The Crucible

Update:  OK, we finished this unit very quickly.  We were able to read 3 out of 4 acts in class.  The kids stayed awake (or gave the impression of consciousness) pretty well, and I admit that I had some reservations about it.  Some of the kids even really found it interesting!   The test I made was pretty fun, in my (dorky) opinion and the comics are fantastic.  Even the essay questions seemed developmentally appropriate.  And the kids are getting better at using details to support and analyze.  I’m pleased with this progress. Follow this link to Herblock’s political cartoons!

I think it might be better to do this unit much earlier in the year (like when the kids are fairly new) because it has layers of interest and relatively easy language.

I think it would have been more enjoyable to add 1 to 2 weeks on to our BRIEF 3 week unit because all we had time for was reading and one discussion day (which, unfortunately, fell on the last day of our class before Christmas break!!!) so the discussion was a bit more of a struggle than I would have preferred.  With more time, we could have done more discussing/debating/role playing and maybe even some short in class writing to get them ready.  While the kids whined like crazy about their Double Entry Journals throughout the entire play, I maintain that if done properly, they are tremendously valuable in helping students SUPPORT their answers.

While it was not a great unit, it didn’t totally bomb and I can see how it could be a really great experience next time around! This is a rating system regarding movies that the author feels parallel the play.  I’m considering using the Pleasantville recommendation, but will be looking into it much further before committing.


HERE is what we DID accomplish for the 2008-09 school year (I would like to note that I am especially proud of the test I made for this unit! Email me if you want a copy.)

Witchcraft was hung, in History,
But History and I
Find all the Witchcraft that we need
Around us, every Day—

Emily Dickinson

Welcome to our unit on The Crucible!

The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1952 describing the Salem Witch Trials in Puritan New England.  Since we’ve already read The Scarlet Letter, we have a feel for the culture of this time period.  Check out these funny comics!

By Wednesday/Thursday (your last day of class with me this semester), this Crucible handout should be finished.  This website may help: Fact and Fiction.  It should also benefit you to have read “Why I wrote…” – I passed this out during class.  You must have 25-30 entries in your DEJ (Double Entry Journal) and all of these materials will be stamped so the Final Exam proctors know you can use them in class.   ALSO, for EXTRA CREDIT you may do a character list (all characters, all your own words) with descriptions and you will be able to use if for the Final Exam as well.

By Monday/Tuesday (B: 12/15   A: 12/16) You should have AT LEAST 20 Double Entry Journal responses.  You should have 25-30 by Wednesday.  If you want extra credit, your Character List (with brief descriptions) are due Wednesday as well.  And yes, they must be in your own words.  I will stamp ALL of these materials, including the handout mentioned below and you will be able to use them during your final exam.

In order to build additional background information for the Witch Trials, please follow this link.

As you peruse the website, keep the Salem Witch Trials in mind so you can answer the questions.  You should use a separate piece of paper; the responses do not have to be in paragraphs/full sentences.


5 Responses to “The Crucible”

  1. Erica Hand Says:

    I would love a copy of your final exam for The Crucible.



  2. Julie Faulkner Says:

    Hello. I stumbled across your website as I was searching for test questions to close my Crucible unit. I teach junior English in TN. I noticed this was several years ago, but would you still be able to send a copy of your test?

  3. Jen O'Daniel Says:

    I’m really interested in the test you made for this unit. I left my email, if I could have a copy? Thanks so much!

  4. Chalese Dunton Says:

    I would love a copy of your unit test for The Crucible! This will be my first year teaching it, and I am looking for a fun yet challenging way to test my students!
    Thank you so much!

  5. Chris Says:

    Can you email me a copy of your Crucible test? Enjoy your webpage!


    Chris Nagel

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