Socrates Lesson Plan


  1. To introduce students to the life and philosophy of Socrates.
  2. To help students understand the Socratic Method and its application.
  3. To engage students in critical thinking and philosophical discussions using the Socratic Method.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson Plan:

I. Introduction (10 minutes)

A. Begin the class with a brief introduction to Socrates: 1. Explain that Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived in Athens around 470-399 BCE. 2. Emphasize that Socrates is known for his contributions to ethics, epistemology, and the Socratic Method.

B. Ask students if they have heard of Socrates and what they know about him.

C. Distribute the handout on Socrates and review the key points.

II. Socrates’ Life and Philosophy (15 minutes)

A. Discuss the key events in Socrates’ life: 1. His role as a philosopher in Athens. 2. His trial and execution.

B. Examine Socrates’ main ideas: 1. The importance of questioning and self-examination. 2. The pursuit of virtue and the good life. 3. The concept of moral relativism.

C. Provide examples of Socratic thought in practice, such as his questioning of Athenian politicians and the Oracle of Delphi.

III. The Socratic Method (15 minutes)

A. Introduce the Socratic Method as a form of inquiry and discussion.

B. Explain the steps of the Socratic Method: 1. Posing a question or problem. 2. Analyzing the initial answer or definition. 3. Asking further questions to refine the answer or definition. 4. Reaching a clearer understanding or a conclusion.

C. Provide an example of the Socratic Method in action, using an excerpt from Plato’s Dialogues.

D. Discuss the value of the Socratic Method in developing critical thinking and understanding complex ideas.

IV. Applying the Socratic Method (10 minutes)

A. Divide students into small groups and assign each group a topic or question (e.g., What is justice? What is the purpose of education?).

B. Instruct students to engage in a Socratic dialogue, following the steps of the Socratic Method.

C. Circulate among the groups to facilitate and monitor their discussions.

V. Conclusion (5 minutes)

A. Bring the class together and ask each group to share their conclusions or insights.

B. Summarize the key concepts and importance of Socrates and his method.

C. Encourage students to use the Socratic Method in their everyday lives to foster critical thinking and understanding.