Socratic Seminar

Aaron Huey: America's Native Prisoners of War

Note: Aaron Huey is a renowned photographer. He has had his work published through the Smithsonian, National Geographic Travel, The New York Times, and others, to name a few. He has extensively studied and lived with the Lakota people and is an advocate for the Pine River Ridge Reservation. We will watch a TEDTalk video and photographic transcript this week for discussion.

* Teacher here for more information on conducting Socratic Seminars in your classroom.


Day 1: Listen to the following video clip (15:43 seconds). Time will be alloted during reading time.

TEDTalk video- America's Native Prisoners of War

(my edited version wouldn't load due to size issues. has the unedited version available)

Classwork: Using a printed transcript of what you just read, use the following codes to designate talking points for our Socratic Seminar:

TedTalk: Printed Transcript

* next to a line you would like to talk about in a group setting

? next to a line you are confused about/doesn't make sense

# next to a line you would like to know more about/research

<3 (heart) next to a line that really meant something to you

Day 1 H.W.: Using the printed transcript, read through it again and be ready to discuss it in a group setting.

Remember, EVERYONE will be expected to have a voice. In addition, it would be helpful if you could research any of the material that you did not understand or would like to know more about. You will be helping others, as well as yourself.


Day 2: We will view the audio clip again before breaking up into groups of 4 to discuss the piece. The small group questions are posted here. This will be followed by a whole group discussion, lead by you. Your teacher will simply take notes and record what is being said, by what student.

Small group questions

Time Allotted:
15 min.: Video

3 minutes: Seminar guidelines reviewed
15 min.: Small group discussion
1 min.: Set up circle seating
15 min.: Whole group discussion
1 min: Put chairs back
8 min: Reflect on your new thoughts and ideas regarding the passage and clip.
Total time: 58 minutes


Mrs. Svarda will visit our room to share her direct experience visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation!

Plimoth Webcast (via Scholastic)



Why It's Important to Reread, Rewatch, and Retalk

1. Comprehension is NOT about answering literal questions from a text to prove you understood the text for a teacher.

2. Reading is about thinking. It's about sparking questions, emotions, feelings, connections.

3. With that being said, comprehension grows naturally through talk and collaboration. You will grasp a deeper understanding of what you read, when you have others to bounce ideas and questions off of.

4. I vow to keep the real way and the school way of reading the same. Personally, important thoughts through text need to be shared. That's one of the reasons why they are published and reprinted time and time again.

5. It's not rereading. It's rethinking.