17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials


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Teaching Materials

These include syllabi, lecture notes, discussion questions, and suggested activities for use in both history courses and American Literature courses, especially those which cover Arthur Miller and Nathaniel Hawthorn.

Best! Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1640-1700 [Link #37]
Part of a course "Images. Print, Literacy and Power in America: to 1900,"at the University of California, Berkeley, LIS 182, Spring 2001, by Mary Kay Duggan, Assoc. Prof., Information Management and Systems. This site includes facsimiles of a wide variety of rare books and maps, including the following:

Teaching About Thanksgiving [Link #74]
This text document is from The Fourth World Documentation Project, a service provided by The Center For World Indigenous Studies, and presents the tale of Thanksgiving with information about the Indian participants. Please see the link to "Debunking a Popular Internet Lesson Plan," (Link #366) for a convincing critique of the historical errors in this document.

Best! Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life by Jane Kamensky & Jill LePore, editors [Link #229]
A terrific site for anyone interested in high-quality scholarship about early America. Editor Kamensky, of Brandeis University, is the author of Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England, and Jill LePore, of Boston University, is the author of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity -- both must-have's on my bookshelf. This site includes features by New England's most-noted scholars on Early America, from Steven Nissenbaum to Joseph Ellis, reviews, column about new exhibitions & archives, a forum for school teachers and professors to discuss approaches to how to teach historical materials, an 'Ask the Author' interview, and a discussions board, The Republic of Letters. From the site: "Not a traditional scholarly journal...we range across interests and disciplines, from art history to archaeology, from politics to parlor manners." Definitely not one to miss!

Best! Debunking a Popular Internet Lesson Plan [Link #366]
This page takes on the factual errors in the Thanksgiving lesson "Teaching About Thanksgiving" (see below, Link #74) by The Fourth World Documentation Project, with many primary sources to prove its points. (Thanks to Jeremy Bangs for bringing this page to my attention.)

Pilgrims and Puritans: Background. Context and Developments by A. Nadine Burke [Link #20]
Included in the course material for Literature 271: American Literature I -- Literature until 1865, Delta College, University Center, MI, Winter, 1997, by A. Nadine Burke. There are a few paragraphs about the Salem trials in the middle of this document.

The Seventeenth Century: Echoes of the Renaissance and Reformation by Walter Fuller Taylor [Link #22]
These are lecture notes are based on Professor Walter Fuller Taylor's notes and lectures.

TAMHA: Teaching American History List [Link #78]
From the page: "Purpose: TAMHA (Teaching American History) is intended to be a place for teachers of American History to share ideas, compare notes, discuss the historical and social issues that define education, and finally to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of teaching American history. The list welcomes all those who have a genuine interest in teaching American history and those who are concerned about the future of education in America. Please feel free to initiate your own conversation, join one in progress, or just comment."

Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 [Link #119]
Information about items available from the Education Dept. of the Peabody Essex Museum: "A series of nine interdisciplinary lessons for students in grades six through twelve developed by teachers and the Peabody Essex Museum that explore the Salem Witch Trials of 1692....This book contains a series of lesson plans, developed and tested by educators, designed to help you teach the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. These materials evolved from a workshop held at the Peabody Essex Museum in June of 1992 in conjunction with the city-wide tercentenary commemoration and the exhibition Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692....These materials can help a class to prepare for a visit to the Museum or be used as follow-up after the class trip. If you are unable to come to the Museum, these materials will serve to augment your regular classroom studies....Each group of lessons, called a Theme Packet, is organized around a particular topic. The grade level, materials needed, objective and procedure for each lesson is carefully delineated. Each lesson also has a reference to the video Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Although materials for the lessons are not generally provided, most are available through libraries. Others can be ordered from the Peabody Essex bookshop, including the video."

The Crucible: Curriculum Unit [Link #148]
Included of an on-line catalog selling curriculum materials, from the site: "A comprehensive study guide to The Crucible with valuable notes for teachers, ten innovative lessons for students, and discussion questions and quizzes. The unit provides a Miller biography and chronology and an act-by-act summary of the play. Each lesson presents objectives, notes, detailed procedures, and thought-provoking reproducible activities. Lessons cover characterizations; the ballad form; plot, theme, chronology; vocabulary development; conflict; proverbs; cause and effect; irony; symbolism; and "McCarthy and Prejudice." Grades 7–12. "

Witches of Salem: The Horror and the Hope [Link #150]
Catalog info about a 21-minute educational video: "Witchcraft in America: Behind The Crucible." From the site: "Explore the background of the witch trials of 17th-Century Salem in the context of the religious and social conditions of that era and as a background to The Crucible." Includes study questions

The Crucible: Activity 3: Poster Report by Don Mayfield [Link #153]
From the site: "In this activity, you will learn about the actions of Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, especially how those actions relate to the broad themes of The Crucible"

CyberHunt for Colonial America: An Internet Treasure Hunt on Colonial America by Kimberly Hamilton [Link #154]
An excellent treasure hunt page about colonial America with questions and links to explore. From the site: "This CyberHunt is your time machine to the past! Explore life in Jamestown, aboard the Mayflower, and in Plimoth Plantation. Go back to 1692 and sit in on the Salem Witch Trials. Find out about the Boston Massacre and Tea Party. Discover how kids back then learned, played, and what happened when they did something wrong."

Teach with Movies: The Crucible [Link #160]
An interesting approach to using the movie in the classroom. This page includes discussion questions and other ideas.

Instructor's Guide to the Heath Anthology of American Literature by Paul Lauter, ed. [Link #194]
This site has a good overviews and discussion/essay questions for teachers incorporating texts in their classes -- presuably these texts are included in the Heath Anthology textbook -- by the following 17th century authors (plus many more): Thomas Morton (1579?-1647?), John Winthrop (1588-1649), William Bradford (1590-1657), Roger Williams (1603?-1683), Anne Bradstreet (1612?-1672), Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705), The Bay Psalm Book (1640), The New England Primer (1683?), Mary White Rowlandson (1637?-1711) , Edward Taylor (1642?-1729), Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), and Cotton Mather (1663-1728).

Salem Witch Trials: The World Behind the Hysteria [Link #237]
The Discovery Channel's contribution info about the trials, with some teaching materials.

The History of Witchcraft by Dr. Whitney Leeson, Roanoke College [Link #243]
A course syllabus and lecture notes on the topic of The History of Witchcraft.

Plymouth Archeological Redisovery Project [Link #314]
From the site: "While Plymouth Colony maintains a rich and valuable Native American and Colonial history, the archaeology of the former Plymouth Colony has never been utilized to the degree that we feel it can be." Includes some research papers and lesson plans.

Teaching Early American Topics by Society of Early Americanists [Link #354]
This site contains "a list of teaching resources and syllabi relevant to the field of Early American studies."

Links in this Category = 18

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This page was last updated Feb. 15, 2009 by Margo Burns, margoburns@gmail.com