Topic/Subject The Salem Witch Trials Texts/Resources



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Expert Pack: Salem Witch Trial
Submitted by: Washoe County School District, NV

Grade: 5th Grade Date: May 2015




Topic/Subject

The Salem Witch Trials



Texts/Resources

Book(s)


  1. Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? And Other Questions about the Witchcraft Trials

  2. You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!

Article(s)

  1. ”Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans”

Video

  1. History Channel “Salem Witch Trials”

Other Media

  1. Confession of Salem Jurors, &c. [Primary Source]

  2. Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project [Interactive website]

  3. Salem Witchcraft Hysteria [Interactive website]

  4. Witches in the Colonies [Podcast]

  5. Trial of George Jacobs [Primary Source]

Each expert pack contains a variety of selections grouped to create as coherent and gradual a learning process for students as possible, generally beginning with lower levels as measured by quantitative and qualitative measures, and moving to more complex levels in the latter selections. This gradated approach helps support students’ ability to read the next selection and to become ‘experts’ on the topic they are reading about.

Refer to annotated bibliography on the following pages for the suggested sequence of readings.


Rationale and suggested sequence for reading:

The first resource, “Explore More with Facts for Now,” students are gaining background knowledge of the Puritan religion. The next resource, “Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem,” introduces the students to some of the prominent women, what led to them being accused, how the hysteria came to an end, and the effect it had on the U.S. justice system. The next two resources, “Witches in the Colonies” and “The Salem Witch Trials,” are a podcast and short video clip that provide the students with information on how witches were identified in the 17th century and possible causes for their strange behaviors. At this point students may be interested in exploring some of the people involved in the trials. The “Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project” website allows for student choice to further investigate the different people involved in the Salem witch trials. Following this, students will use their background knowledge to interpret what is taking place in the painting “The Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692” and to help them navigate through an online interactive National Geographic “Salem Witchcraft Hysteria” virtual trial. “You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!” will tie together the content from the previous resources to review what has been learned throughout the text set. “Confession of Salem Jurors” is the last resource because students should now have the background knowledge and vocabulary to access this higher-level text and understand that the people on trial were wrongly accused.‬‬‬‬‬




The Common Core Shifts for ELA/Literacy:

  1. Regular practice with complex text and its academic language

  2. Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

  3. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

Though use of these expert packs will enhance student proficiency with most or all of the Common Core Standards, they focus primarily on Shift 3, and the highlighted portions of the standards below.


College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading Literary and/or Informational Texts (the darkened sections of the standards are the focus of the Expert Pack learning for students):

  1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

  2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

  1. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently



Annotated Bibliography

and suggested sequence for reading
850L ”Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans”

Author: Michael Kaufman

Genre: Informational, includes clear section headings

Length: 978 words

Synopsis: This text provides a basic overview of Puritan history.

Citation: Kaufman, M. (2015). Explore more with facts for now: puritans. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from http://www.factsfornow.scholastic.com/article?product_id=nbk&type=0ta&uid=10749162&id=a2024385-h

Cost/Access: $0.00 Scholastic

http://www.factsfornow.scholastic.com/article?product_id=nbk&type=0ta&uid=10749162&id=a2024385-h

Recommended Student Activities: Wonderings

790L      Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? And Other Questions about the Witchcraft Trials
Author: Laura Hamilton Waxman
Genre: Informational; text characteristics similar to a simple textbook
Length:  42 pages
Synopsis:  This book provides an overview of the Salem Witch Trials including how the hysteria began, the trials themselves and the aftermath of the trials.
Citation:  Waxman, L. (2012). Who were the accused witches of Salem? And other questions about the witchcraft trials. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications.
Cost/Access:  $8.54 for paperback
Recommended Student Activities: Quiz Maker

740L “Witches in the Colonies”

Author: Lloyd Dobyns

Genre: Podcast (can download transcript of podcast)

Length: 9:17

Synopsis: This podcast provides some practical 17th century tips for identifying witches. Due to the nature of this topic, there is some reference to Puritan religious beliefs.

