There are many misconceptions about what really happened during the summer of 1692 in the small Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts.
In this lesson, I have taken information from various sources and written a short informational text about what really happened before, during and after the Salem Witch Trials in language suited for middle school students.
I presented this lesson as a read-aloud (I read the text to my students as they followed along). Then, students answered 4 thought-provoking questions that require them to revisit the text, analyze and reflect on the text and form their own opinions about the story.
Students really enjoyed this activity and leave my class talking about all the possibilities and possible scapegoats surrounding the Salem Witch Trials.
I use this lesson in my 7th grade US History class. To do the whole lesson and go over the questions, it takes just under 30 minutes.