Teaching Literature through Discussion, Part 2: Podcast Episode 263

Mar 25, 2021 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


In last week’s podcast episode, Andrew and Julie focused on how instructors and parents can discuss literature with their students. In this week’s episode, 263, they demonstrate what an actual discussion could look like. Too often teachers find that in trying to engage their students in conversations about literature, their efforts fall flat. They ask, “Did you like the story?” and get a one or two word response. How then can we truly engage our students to think more about what they read?

The answer lies in incorporating Socratic questioning into your book discussions, and this is exactly what Andrew and Julie demonstrate during this episode. Pulling questions from the resource Teaching the Classics, they engage in a discussion about the short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Steven Vincent Benét. If you would like to be a “fly on the wall” participant, you can pre-read the story at this link before you listen to the podcast. Alternatively, you can listen to the story here.

Andrew and Julie’s discussion will hopefully spark some inspiration for ways that you can incorporate Socratic questions into your literature discussions with your students. Not only that, but the story is quite a fun one to read and discuss.

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