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The Crossover: A Socratic-Style Novel Study Series

A Socratic-Style Novel Study Course on the book The Crossover by Kwame Alexander for students roughly in "grades" 4-8. Covers all English core competencies, encourages student-led discussion and expands reading comprehension and other critical literacy skills. Student-led, instructor-facilitated. 

Live Online

Starting date



A digital or physical copy of the book. Access to Zoom.


Mon & Wed
@ 4pm


8 Weeks

The Method

A Few More Words About the Socratic Method

The Socratic method is named after Greek philosopher Socrates who taught students by asking question after question. Socrates sought to expose contradictions in the students’ thoughts and ideas to then guide them to solid, tenable conclusions.
How Does It Work? 
  • The principle underlying the Socratic method is that students learn through the use of critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. This technique involves finding holes in their own theories and then patching them up.
  • In a Socratic Seminar activity, students help one another understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in a text through a group discussion format. Students are responsible for facilitating their group discussion around the ideas in the text; they shouldn’t use the discussion to assert their opinions or prove an argument. Through this type of discussion, students practice how to listen to one another, make meaning, and find common ground while participating in a conversation.
The standards

This unit digs deep into EVERY SINGLE common core reading literature and main writing standard.

Students thinking and discussion build a strong foundation of understanding for their reading responses. 
  • Create a Concrete Poem
  • Write Your Own Story in Verse
  • Guided critical reading questions (figurative language included)
  • Vocabulary (writing for understanding)
  • Poetry and Its Elements (analyzing two selections)
  • Symbolism and the Extended Metaphor
  • Analyzing Foreshadowing

Parents Receive Students their Students Final Comprehension Test

Book Reviews

Wow -- Kwame Alexander's THE CROSSOVER is a fast-moving, poignant, rhythmic ride that will leave readers breathless and in tears. 
Terreece Clarke
The biggest surprise of “The Crossover” is that, for all the bells and whistles of a young man’s game, it is most boldly and certainly a book about tenderness. 
The New York Times
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