Unit Plan: English History & Witchcraft in the Early Modern Era



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Unit Plan:

English History & Witchcraft in the Early Modern Era

Unit Overview

Assumptions of Students in this class


  • This unit plan is designed to be part of a unit in an Early Modern English History class or a unit in a General (Advanced) European Modern European History class.

  • This unit is prepared for advanced high school juniors or seniors or, alternatively, early undergraduates.

  • This unit plan is designed for students that have a solid knowledge of both European and English history (or for students that are willing to do extra reading to understand the historical events that occurred during the Tudor-Stuart time period)

  • This plan is designed to be taught to a class from 8-14 students.

  • This plan assumes 50-60 minute lesson/class periods.

Purpose/Rationale of this unit


  • To understand Tudor and Stuart English history

  • To understand the economic, political and social changes and continuities during the Tudor, Stuart and Civil War time periods in English history.

  • To understand the changes and continuities in law (the witchcraft acts) during this time period.

  • To learn about the European witch hunts in the Early Modern Era

To evaluate t

  • To evaluate the changes and continuities of the historiography of censorship.

Unit Framing Questions


Unit/Content questions:

  • What is witchcraft?

  • Did the witchcraft trials reflect the time period or was it the other way around?

  • How is conflict between social groups portrayed in the witchcraft trials?

  • How important is one individual in history? Is it the society or the individual that makes changes?

Key Concepts:

  • Legal systems as a source of social control

  • Rebels in history

  • Women in History



AP European History Themes Addressed in this Unit

Intellectual and Cultural History


  • Changes in religious thought and institutions

  • Intellectual and cultural developments and their relationship to social values and political events

  • Developments in social, economic, and political thought

  • The diffusion of new intellectual concepts among different social groups

  • Changes in elite and popular culture, such as the development of new attitudes toward religion, the family, work, and ritual

Political and Diplomatic History


  • The rise and functioning of the modern state in its various forms

  • The extension and limitation of rights and liberties (personal, civic, economic, and political); majority and minority political persecutions

  • Forms of political protest, reform, rebellion and revolution

  • War and civil conflict: origins, developments, technology, and their consequences

Social and Economic History


  • The character of and changes in agricultural production and organization

  • The role of urbanization in transforming cultural values and social relationships

  • Changing definitions of and attitudes toward mainstream groups and groups characterized as the "other"

  • Gender roles and their influence on work, social structure, family structure, and interest group formation

Likely Assessments


  • Annotation checks (for primary and secondary source readings)

  • Group presentations (on the primary source readings)

  • Historical Movie Review

  • Unit test

Lesson I: Henry, Elizabeth, James and the Witchcraft Acts

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Analyze implicit relationships, such as cause-and-effect, sequence-time relationships, comparisons, classifications, and generalizations.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion , and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Understand the meaning of the English Witchcraft Acts.

  • Be able to compare and contrast and track the changes and continuities in the English Witchcraft Acts.

  • Understand the social, political and economic changes between the 15th and early 17th centuries

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Computer with projector

  • English History Power point

    • slides 1-8

Activities

Activity One


Interactive lecture on slides 1-8 of power point slide show

Assignment for Lesson II


  • Read, annotate, & outline pages 155-169 in textbook (Britain: Civil War & Britain: The Triumph of Parliament)

Lesson II: Charles I, Civil War, Protectorate, Commonwealth, & the Glorious Revolution

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Analyze implicit relationships, such as cause-and-effect, sequence-time relationships, comparisons, classifications, and generalizations.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Be able to compare and contrast and track the changes and continuities in the English Witchcraft Acts.

  • Understand the social, political and economic changes in England 17th century

  • Understand the causes and results of the English Civil War

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Computer with projector

  • English History Power point

  • slides 9-14

Activities

Activity One


Interactive lecture on slides 9-14 of power point slide show

Assignment for Lesson III


  • Read and annotate: Read and annotate Chapter 7 in The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe by Brian Levack

    • (This chapter will give the students a brief background to the chronology and geography of the European witch hunts—and make some suggestions as to why the severity of the witch hunts varied over both time and geography.)



  • Read and annotate Chapter 5 in James Sharpe’s Instruments of Darkness

    • This chapter will give the students a history of Matthew Hopkins and the Matthew Hopkins trials in East Anglia.

    • This chapter will also show the students that the Hopkins trials are an English anomaly and suggest some reasons as to why these to place where and when they did.

    • Finally, this chapter will also suggest some possible theories as to why the hunts took place at this time and place based on the political, social, and economic backdrop of the period.



  • Students will divide themselves into 4 groups—each groups willgroup will be assigned a particular primary source —and will summarize that source for the class during the class period in which we review/discuss that source




  • Students should be prepared for a graded annotation check and/or a reading quiz

Lesson III: Witchcraft & Matthew Hopkins

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Analyze implicit relationships, such as cause-and-effect, sequence-time relationships, comparisons, classifications, and generalizations.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Be able to explain what witchcraft was in the Early Modern Era

  • Understand the demographics of European and English witchcraft

  • Know the different theories of WHY the witchcraft trails occurred

  • Realize that there is not always ONE explanation as to why significant historical events occur

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Computer with projector

  • English History Power point

  • slides 15-18

Activities

Activity One


  • Interactive lecture on slides 15-18 of power point slide show

    • Including discussion questions with in the slideshow

Activity Two


  • Teacher will facilitate creating a list of similarities and differences between Continental and English witchcraft trials (statements from students should be based on information from Levack’s Chapter 7)

Activity Three


  • Teacher will lead a discussion about WHY the European witch hunts occurred

Assignment for Lesson IV:


  • Read and annotate Chapter 2 in Malcolm Gaskill’s Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century Tragedy

    • This chapter will provide an introduction to Matthew Hopkins.