Citation: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Producer). (2008, October 27). Witches in the Colonies [Audio podcast]. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from http://podcast.history.org/2008/10/27/witches-in-the-colonies/

Cost/Access: $0.00 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

http://podcast.history.org/2008/10/27/witches-in-the-colonies/

Recommended Student Activities: A Picture of Knowledge

N/A      History Channel: “Salem Witch Trials”
Author: Unknown
Genre: Informational video; includes graphics, animation, and narration.
Length:  1:27 minutes
Synopsis:  This video cartoon explains one of the theories about the causes of the strange behaviors of the girls in the Salem Witch Trials.
Citation:  History Channel: Salem Witch Trials [Video file]. (n.d.) Retrieved March 7, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU8GvfeaOMo&feature=youtu.be
Cost/Access:  $0.00         History Channel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU8GvfeaOMo&feature=youtu.be


Recommended Student Activities: A Picture of Knowledge

N/A Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

Author: Benjamin Ray

Genre: Website (Interactive)

Length: N/A

Synopsis: Interactive list of important persons in the Salem Court Records.

Citation: Ray, B. (2002). Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num+all

Cost/Access: $0.00 The University of Virginia

http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num+all

Recommended Student Activities: A Picture of Knowledge

N/A      The Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692.
Author: Thomkins J. Matteson
Genre:  Primary Source; oil painting
Length:  N/A
Synopsis:  A painting based on the accounts of George Jacobs granddaughter, Margret Jacobs, who accused her own grandfather to save her own life.
Citation:  Matteson, T. (Painter). (1855). Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692 [Painting], Retrieved April 12, 2006, from: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=all&mbio.num=mb13

Cost/Access:  $0.00         Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=all&mbio.num=mb13 - To access:


  1. Click on the link

  2. Under the heading George Jacobs, Sr., click on the word “Images”

  3. Access the first image that appears (looks like a court room setting)

Recommended Student Activities: Wonderings

N/A “Salem Witchcraft Hysteria”

Author: National Geographic Society

Genre: Website (Interactive)

Length: N/A

Synopsis: Students will experience the 1692 Salem Witch Hunt in a terrifying online trial. How long have students been in the snare of the devil? Will they confess?

Citation: National Geographic Society. (2005). Retrieved March 7, 2015, from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/salem/

Cost/ Access: National Geographic

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/salem/

Recommended Student Activities: N/A (website is interactive)

940L      You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!
Author: Jim Pipe
Genre: Informational; illustrative guide
Length:  29 pages
Synopsis:  This book puts readers in the middle of the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600’s.  The book gives students tips about things they wouldn’t want to do and things they should try if they happen to be accused of being a witch.
Citation:  Pipe, J., & Antram, D. (2009). You wouldn't want to be a Salem witch!: Bizarre accusations you'd rather not face. New York, NY: Franklin Watts.
Cost/Access:  $8.78 for paperback            
Recommended Student Activities: Quiz Maker

1370L “Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.”

Author: Cotton Mather

Genre: Primary source

Length: 404 words

Synopsis: Jurors confess they have wrongly accused people of witchcraft.

Citation: Mather, C. (1692). Strange Phenomena of New England in the 17th Century including the “Salem Witchcraft, 1692. New York: Piercy and Reed, 1846. N. pag. Print.

Cost/Access: $0.00 Library of Congress

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b02706/

Recommended Student Activities: Pop Quiz

Supports for Struggling Students

By design, the gradation of complexity within each Expert Pack is a technique that provides struggling readers the opportunity to read more complex texts. Listed below are other measures of support that can be used when necessary.



