1. Introduction: Socratic Discussion
2. Overview of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato (p.3-4)
3. In pairs, give the students 2 minutes to compose as many sentences as possible with the words ‘I know’ in them (this could be competitive to add to the fun; if they are finding it too easy, make it a shorter time). Share some of these with the class. Listen out for any that are given which illustrate different kinds of knowing e.g ‘I know my boy friend loves me’ I know 2 add 2 makes 4’. Question the class as to what is different in these two kinds of knowing. Then extend the activity by asking them to sort their sentences into different kinds of knowing. Explain that this lesson is about people who have different ideas as to how we can know things. Give one or two thinking points, e.g.
Explain to students that because Plato wrote The Republic 2,500 years ago, the time may be right for a sequel and that you will give them a chance to adopt, modify, or reject Plato's views as they describe another, smaller ideal society: Utopia High School. To get started, conduct a whole-class brainstorming session in which students identify the subtopics to cover in their descriptions. A partial brainstorming list might look like the following:
3.Divide the class into groups, and assign to each group one or more of the subtopics that come out of the preceding brainstorming session. For each subtopic, the group must list three to five points, or details, along with a defense. For example, for "school schedule," a group might, first, detail the number of hours per day that students must be in class, the number of weeks per year that students will attend classes, and the frequency of time off and, second, explain the rationale for those proposals.
4.Ask each group to select one student to orally present the details and rationale to the class. Students in the audience should take notes from each presentation.
5.After the last presentation, help students figure out if any of the proposals are in conflict with one another. If so, lead a discussion on resolving those conflicts.
6.Select one student who will use outline form on the board or on an overhead transparency to summarize the description of Utopia High School that has emerged from the small-group and whole-class discussions.