
a quasi-grammatical section to this lesson plan which was a pre-requisite for this project.)

VI. GRAMMAR / WRITING ASSIGNMENT

Teacher says/asks: Now, write a paper summarizing Socrates’ ideas and whether you agree with them or not.
When writing your paper, follow four rules. If you don’t finish, you may finish at home.

Teacher does: In addition to telling the students the above rules orally, he she should show them on a projector.

1) The writing assignment should be at least one page long.

2) If you agree, write three paragraphs: a) Summarize what Socrates thought about what it meant to be a good
citizen. Be sure that your verbs are in past tense. In the last sentence of the first paragraph explain why the
government was wrong to put him to death. b) In the second paragraph, tell me why you agree with Socrates. This
should be in present tense. c) In the third paragraph, explain how society would be better off if we all behaved like
Socrates. Tell me how questioning those in power would create a more just society. This paragraph should be in
conditional tense.

3) If you don’t agree, write three sentences: a) Summarize what Socrates thought about what it meant to be a good
citizen. Be sure that your verbs are in past tense. In the last sentence of the first paragraph explain why the
government was right to put him to death. b) In the second paragraph, tell me why you disagree with Socrates. This
should be in present tense. c) In the third paragraph, explain how society would be better off if we all behaved like
Socrates. Tell me how questioning those in power would create disaster for society. Tell me what would happen if
government allowed people like Socrates to harass the upper class all the time. Tell me how the power structure
would be undermined and chaos would be created in society . . . how nothing would get done. This paragraph
should be in conditional tense.

Time: 30 minutes

				
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