This multi-day pre-reading assignment is designed to provide insight and overview of the Salem Witch Trials while developing 21st Century New Literacies online reading, research, analysis and synthesis skills. It can be used in history courses or as a pre-reading activity for "The Crucible." The assignment is divided into two activities. The first requires students to use authenticated websites and databases to research the historical events in Salem and then generate an accurate, research-based narrative of those events. The second is a focused study of nonfiction primary documents to infer the validity of the trials and surmise possible causes. The assignment can be done in groups or individually and usually takes 3-4 days to complete.