  • Provide a brief student-friendly glossary of some of the academic vocabulary (tier 2) and domain vocabulary (tier 3) essential to understanding the text



  • Download the Wordsmyth widget to classroom computers/tablets for students to access student-friendly definitions for unknown words. http://www.wordsmyth.net/?mode=widget



  • Provide brief student friendly explanations of necessary background knowledge



  • Include pictures or videos related to the topic within and in addition to the set of resources in the pack



  • Select a small number of texts to read aloud with some discussion about vocabulary work and background knowledge



  • Provide audio recordings of the texts being read by a strong reader (teacher, parent, etc.)



  • Chunk the text and provide brief questions for each chunk of text to be answered before students go on to the next chunk of text



  • Pre-reading activities that focus on the structure and graphic elements of the text



  • Provide volunteer helpers from the school community during independent reading time.


achieve the core grey logo
Text Complexity Guide
“Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.” by Cotton Mather


  1. Quantitative Measure

Go to http://www.lexile.com/ and enter the title of the text in the Quick Book Search in the upper right of home page. Most texts will have a Lexile measure in this database. You can also copy and paste a selection of text using the Lexile analyzer.

2-3 band 420 -820L

4-5 band 740 -1010L

6-8 band 925 - 1185L

9 -10 band 1050 – 1335L

11 – CCR 1185 - 1385

1370L




  1. Qualitative Features

Consider the four dimensions of text complexity below. For each dimension*, note specific examples from the text that make it more or less complex.

The purpose of this letter is straightforward. Several individuals, called to serve as jurors in court at Salem, confess they have made mistakes when accusing individuals of witchcraft. They ask for forgiveness from God and from those they have offended. They declare they will never do such things again.

The structure of the text is moderately complex. The letter is generally organized sequentially. However, the connections between ideas are somewhat implicit as the text lacks clear signals and transitions to support the reader through the text.

Although the text is fairly short, the sentences are very long and complex, containing extensive use of commas, colons and semicolons. Vocabulary is also very complex (delusions, unwittingly, pardon, sundry) and may be unfamiliar to students. Phrases, such as “for want of” and “therefore hereby signify,” add complexity.

The subject matter will be familiar to students reading the expert pack. Students understand many people were accused of witchcraft and even sentenced to death by jurors. They will also have gained an understanding of the Puritan religion. Finally, students will have knowledge of alternative explanations re: the behavior of those afflicted.


Meaning/Purpose

Structure




Language

Knowledge Demands




  1. Reader and Task Considerations

What will challenge students most in this text? What supports can be provided?

  • Rereading, chunking, and discussion could support students with sentence length and vocabulary demands. Many of the words can be supported with discussion of the context.

  • Finding and unpacking “juicy sentences” could provide grammar lessons for the class.

  • Working with students to understand the basic organization of this text may support students’ understanding of the overall text.

  • Encouraging students to make connections to other texts in the set could support and deepen understanding.

Expert Pack: Salem Witch Trials
Submitted by: Washoe County School District, NV

Grade: 5 Date: May 2015



Learning Worth Remembering

Cumulative Activities – The following activities should be completed and updated after reading each resource in the set. The purpose of these activities is to capture knowledge building from one resource to the next, and to provide a holistic snapshot of central ideas of the content covered in the expert pack. It is recommended that students are required to complete one of the Cumulative Activities (Rolling Knowledge Journal or Rolling Vocabulary) for this Expert Pack.



  1. Rolling Knowledge Journal

  1. Read each selection in the set, one at a time.

  2. After you read each resource, stop and think what the big learning was. What did you learn that was new and important about the topic from this resource? Write, draw, or list what you learned from the text about (topic).

  3. Then write, draw, or list how this new resource added to what you learned from the last resource(s).

Sample Student Response

Title

Write, Draw, or List




New and important learning about the topic

How does this resource add to what I learned already?

  1. “Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans”

The Puritans came from England to the Massachusetts colony and their beliefs were an important part of the culture.




  1. Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? And Other Questions about the Witchcraft Trials

People were accused of witchcraft because of a horrible sickness. A man named Samuel Parris had 2 daughters. They were sick and people thought they were bewitched.  

