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  1. 1. The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials 10th Grade Language Arts
  2. 2. Now that we’ve read, The Crucible , use your journal to ask yourself: <ul><li>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?” </li></ul><ul><li>Has anyone ever accused you (or someone you know) of wrongdoing, even though you knew you were innocent? </li></ul><ul><li>How did it make you feel? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you correct their error, or did you even try? </li></ul><ul><li>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?” </li></ul>
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. Let’s Talk about Thomas Brattle <ul><li>One of the most notable criticizers of the Salem Witch Trials </li></ul><ul><li>In 1692, Brattle wrote his now famous letter (dated October 8th) to an English clergyman </li></ul><ul><li>The letter showed his great disapproval of the trials </li></ul><ul><li>In it, he questioned the legality of using “spectral evidence” to find a person guilty. </li></ul><ul><li>He criticized the courts for the ways in which the accusations, arrests, trials, and executions were carried out. </li></ul><ul><li>The letter became widely circulated and read by many persons, including Governor Sir William Phips. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Words can have Power and Influence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brattle ends his letter with a statement that shows his understanding of how these trials will shape the image of American History: </li></ul></ul>“ I am afraid that ages will not wear off that reproach and those stains which these things will leave behind them upon our land.”
  6. 6. <ul><li>The letter, along with other publications of the time, had a great influence on the governor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are Increase and Cotton Mather? </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Shortly after Brattle’s letter was written, Governor Phips ordered that the courts could no longer allow the use of spectral and intangible evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Later in the month, the governor dissolved the court entirely. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 6 months later, the newly created Superior Court of Massachusetts took over the remaining witchcraft cases where no persons tried were found guilty. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Now, it’s your turn <ul><li>For this assignment, you will: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn vocabulary terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read a summarized version of Thomas Brattle’s famous letter and two more (modern) versions of persuasive writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas Brattle: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase Mather: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Salem Witch Trials Memorial: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A possible explanation for the girls behavior. Food poisoning?: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ergot?: </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Lesson Objective <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>California Content Standards </li></ul><ul><li>10th Grade Language Arts </li></ul><ul><li>Main Focus: </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Applications 2.4: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write persuasive compositions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a. Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained and logical fashion. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>c. Clarify and defend positions with precise and relevant evidence, including facts, expert opinions, quotations, and expressions of commonly accepted beliefs and logical reasoning. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>d. Address readers’ concerns, counterclaims, biases, and expectations. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other Standards that will be met </li></ul><ul><li>Reading 1.2 </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Comprehension: 2.2, 2.3 </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Strategies: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 </li></ul>
  10. 10. References: <ul><li>All images retrieved from, and = </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson Plan: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (author unknown). Retrieved from, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Letter of Thomas Brattle, F. R. S., 1692” retrieved from, </li></ul><ul><li>Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. (2002). Retrieved from, </li></ul><ul><li>Salem Witch Trials: The Stones, A Memorial, Chronology. Retrieved from, </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Brattle. (n. d.) In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from, </li></ul>