Witchcraft Lesson Plan
Students gather research about the Salem Witchcraft Trials
and participate in a mock trial.
The student will analyze and evaluate the theories concerning
the causes of the Salem Witch Trials
- Assign roles
or positions for a mock trial. Suggested roles: prosecution,
defense, defendants, witnesses against, character
witnesses for (family, friends), jury, judge, bailiff, medical
Use the information at http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/texts/index.html to
find actual names of people involved in the trials.
- Research for information (from given sites, library, history
museums, CD-Rom software – stress the use of primary sources
Include present day theories about the Salem Witch Trials
- Each student must provide a written document of bullet points
concerning their role.
- Hold mock trial.
Time Required: 1 week
- Check the links to all the sites before beginning the unit.
There is some redundancy in case any links are not working.
Verify that you can access all the information you need.
the students to http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/texts/index.html to make a list of trial participants. Add any participants
a modern trial.
- As a class, develop a final list of participants
and assign roles.
- Stress the importance of Standard English
spelling, grammar, and punctuation for all written assignments.
- If necessary, review the trial process before beginning the
- Throughout the unit, monitor students to make
sure they are on task and involved. The written document
their roles forces
them to be prepared for the trial.
- Provide the
students with precise guidelines for the final paper before
the trial begins so they
to at that time.
The students write a paper including
the account of the trials, the theories concerning the hysteria
and the students’ opinions of each.
The Salem Witch Trials: Student Navigation
Directions: Use these instructions and tips to help you prepare
efficiently for your role in the trial.
- Go to http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/texts/index.html to
find the names of participants in the original trials.
which other people would be included in a modern trial. (Medical
expert, psychologist, etc.)
The class shares lists of people in the trial. The teacher
assigns or the class selects roles for the trial.
- Once you
know your role, you can begin your research.
- Take notes
for each site as you go along. Note the source of the information
for use in citations.
- During the trial, record your impressions
of the trial, the people involved, and the explanations advanced
by the expert witnesses.
- After the trial, use your impressions
to write your paper about the trial.