SOCRATIC SEMINAR: WHOSE LAND IS IT ANYWAY?  PROCLAMATIONS, ACTS & TREATIES

For Teachers

The combination of these readings is intended to culminate in a Socratic Seminar. Guidelines and handouts are attached at the end of this packet. According to Matt Copeland, from LearnNC.org, the Socratic Method "values the knowledge and understanding already present" in the participants.  Socratic dialogue helps us "examine premonitions and beliefs" to create an "equitable learning community." In a Socratic Seminar everyone works together to construct meaning, striving to come to a deep understanding of an issue, problem or idea.  The approach will help all involved move towards innovative answers to complex questions.  As a collaborative endeavour, it also allows students to delve into texts that would potentially be ‘out of reach’ if handled individually.

This can be done as a graded activity in which students demonstrate reading comprehension skills, the ability to use evidence to support a point of view, articulate an argument clearly, etc.  An adaptable rubric is attached.  

Preparation

  1. Assign texts to students and let them know that there will be a graded Socratic Seminar on the texts.  

  2. Decide which texts you will assign to which students (or decide how you will have them choose).

  3. Explain the annotation and preparation expectations.

  4. Explain assessment guidelines or provide assessment rubric.

  5. Provide discussion questions beforehand. You can use ours, make your own or choose a combination.

 

For Students:

The Socratic Seminar you are going to participate in will help you understand the legal issues around land title. You will need this understanding for your final assessment in which you will use evidence to support another First Nation land claim. The reading that you have to do to understand this is very challenging because it involves analyzing laws, acts and treaties from 1793 - 1985, so keep track of questions you may have and bring these to class.

To prepare for the seminar, you have to:

  • Annotate your assigned readings.  

  • Answer the questions in the reading packet.

  • Prepare at least two comments or questions that you want to talk about.

  • You must also add evidence to your evidence worksheet for the final assessment.

Seminar follow-up

After the seminar, you will need to do a written response.  This will also be graded.  You will receive several prompts, but if you have a different topic that you would like to write about, see your teacher.  

NOTE: If you are a student working through the site on your own, complete the readings and answer the questions.  We will have some assessments for you to complete if you want to when you have finished.

Guiding Questions for the Seminar (There are more in the packet to accompany the readings).

  • How does the Royal Proclamation of 1763 differ in tone or attitude from the Indian Act and related laws?  How does the language in the documents about the treaties differ?

  • What could have happened that caused attitudes to change?

  • Looking at the maps related to the treaties, what would you think are some reasons that treaties were important?

  • How is First Nations culture viewed?

  • What does assimilation mean in the context of First Nations in Canada?

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SOCRATIC SEMINAR PACKET OR CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW THE RESOURCES ONLINE.

 

  1. The Royal Proclamation of 1763
  2. Indian Acts and Treaties: 1876 - 1985
  3. Socratic Seminar Guidelines and Rubrics
  4. Resources and Links
  5. Scoring Guide (pdf)
  6. Scoring Guide (editable Word document)

 

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