Get your students writing better, thinking deeper and analyzing the bigger ideas and themes of The Crucible by Arthur Miller with this resource.
There are five different kinds of writing in this resource. With a little planning, they will all work together to strengthen your unit on the play.
First, I have included 50 bellringer prompts. I love starting each class with a quick five-minute freewrite. It’s a great way to get students focused and thinking about the themes of the day. From creative writing ideas, to questions that will get your students thinking, there is plenty here.
The second kind of writing included here is reading logs. These are also a kind of write-to-learn assignment. I have included two ways of breaking down this writing for students. With the practical guide included here, your students will be writing independently on the play in no time.
The third element in this resource is a cooperative group play project. My goal for this assignment is for students to understand the limitations of a play (little narrative, limited set options, etc.) as well as the advantages of of the play format (direct engagement with the audience, emphasis on the characters, etc.). I find that this also helps a great deal with their understanding of The Crucible. Handouts to get students thinking about themes, and a rubric to grade their performances will take you through this project with ease.
The fourth option for a writing assignment tasks students with taking one or more of the idea-based prompts from the bellringers and turning it into an evidence-based essay. I have included step-by-step instructions for that assignment as well. This is a more challenging assignment than the others, but if students are taken through it step by step, they should find success with their writing. This essay is one that students should complete after reading the play.
The fifth option for writing a piece based on the ideas and themes of the play is a comparative essay. I suggest having students complete this assignment over two class periods—with one day to complete the graphic organizer and one to write the essay. In order to complete this assignment, they’ll have to read other texts that they can compare with the themes of the play.
Table of Contents
Freewriting: A Guide for Students
Group Play Project
The Crucible Quote-Based Essay Assignment
Notes for Literary Analysis Papers
How to Revise an Essay Draft
Comparative In-Class Essay
Graphic Organizer for Essay
The promots, guides, handouts, rubrics, and suggestions here are based on sixteen years of teaching writing to all levels of high school. It’s not easy to take students through a writing assignment or to get them to improve their skills, but with the right tools, it can be done.