Introduced some of the individuals involved in the trials.

  1. Witches in the Colonies

There were many ways to identify witches and ways to protect yourself from witches.

Connects the Puritan religion to the colonies and witchcraft.

  1. History Channel: “Salem Witch Trials”

This video explains causes of the strange behavior of the girls accused as witches. One explanation was food poisoning.

Instead of witchcraft, there might have been other causes of the girls’ strange behavior.

  1. Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

[Responses will vary by student selection of reading material… detailed information on specific people from Salem]

Knowledge will vary by student selection of reading material… detailed information on specific people from Salem.

  1. The Trial of George Jacobs

Visualize the hysteria of the witchcraft trials.

This painting showed how dramatic the trials were. It also showed what the trials and court looked like.

  1. Salem Witchcraft Hysteria

The decision to confess was a difficult one.

If you confess to being a witch, you were more likely to be freed. If you claimed your innocence, you were more likely to be convicted.

  1. You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!

There are certain things I wouldn’t want to do because I might get accused of being a witch, and things I should do if I were accused of being a witch.

Connects the beliefs of the Puritans and how the hysteria around witchcraft came to be.

  1. Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.

The jurors realize they made a mistake accusing the girls of witchcraft.

This explains how the jurors felt after they discovered they had wrongly convicted people of witchcraft.



  1. Rolling Vocabulary: “Sensational Six”

  • Read each resource then determine the 6 words from each text that most exemplify the central idea of the text.

  • Next use your 6 words to write about the most important idea of the text. You should have as many sentences as you do words.

  • Continue this activity with EACH selection in the Expert Pack.

  • After reading all the selections in the Expert Pack, go back and review your words.

  • Now select the “Sensational Six” words from ALL the word lists.

  • Use the “Sensational Six” words to summarize the most important learning from this Expert Pack.

Sample Student Response

Title

Six Vocabulary Words & Sentences

“Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans”

Puritans, reformers, frivolity, immigrants, predestination, exiled

The Puritans were religious reformers from England.

The Puritan reformers wanted to get rid of Catholic influences in their religion.

In the Puritan religion there was no frivolity such as music or decorations in church.

Many of the Puritans were immigrants to the New World.

The Puritans believed in predestination, God already knew who would go to heaven.

Some people were exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because they did not follow the Puritan rules.


Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? And Other Questions about the Witchcraft Trials

argument, bewitched, evidence, hanged, trials, apology

The villagers from Salem Village had an argument about how to choose the next minister.

The trouble began when two girls fell ill and many believed they were bewitched.

The leaders from Salem Town questioned the bewitched girls to uncover evidence against the accused.

Many of those found guilty of witchcraft were hanged.

Confessing was how many accused avoided going to trial.

People of Salem felt the minister should offer an apology after the end of the trials.


Witches in the Colonies

witches, devil’s mark, dunking, horseshoe, colonies, witch bottle

There were many tests to prove who was a witch and who wasn’t.

If you were a witch you may have had the devil’s mark on your body.

You were not a witch If you sank when thrown into the water during the dunking test.

An upside-down horseshoe hung over your door could protect you against witches.

Most English colonies had laws against witchcraft, not just Salem.

A witch bottle with goat’s urine in it was another test to find witches.


History Channel: “Salem Witch Trials”

prank, grudge, poisoning, rye, ergot, symptoms

Some people believe the trials were a prank that went too far.

Another explanation for the trials was a grudge against angry neighbors.

Food poisoning might be another explanation for the trials.



Rye was a grain grown in Salem.

A fungus called ergot can infect rye.

Eating ergot can cause symptoms like muscle spasms and seizures.


Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

Age of Enlightenment, persecutions, minions, convict, fantastical, demon.

The Age of Enlightenment was a time in history that people found thinking, reasons, and facts important.

The persecution of witches happened in Salem.

The minion supported and followed what others were doing during the time of the Salem Witch Trials.

