Reading Like a Historian: Salem Witch Trials

Resource ID#: 35904 Type: Lesson Plan

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General Information

Subject(s): Social Studies, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 11
Intended Audience: Educators educators
Instructional Time: 1 Hour(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Freely Available: Yes
Keywords: sourcing, contextualization, Salem Witch Trials, Puritans, Colonial, Massachusetts
Instructional Component Type(s): Lesson Plan Worksheet Problem-Solving Task Text Resource Data Set
Instructional Design Framework(s): Direct Instruction, Writing to Learn
Resource Collection: General Collection

Aligned Standards

This vetted resource aligns to concepts or skills in these benchmarks.

5 Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: King Philip's War of 1675

This lesson challenges students to answer the central historical question: What caused King Philip's War of 1675? After warming up with some historical background information, students are presented with 2 primary source documents: a 1675 document ostensibly representing King Philip's "perspective" (but actually written by a colonist) and a post-war query as to the war's causes instigated by the English government. Students then answer questions (sourcing, contextualization, close reading) to analyze the passages and work in pairs to answer a final corroboration question on the war's ultimate cause.

Reading Like a Historian: Examining Passenger Lists

This lesson requires students to look at 2 passenger manifests of English colonists headed to the New World: one to the Chesapeake and the other to New England. From the passengers' names, ages, and occupations, students must infer information about the "average" colonist who settled each region.

Reading Like a Historian: Mapping the New World

This lesson plan requires students to compare/contrast two maps, one from 1636 and the other from 1651, of early colonial Virginia. Students will think about how and why maps change over time, including how maps might be affected by changing historical events.

Reading Like a Historian: Pocahontas

This lesson focuses around two different versions of John Smith's "rescue" by Pocahontas. Students compare and contrast the two versions and encounter the idea of subjectivity versus objectivity in primary source historical documents. Finally, they read the brief opinions of two historians who provide their perspectives on the incident.

Reading Like a Historian: Puritans

This lesson utilizes 2 primary sources—John Winthrop's "City on a Hill" speech and John Cotton's "The Divine Right to Occupy the Land" speech—to challenge students with the fundamental question: Were the Puritans selfish or selfless? Students respond by answering questions, writing an informal extended response utilizing textual evidence from both speeches, and discussing the issue in class.

Related Resources

Other vetted resources related to this resource.

Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: King Philip's War of 1675:

This lesson challenges students to answer the central historical question: What caused King Philip's War of 1675? After warming up with some historical background information, students are presented with 2 primary source documents: a 1675 document ostensibly representing King Philip's "perspective" (but actually written by a colonist) and a post-war query as to the war's causes instigated by the English government. Students then answer questions (sourcing, contextualization, close reading) to analyze the passages and work in pairs to answer a final corroboration question on the war's ultimate cause.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Examining Passenger Lists:

This lesson requires students to look at 2 passenger manifests of English colonists headed to the New World: one to the Chesapeake and the other to New England. From the passengers' names, ages, and occupations, students must infer information about the "average" colonist who settled each region.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Mapping the New World:

This lesson plan requires students to compare/contrast two maps, one from 1636 and the other from 1651, of early colonial Virginia. Students will think about how and why maps change over time, including how maps might be affected by changing historical events.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Pocahontas:

This lesson focuses around two different versions of John Smith's "rescue" by Pocahontas. Students compare and contrast the two versions and encounter the idea of subjectivity versus objectivity in primary source historical documents. Finally, they read the brief opinions of two historians who provide their perspectives on the incident.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Puritans :

This lesson utilizes 2 primary sources—John Winthrop's "City on a Hill" speech and John Cotton's "The Divine Right to Occupy the Land" speech—to challenge students with the fundamental question: Were the Puritans selfish or selfless? Students respond by answering questions, writing an informal extended response utilizing textual evidence from both speeches, and discussing the issue in class.

Type: Lesson Plan