English - Salem and the supernatural

9th March 2012 at 00:00

What it's all about

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".

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

The collection includes a teaching guide, a scheme of work with starters, investigation tasks, plenaries and homework, a student workbook, and resources for 24 lessons covering symbolism and themes, an introduction to Salem and the witch trials, character relationships, decoding quotations, speaking and listening assessments, role playing, comparing characters and sample essays.

Who will survive?

On a very different tack, for S1-3 English classes, a plane crash leaves your pupils stranded in a deserted region of Canada in sub-zero temperatures. They have only 12 items to help them survive - can they determine which are the most important?

A speaking and listening task contributed by ACOYEAR8 includes a task sheet with explanations for pupils, guidelines for why each item may be useful, and a PowerPoint about how to carry out a group project.

In groups, pupils must assess the items they salvaged from the wreckage, ranking their values from one to 12. Can they choose between a fluidless cigarette lighter, extra shirt and pants, a bottle of whisky or a compass?

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