Before the judge can convict the girls of being witches, they must be found guilty.

The idea of girls being accused of witchcraft seems fantastical in our world today.

Demons were thought to be the cause of the girl’s strange behavior.


The Trial of George Jacobs

No written vocabulary

Salem Witchcraft Hysteria

fractions, Tituba, fits, witchcraft, confessed, pardoned

The town of Salem was divided into fractions and the people living in Salem were not getting along.



Tituba, a slave from Barbados, told several young girls stories of the future.

Several young girls experienced fits like seizures and convulsions.

Many people believed witchcraft was the cause of the young girls’ fits.

Some of the accused, like Tituba, confessed to being a witch.

At the end of the hysteria, the governor of Massachusetts pardoned everyone in prison on witchcraft charges.


You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!

accused, specter, familiar, proof, tortured, testify

The girls accused the two Sarah’s and Tituba of being a witch.

Witches could use their specter to attack people.

Many witches used a familiar, or an animal controlled by the witch, to do evil.

The proof against the accused women was crazy.

Many of the accused people were tortured even though it against the law.

Children were made to testify against their own parents.


Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.

accused, trial, mistaken, jurors, evidence, forgiveness

Many people were accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.

At the trial of an accused, it would be decided if the individual was guilty of witchcraft.

The jurors believed they were mistaken, or had made mistakes during the trials.

Several jurors feel innocent people were wrongly convicted of witchcraft.

There was not evidence, or proof, that individuals were guilty of witchcraft.

The jurors begged for forgiveness from God and those they had offended.


Sensational Six

Puritans, fits, bewitched, accused, evidence, hanged, forgiveness

Summary:

The puritans were religious reformers from England who immigrated to the New World, many settling in Salem Massachusetts. In the town of Salem several young girls experienced fits, or convulsions and seizures. People in the town thought the girls were bewitched. Town leaders questioned the girls and the girls accused several people of being witches. Many people were accused of being a witch and found guilty even though there was not evidence proving they were witches. One of the punishments for being a witch was to be hanged and over 100 people were hanged in Salem. After the trials were over, many of the jurors realized they had been wrong and begged for forgiveness from those families they had offended and God.




Learning Worth Remembering

Singular Activities – the following activities can be assigned for each resource in the set. The purpose of these activities is to check for understanding, capture knowledge gained, and provide variety of ways for students to interact with each individual resource. Students may complete some or none of the suggested singular activities for each text. Singular activities should be assigned at the discretion of the teacher.




  1. A Picture of Knowledge (Recommended for “Witches in the Colonies,” History Channel “Salem Witch Trials” and Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project)

  • Take a piece of paper and fold it two times: once across and once top to bottom so that it is divided into 4 quadrants.



  • Draw these shapes in the corner of each quadrant.

  1. Square

  2. Triangle

  3. Circle

  4. Question Mark


?




  1. Write!

Square: What one thing did you read that was interesting to you?

Triangle: What one thing did you read that taught you something new?

Circle: What did you read that made you want to learn more?

Question Mark: What is still confusing to you? What do you still wonder about?




  • Find at least one classmate who has read [selection] and talk to each other about what you put in each quadrant.



  1. Quiz Maker (Recommended for Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem and You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch!)

  • Make a list of # questions that would make sure another student understood the information.

  • Your classmates should be able to find the answer to the question from the resource.

  • Include answers for each question.

  • Include the where you can find the answer in the resource.




Question

Answer


1.




2.




3.






  1. Wonderings (Recommended for “Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans” and The Trial of George Jacobs, August 5th, 1692)



On the left, track things you don’t understand from the article as you read.

On the right side, list some things you still wonder (or wonder now) about this topic.



I’m a little confused about:

This made me wonder:









  1. Pop Quiz (Recommended for “Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.”)

Answer the following questions.

Question

Possible Answer


  1. Who wrote this article and when was it written? What clues gave you this information?

The authors were the jurors who sat in on the Salem witch trials.

