My students often find it difficult to understand why John Proctor and some of the other characters of The Crucible would rather die than lie. This level of morality can be quite foreign for today's teenagers.
To engage students with the moral issues raised throughout the play, I designed these scenarios. I cut them up into slips, and gave each to a pair of students. I told them that there was no single correct answer, but they must be able to justify their decision. I did not tell them anything about the play at this stage.
Students discussed three or four moral dilemmas in pairs, then joined with another pair to compare their responses.
After the activity, I asked students to predict what they thought the play would be about.
By the time we came to start reading the play, the students were extremely motivated to find out what happened. They also found it easier to relate to the characters as they grappled with ethical issues.