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March 03, 2021 High School

High School Lesson Plans

Grade Level

High School


For this high school Socratic Seminar, students will be asked to examine various readings and videos on public health and the rule of law and then explore the question “What role does the law play in protecting our health?” Encourage students to be prepared, participate actively, use evidence, listen carefully, and ask thoughtful questions of their peers throughout the Seminar.

There are resources to explore several public health examples (e.g. clean water, coal dust, COVID-19) included in this seminar guide, so feel free to select one or more, and adapt to your needs. 

Time Needed

1 class period, with potential for reading assignments in advance


After this session, students will be able:

  • Discuss what public health law is;
  • Provide examples of current public health law crises;
  • Explain how public health fits into a rule of law society and why it is important;
  • Gain valuable research and oral argument skills.


Introduction and Prep 

If students are unfamiliar with a Socratic Seminar, explain the format and norms.

Assign students the readings and videos on the rule of law and public health. A variety of potential resources are provided below, but you should feel free to add additional resources as appropriate for your community and students.

Assign roles and review Socratic Seminar norms.

Distribute Classroom Guide and conduct Socratic Seminar starting with the overarching question (tips and procedures for Socratic Seminars can be found below).

Debrief seminar

You my want to have students follow the rubric suggested below to offer feedback.

Potential debriefing prompt: I used to think this about public health_______, and now I think this _______.

Suggested Readings and Videos to Prepare for the Seminar

Suggested Readings and Videos About Current Public Health Crises

Resources and Readings on the Flint Water Crisis

Resources and Readings on COVID-19 Pandemic

Socratic Seminar Resources and Helpful Tips