Are you looking for effective and engaging ways to assess students' understanding of The Crucible?
Give students choices with these differentiated culminating activities.
✺PROJECT #1 DANGEROUS IDEOLOGY THROUGHOUT HISTORY--
GROUP RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION PROJECT
--Students really enjoy this culminating activity at the completion of
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible.
--The project is a great way for kids to apply their understanding of the literature to real world events.
--This activity focuses on the rigid ideology of the Puritans as portrayed in The Crucible and by the accusers during the McCarthy trials.
--There is a brief discussion of the theme, “dangerous ideology."
--There is a subsequent discussion of other times in history where we can observe ideology falling into corruption and tyranny.
--The group project requires students to research people or events in history that illustrate rigid ideology becoming corrupt and tyrannical.
There is a list of 20 topics from which to choose:
1. Eugene Debs-WWI/Socialism/unions
2. Imperialism vs. Anti-Imperialism-Spanish/American War, 1898
3. Temperance Movement (18th Amendment)
4. Suffragists (19th Amendment)
5. Russian Revolution
6. WWII Dictators: Hitler/Mussolini/ Japan-Hirohito
10. Civil Rights-Malcolm X Black Panthers
11. 60’s Counterculture/Hippies
12. China-Human Rights
13. FDR-New Deal
16. Dalai Lama
17. Sacco/Vanzetti—1st Red Scare
18. Scopes Trial/Fundamentalism
19. Eugenics Movement
20. Cults: Jonestown, Charles Manson, Heaven’s Gate, WACO/David Koresh
--Quite a diverse list for a diversity of students’ interests!
--I provide a detailed scoring rubric.
--There are also graphics and quotes about tyranny that relate to the historical topics,
--This is a wonderful activity for all levels of students.
--I encourage students to present their information in creative ways.
--Most create a slide presentation; however, I recently had a group present Eugenics with a game that “kicked people out of the gene pool.”
--In the past students have shown clips from the Manson trials to illustrate the dangers of cults and played clips from Across the Universe to portray the hippy counter culture.
--Students have videotaped their own portrayals of protests, conducted interviews with historical figures, and decorated the classroom with WW2 propaganda posters.
✺#2 GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK-- MOVIE GUIDE
The movie, Good Night, and Good Luck
, details Edward R. Murrow’s pursuit of justice for those falsely accused, unfairly prosecuted, and sadly convicted of crimes for which they were innocent.
This movie guide prompts students to identify the parallels between the two historical events proving Miller’s play to be an accurate analogy.
The first page of this resource provides a summary of the plotline of the movie and a review of Arthur Miller’s motivation for writing The Crucible
The second page is a list of parallels between McCarthy’s Trials and The Crucible
Page 3 provides photos of the actors in their roles, their names, and identification of their position. Also on this page are four poignant quotes by Edward R. Murrow, some spoken in the movie.
On the next two pages are twenty questions for kids to answer during or after watching the film. There is space provided for their responses.
Finally, the last three pages provide the key to the students’ questions and additional notes for clarification.
I use a clear font and provide several relevant graphics.
My students respond well to this activity.
The award-winning movie is engaging and sustains their attention.
They clearly see the analogy between the McCarthy hearings and the witch trials and appreciate the artistry of Arthur Miller.
✺#3 INDUCED HYSTERIA—
RESEARCHED FORMAL SPEECH
--This researched formal speech activity requires students to research The Second Red Scare and McCarthyism, take notes, outline, cite sources, and prepare and deliver a formal speech.
--I use this as an introduction to our studying Arthur Miller's The Crucible
in Honors English class.
--The activity includes fundamental information about McCarthyism and a brief discussion of how Miller created The Crucible
, a play about Salem's witch trials as an allegory for America in the early 1950's.
--Although I use this activity to introduction the play, it would also be very effective in the history classroom and could be followed with the movie The Crucible
to show the similarities--false accusations and unjust punishment.
--Included are 25 possible research topics from which students can choose.
---The Cold War,
---Edward R Murrow,
---J. Edgar Hoover.
--Included is information on reading, researching, and citing information.
--A speech outline template is provided.
--There is general discussion on speech delivery: voice, eye contact, gestures, etc.
--A grading rubric is provided.
--A few appropriate graphics.
--I would recommend this activity for a College Prep or Honors course.
✺#4 THE IMPURE-ITAN—
A CREATIVE WRITING “TABLOID” ACTIVITY
--This is a project that I assign after reading and discussing Act 3 of The Crucible
; however, it can be used at any point after that.
--The project begins with a brief discussion of how scandalous Proctor and Abby's affair would be to the citizens of Salem in 1692.
--Following that is a discussion of how people in our society are intrigued by scandal and are drawn to tabloids that reveal the mishaps and misfortunes of celebrities.
--I've included an excerpt that discusses tabloid circulation numbers and the transition from print media to TV and Internet as a source of rumor collection.
--Students are assigned the task of creating a Puritan tabloid.
--They must include title, headlines, and bylines.
--They must discuss the events of Salem using Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How. (I provide a chart to help them organize their information.)
--They must also include their speculation about the fall-out from the revelation of John and Abby's affair.
--Students are asked to include three minor articles after reviewing the play through Act three including dramatic exposition and dialogue to determine topics (land-lust, working on the Sabbath, etc.)
--Students are required to include graphics.
--There are remarks about recognizing one's audience where students are told to maintain decorum suitable to Puritan sensibilities; maintain a tone in both words and graphics that is appropriate for a school assignment.
--Students may submit page(s) or a poster.
--I include a sample front page.
--This assignment includes a grading rubric and graphics.
--Could be used as a group project as well.
--This is always successful in my classes.
BONUS: I've included a one-pager activity where students fill in a template describing characters with quotes and graphics, theme, and other literary elements. Kids love this activity, and it's fun to grade!
Thank you for your consideration of this resource.
⭐ Colonial America and Puritanism Questions to Accompany PowerPoint
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE COMPREHENSION AND ANALYSIS QUESTIONS BUNDLE
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE Final Test Multiple Choice and Short Answer
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE Comprehensive Unit-Comprehension,Analysis,Creativity,Collaboration
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE Fun and Creative Activity for Characterization, Theme, and Irony
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE Good night, and good luck. MOVIE GUIDE-PARALLELS TO PLAY
⭐ THE CRUCIBLE: Culminating Activity Group Research of Historical Tyrannies
⭐ The Crucible Final Analysis and Reflection Essay Activity
⭐ The Crucible-A Puritan Tabloid-Creative Project for Comprehension and Analysis
⭐ The Crucible-Create a Character Cell Phone--Fun and Effective!
⭐ The Crucible/McCarthyism/Witch Trials--Research and Formal Speech Introduction
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