1. First step. To prepare for our seminar, all students found one line in Gladwell’s article that they either really strongly agreed with or strongly disagreed with. Then, they starred that line.
2. Rules. We reviewed some of the rules of seminars: look at the person speaking, build of each others’ idea, read body language, listen to each other.
3. Line share. Each student shared the line they selected to agree or disagree with. First, they said the paragraph number, then read the line, then said agree or disagree. This gives everyone a chance to weigh in and also lets the class see where the conversation might head based on the responses.
4. Seminar discussion. Next, we started the discussion around our central question, Is To Kill a Mockingbird really a book about equality? Even the title suggests inequality (it’s a sin To Kill a Mockingbird, but you can shoot all the bluejays you want). Gladwell argues that it is not, and that Atticus’s argument is actually rooted in socio-economic inequality as a way to force his jurors to forget their own senses of racial inequality.
5. Final reflection. Students were given three minutes to write down anything they didn’t get to say during the discussion.
HW: None! Bring your book to school on Monday. We will be writing an essay next week.