  • The title and introduction tells us “who wrote these words.”

  • The first paragraph also says we “serve as jurors in court at Salem on trial of many: who were by some suspected guilty of doing acts of witchcraft.”

The jurors’ names are listed at the bottom of the document.

  1. Whose “innocent blood” was shed during the Salem witch trials?

The people accused of being witches/practicing witchcraft

  1. What clues tell you that the authors are apologizing?

“Deep sense of, and sorrow for our errors”

“We were sadly deluded and mistaken”

“Beg forgiveness”

“We do heartily ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended”



  1. What are the authors of this document sorry for? Why are they asking for forgiveness?

The jurors are sorry for finding people guilty of being witches and sentencing them to death.


Expert Pack: Salem Witch Trials
Submitted by: Washoe County School District, NV

Grade: 5 Date: May 2015



Expert Pack Glossary
Explore More with Facts for Now: Puritans”


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Corruption

Dishonesty and illegal behavior by people in positions of authority or power. The owner of the company was fired because he was guilty of corruption.

Frivolity

An amusing and rather silly, or lighthearted way of being. There is a serious message at the core of all this frivolity.”

Theocracy

A society that is ruled by priests who represent a God. The United States government is not a theocracy.

Emphasizes

To indicate that something is particularly important or true, or to draw special attention to it. My teacher emphasizes the importance of reading every night.

Scripture

Writings that are regarded as holy in a particular religion, for example the Bible in Christianity. Often ministers quote scripture when talking.

Garments

Pieces of clothing. Many of my garments have my name on the tag.

Rigid

Laws, rules, or systems that cannot be changed or varied; these laws, rules, or systems are also considered to be rather severe. She was a fairly rigid person who had strong religious views.


Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? 1


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Tormenting

Extreme suffering, usually mental suffering. Her brother was tormenting with his nonstop teasing.

Churchgoers

A person who goes to church regularly. I am not really a churchgoer as I rarely attend.

Puritans

People who live according to strict moral or religious principles, especially when they disapprove of physical pleasures. Many Puritans immigrated to the United States in the 1600s.

Quarrelsome

A person who often gets involved in arguments. I had a bad day and was in a quarrelsome mood.

Minister

A member of the clergy, an official leader of the religious activities of a particular group of believers. His father was a Baptist minister.

Ritual

A religious service or other ceremony, which involves a series of actions, performed in a fixed order. Many religions have their own rituals.

Frail

Someone who is not very strong or healthy. She lay in bed with the flu, looking frail.

Verdict

The decision that is given by the jury of judge at the end of a trial. The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

Petition

A document signed by a lot of people, which asks a government or other official group to do a particular thing. Over 1000 people signed the petition.


Witches in the Colonies


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Persecutions

Cruel and unfair treatment of a person or group, especially because of their religious or political beliefs, or their race. The persecution of the immigrants has to be stopped.

Cornerstone

The basic part of something on which its existence, success, or truth depends. A belief in God is the cornerstone of many religions.

Insensible

Not able to feel pain. Once the dentist game me Novocain, I was insensible to the toothache.

Repel

Finding something horrible and disgusting. The odor of the garbage was repelling.

Fantastical

Something that seems strange or wonderful or unlikely. Seeing a unicorn would be fantastical.

Mores

The customs and behaviors that are typically found in that place or group. The mores of the Hopi Native Americans were very different from the Cherokee.



History Channel: “Salem Witch Trials”


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Contortions

Movements of your body or face into unusual shapes or positions. I had to admire the contortions of the gymnasts.

Incriminating

Suggesting that someone is responsible for something bad, especially a crime. Police searched his house and found incriminating evidence.

Calamity

An event that causes a great deal of damage, destruction, or personal distress. We may be looking at the greatest natural calamity in human history.

Rye

A grain grown in cold countries; its grains can be used to make flour, bread or other foods. Instead of planting corn this spring we planted rye.

