The Crucible movie guides allows students to explore the powerful concept of ‘groupthink’ and give them the opportunity to make conclusions on their own about the witch trials that took place in colonial America. Discuss with your students the 17 high-level, short answer and essay questions in this 6 page PDF movie guide by pausing at the designated times on the movie guide.
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An answer key is not included as many questions are open-ended and encourage students to analyze the film. Many answers will not fit into a 'box'. Students are encouraged to construct their own meaning from the characters' dialogue and behavior.
Here are my tips for using this movie guide in your classroom:
-Print one, double-sided movie guide for each student
-Preview each question on the movie guide as you come to it before resuming the movie
-Pause at the times designated on the movie guide and help students if necessary
-Discussion here is great, encourage and allow students to share their ideas and thoughts for any question
-Discourage students from simply copying answers
-If needed, and if time allows, feel free to rewind and show important parts of the movie for additional analysis
-After completing the short answers on the movie guide, allow about 10 minutes for each essay question at the end
-On average, completing this movie guide will require about 45 minutes in addition to the length of the movie
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The Crucible Unit
"Playwright Arthur Miller was personally affected by two major events of 20th century American history. In the 1930s, the Depression ruined his father financially. During the McCarthy era, Miller himself was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to name people he had seen at a Communist writers' meeting. Miller refused and was found guilty of contempt of Congress, a conviction that was later overturned. Many critics consider The Crucible a critical commentary on McCarthy's persecution of Communists." (From: http://www.classzone.com/novelguides/authors/miller.cfm)
Throughout this unit, students will connect the events of McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials to other events of mass hysteria in history and in present day.
Helpful Links and Information
• Literature can be used to strengthen the individual and regain power
from those who would use it for their own purposes.
• Truth has no meaning when men believe only what they want to believe.
• What is the importance of individuality?
• How can people use their power to make a difference in their lives and
the lives of others?
• What are the risks and rewards of using the power of the individual?