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Eduu551 powerpoint1 Eduu551 powerpoint1 Presentation Transcript

  • The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials 10th Grade Language Arts
  • Now that we’ve read, The Crucible , use your journal to ask yourself:
    • Is there any issue, concern, or debate that you felt so strongly about that you asked yourself, “how can I do something to help or change it?”
    • Has anyone ever accused you (or someone you know) of wrongdoing, even though you knew you were innocent?
    • How did it make you feel?
    • How did you correct their error, or did you even try?
    • The accusation does not have to be a serious offence, it can be as small as someone asking, “Did you tell Sally that you thought my dress was ugly?”
  • In this lesson: We are going to examine the Power words can have. We are going to choose a side, explaining why we are For or Against the Salem Witch Trials, and write a letter to Sir William Phips, governor of Massachusetts in 1692. Governor Phips Governor Phips
  • Let’s Talk about Thomas Brattle
    • One of the most notable criticizers of the Salem Witch Trials
    • In 1692, Brattle wrote his now famous letter (dated October 8th) to an English clergyman
    • The letter showed his great disapproval of the trials
    • In it, he questioned the legality of using “spectral evidence” to find a person guilty.
    • He criticized the courts for the ways in which the accusations, arrests, trials, and executions were carried out.
    • The letter became widely circulated and read by many persons, including Governor Sir William Phips.
    • Words can have Power and Influence:
      • Brattle ends his letter with a statement that shows his understanding of how these trials will shape the image of American History:
    “ I am afraid that ages will not wear off that reproach and those stains which these things will leave behind them upon our land.”
    • The letter, along with other publications of the time, had a great influence on the governor.
      • Who are Increase and Cotton Mather?
    • Shortly after Brattle’s letter was written, Governor Phips ordered that the courts could no longer allow the use of spectral and intangible evidence.
    • Later in the month, the governor dissolved the court entirely.
    • Over 6 months later, the newly created Superior Court of Massachusetts took over the remaining witchcraft cases where no persons tried were found guilty.
  • Now, it’s your turn
    • For this assignment, you will:
        • Learn vocabulary terms
        • Read a summarized version of Thomas Brattle’s famous letter and two more (modern) versions of persuasive writing
        • Compose your own letter to Governor Phips, using persuasive writing to either praise him and the Salem Witch Trials or criticize them and urge him to stop the trials
    • We will break into groups to complete the vocabulary guide and then use the links I provide to gather information needed to compose your letter
        • Thomas Brattle:
        • Increase Mather:
        • Salem Witch Trials Memorial:
        • A possible explanation for the girls behavior. Food poisoning?:
        • Ergot?:
  • Lesson Objective
    • Students will be able to write a letter using a persuasive argument that demonstrates their understanding of the effects word choices can have on a reader.
    • California Content Standards
    • 10th Grade Language Arts
    • Main Focus:
    • Writing Applications 2.4:
      • Write persuasive compositions:
        • a. Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained and logical fashion.
        • b. Use specific rhetorical devices to support assertions (e.g., appeal to logic through reasoning; appeal to emotion or ethical belief; relate a personal anecdote, case study, or analogy).
        • c. Clarify and defend positions with precise and relevant evidence, including facts, expert opinions, quotations, and expressions of commonly accepted beliefs and logical reasoning.
        • d. Address readers’ concerns, counterclaims, biases, and expectations.
    • Other Standards that will be met
    • Reading 1.2
    • Reading Comprehension: 2.2, 2.3
    • Writing Strategies: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6
  • References:
    • All images retrieved from, and =
    • Lesson Plan: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (author unknown). Retrieved from,
    • “ Letter of Thomas Brattle, F. R. S., 1692” retrieved from,
    • Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. (2002). Retrieved from,
    • Salem Witch Trials: The Stones, A Memorial, Chronology. Retrieved from,
    • Thomas Brattle. (n. d.) In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from,