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Cloning Socratic Seminar

After viewingТ Never Let Me Go as part of our PAGES experience at the Wexner Center, students were eager to learn more about human cloning. Т We read the following articles in class:Т “Human-Pig” Chimera Embryos Detailed,Т Whatever Happened to Cloning?Т and The Science of Human Cloning. Т Students read independently and together, annotating their texts and generating questions. Т Questions fuel Socratic Seminars!

Socratic Seminar is a great way to get students involved in a text- questioning, analyzing and citing. Т If you need more information about what a Socratic Seminar is, guidelines, or forms, I like this Teacher Resource Packet.

On the day of seminar, we sat in a large circle. Т Students were expected to contribute to the discussion meaningfully at least three times (asking a question or responding to a question). Т When applicable, they needed to refer specifically to one of the texts.

I was impressed with the discussion and the willingness of students to participate! Т We could have easily spent two days on this. Т Some interesting points and questions that students came up with are: Т cloning clones, how to define what is right and wrong, and the need to evolve and change. Т Students came up with interesting analogies and even brought in the issue of cloned food. Т You can see our notes here: Т Human Cloning Seminar Notes.

There are a lot of variations you can try with seminars. Т If you have a large group, you could split into two circles, creating a fishbowl (inner and outer circle). Т Students could then have a partner with whom to collaborate. Т Each circle would have the chance to discuss in the inner circle, while the outer circle tracks their partners and writes notes of anything additional to bring up next. Т If students are struggling generating questions, or if you don’t have a lot of time, you could use teacher-generated questions.

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