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English - In the spotlight

Salem and the supernatural

What happened?

March 1692 was a dark month for the village of Salem, Massachusetts. Three women - Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne - were blamed for causing the young girls of the Puritan community to have "supernatural fits'" and were brought before local magistrates on 1 March accused of witchcraft. Tituba's confession sparked paranoia: by 1693, 20 residents had been executed for using "dark magic".

How can you teach about it?

The events of Salem inspired Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, a popular GCSE text for the AQA controlled assessment. TES Resources has a collection of activities and lesson plans to help you teach about this dark tale set in the panic-stricken American village. The collection includes:

- a teaching guide explaining exam criteria and grading;

- a complete scheme of work including starters, investigation tasks, assessment, plenaries and homework;

- a student workbook;

- resources for 24 lessons covering: symbolism and themes; an introduction to Salem and the witch trials; character relationships; decoding quotations; speaking and listening assessment; role playing; comparing characters; sample essays; assessment criteria and how to write an A* essay.

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