Ergot

A disease of rye and other grains caused by fungus. The rye is infected by ergot, a fungus that can hurt the plant.

Delusions

The state of believing things that are not true. I was under the delusion that mermaids were real.


Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Committed

If someone commits a crime or a sin, they do something illegal or bad. I have never committed a crime.

Sensible

Sensible actions are actions that are good because they are based on reasons rather than emotions. She was a sensible girl and did not panic.

Guilt

An unhappy feeling someone has because they have done something wrong or think they have done something wrong. She felt a lot of guilt about cheating on the test.

Demolished

Proving that someone is completely wrong or unreasonable. A storm moved directly over the island and demolished buildings and flooded streets.

Reprieve

Someone who has been sentenced in court who has their punishment delayed or cancelled. It looked as though the students would have homework every night, but this week they were given a reprieve.

Calamity

An event that causes a great deal of damage, destruction, or personal distress. We may be looking at the greatest natural calamity in human history.


The Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692

No vocabulary because this is an oil painting.


Salem Witchcraft Hysteria


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Convulsions

Suffering from uncontrollable muscle movements. The girl suffered convulsions when she had a high fever.

Adversary

Someone who is competing with, or arguing or fighting against you. My main adversary in the game was the goalie on the other team.

Seethe

Being very, very angry about something but not expressing your feelings about it. She took it calmly at first but under the surface was seething.

Covetous

A person who has a strong desire to possess something, especially something that belongs to another person. At school a large bag of candy attracts covetous stares.

Afflicted

Pain, illness, or disaster that affects you badly and makes you suffer. The child has been so afflicted by ear infections the doctors decided she needed surgery.

Devoutly

A sincere or deep hope for something or belief in something. He devoutly hoped it was true.



You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Salem Witch! 2


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Frenzied

Activities that are wild, excited, and uncontrolled. The frenzied activity of the morning made everyone exhausted.

Enslaved

To make someone into a slave. They'd been enslaved and had to do what they were told.

Innocent

Someone who did not commit the crime of which they have been accused. He was sure that the man was innocent of any crime.

Accused

A person or a group of people charged with a crime or on trial for it. Her assistant was accused of theft by the police

Plagues

Sicknesses that continually cause you a lot of trouble or suffering. She was plagued by weakness, fatigue, and dizziness.

Writhe

A body that twists and turns violently backwards and forwards usually because you are in great pain of discomfort. He writhed in agony.

Freed

To let someone go or release them from prison. Rescue workers freed him by cutting away part of the car.

Executed

To kill someone as a punishment for a serious crime. The judge ruled for the criminal to be executed for his crimes.

Noose

A circular loop at the end of a piece of rope or wire, tied with a knot that allows it to be tightened, and is usually used to trap animals or hang people.


Confession of Salem Jurors, &c.


Word

Student-Friendly Definition

Sundry

Several people or things, which are different from each other. Scientists, business people, and sundry others gathered on Monday for the official opening.

Delusions

A false idea. I was under the delusion that he intended to give me an A on my project but I got a C.

Deuteronomy xvii

A book of the Bible which tells people if they find someone doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, they need to take this person out of their town and stone him or her to death.

Condemning

Something that is very bad and unacceptable. Graham was right to condemn his players for their poor attitude.

Deluded

Someone who believes something that is not true. We deluded ourselves when we believed we will win the lottery.

Inheritance

Money or property that someone receives from someone who has died. Her father left a large inheritance to her when he died.

Instrumental

Something or someone involved in a process or event that helps to make it happen. In his first years as chairman he was instrumental in making changes that greatly improved the company.

Scripture

Writings that are regarded as holy in particular religions, for example the Bible in Christianity. Sometimes people read quotes from scripture in church.



1 These words are in addition to the bolded words found in the text, which are defined in the glossary.

2 These words are in addition to the bolded words found in the text, which are defined in the glossary.


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