This essay asks students to develop a 5 paragraph essay, and describes what should be written in each paragraph. I usually use this towards the beginning of my school year to help students organize their paragraphs and essays.
Students must: develop a thesis, write a paragraph on the history of the Salem Witch Trials, discuss 2-3 possible explanations for why the girls acted as they did, discuss the significance to U.S. History, and conclude the essay. I give the students multiple handouts, video clips, and movies to help them gain the knowledge to write this, and they are expected to synthesize the information from these sources. I do not ask that they do additional research, nor cite their sources, as the goal of this is developing their essay. I have also included a rubric.
This essay pertains to several MA DESE Common Core Standards for Writing in History/Social Studies. A few examples include: "Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content" and "Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research."
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