The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Preliminary Activity - Summarizing Non Fiction

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"The Crucible" is a 1952 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the US government blacklisted accused communists. Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. It was first performed at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Miller felt that this production was too stylized and cold and the reviews for it were largely hostile (although The New York Times noted "a powerful play in a driving performance"). Nonetheless, the production won the 1953 "Best Play" Tony Award. A year later a new production succeeded and the play became a classic. It is a central work in the canon of American drama.

This is a preliminary activity utilizing articles and websites pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials or Puritanism. Students peruse the sites offered and plan on sharing one article with the class.

So often students are challenged when summarizing nonfiction material, especially with Common Core Standards. With this exercise students copy/paste pertinent information from three major paragraphs from an article and then summarize it in their own words in one paragraph.

Then students learn to copy/paste a picture onto a word document with their summation. These final published documents are then shared with the class and hung on the bulletin board for all to view. Makes a wonderful display when finished!

This mini lesson assumes students have internet connections so that websites can easily be perused by clicking on the worksheet.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Preliminary Activity - Sum
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