      • Gaskill places the early work of Hopkins into the context of the strife of the Civil War and considers how the rule of James I effected the mentalities of the people of East Anglia in 1645.

      • These chapters will also provide the students of a detailed walk through Hopkins’ first case: Elizabeth Clarke.



  • Read and annotate A true and exact RELATION Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex.

Students should be prepared for an annotations check in the following class period


Lesson IV

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Analyze implicit relationships, such as cause-and-effect, sequence-time relationships, comparisons, classifications, and generalizations.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Learn the basic biography of Matthew Hopkins

  • Understand some of Hopkins’ motives for the witch hunts.

  • Understand some of the social effects of the English Civil War on the countryside of England (specifically, East Anglia)

  • Understand the social, political and economic changes between the 15th and early 17th centuries

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Computer with projector

  • English History Power point

    • slides 20-end

Activity


  • Interactive Lecture (slides 20-end)

Assignment for Lesson V


  • Read and annotate Chapter 5 in Alan McFarlane’s Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England

    • This chapter will provide the students with an understanding of the value of the primary sources that the historian can use to make claims about witchcraft in the Early Modern era.



  • Read and annotate A True RELATION Of the ARAIGNMENT Of Thirty WITCHES

Lesson V

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Evaluate the interpretation of historical events and sources, considering the use of fact versus opinion, multiple perspectives, and cause and effect relationships.

  • Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical data, creating a product that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawn from research.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

  • Evaluating the importance of historical documents, artifacts, and sites which are crucial to history.

  • Evaluate the role of groups and individuals played in the social, political, cultural, and economic development throughout history.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Understand the importance of pamphlets and other popular works as sources for historians

  • Understand some of Hopkins’ motives for the witch hunts.

  • Understand some of the social effects of the English Civil War on the countryside of England (specifically, East Anglia)

  • Identify some of the causes of the witch hunts based on information from the primary sources (image of the devil, denied charity, threats to fertility, legal system, etc.)

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Harkness Table

  • Harkness checklist for each student (see attatched)

Activities

Activity One


  • Group A will present a summary of A True and Exact Relation of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions

    • Presentation will be no longer than 10 minutes and will answer the central historical questions of: who? what? where? when and why? And, provide a summary of the document.

Activity Two


  • Harkness discussion of A True and Exact Relation

  • The discussion will be guided by the discussion questions on this source



Assignment for Lesson VI


  • Read and annotate The LAWES against WITCHES, AND CONJURATION AND Some brief Notes and Observations for the Discovery of WITCHES



  • Read and annotate The Discovery of Witches

Lesson VI

Targeted Skills:


  • Infer an author's unstated meaning and draw conclusions about an author's stated meaning based on facts, events, images, patterns or symbols found in text.

  • Evaluate the interpretation of historical events and sources, considering the use of fact versus opinion, multiple perspectives, and cause and effect relationships.

  • Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical data, creating a product that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawn from research.

  • Identify themes in historical works and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

  • Evaluating the importance of historical documents, artifacts, and sites which are crucial to history.

  • Evaluate the role of groups and individuals played in the social, political, cultural, and economic development throughout history.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will…


  • Understand the importance of pamphlets and other popular works as sources for historians

  • Understand some of Hopkins’ motives for the witch hunts.

  • Understand some of the social effects of the English Civil War on the countryside of England (specifically, East Anglia)

  • Identify some of the causes of the witch hunts based on information from the primary sources (image of the devil, denied charity, threats to fertility, legal system, etc.)

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Harkness Table

  • Harkness checklist for each student

Activities

Activity One


  • Group B will present a summary of A True RELATION Of the ARAIGNMENT Of Thirty WITCHES

  • Group C will present a summary of The LAWES against WITCHES, AND CONJURATION AND Some brief Notes and Observations for the Discovery of WITCHES

  • Group D will present a summary of The Discovery of Witches

    • Presentation will be no longer than 10 minutes and will answer the central historical questions of: who? what? where? when and why? And, provide a summary of the document.

Activity Two


  • Harkness discussion of each of the last three primary sources

  • The discussion will be guided by the discussion questions related to each of the respective sources

Activity Three


  • Harkness discussion to provide synthesis of the 4 primary sources.

  • Central question: What can we learn from these documents?

Lesson VII (Movie, Wrap Up & Assessment)

Targeted Skills for Lesson VII:


  • Indentify themes in historical works, and provide support for interpretations from the text.

  • Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion and support those judgments with convincing evidence.

  • Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical data, creating a product that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawn from reading, discussion and research.

  • Evaluate the role of groups and individuals played in the social, political, cultural and economic developments throughout history

  • Evaluate the interpretation of historical events by contemporary authors

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will . . .


  • Be able to synthesize the information learned in this unit

Materials/Resources Needed


  • Harkness Table

  • Harkness checklist for each student

  • Witchfinder General/Conqueror Worm DVD

  • DVD Player & projector

Activities

Activity One


  • Watch The Conqueror Worm (or Witchfinder General) 1968– 86 minutes

  • Movie summary (from IMDB):

    • England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins, who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from "witches" in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest's niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne.

Activity Two


  • Harkness discussion (regarding the bias, truth, and fiction in the movie)

Final Assessments


  • Write a historical movie review

    • Basic Requirements:

      • 6-8 pages (typed, double spaced)

      • Plot summary

      • Thesis Statement

      • Your critical review of the movie overall (don’t forget to consider the time period of release)

      • Historical accuracy of the film (be sure to provide citations and a works cited page)

    • See Attached Rubric for more information



Rubric for Historical Movie Review








Criteria

Level 1 (55-69%)

Level 2 (70-79%)

Level 3 (80-89%)

Level 4 (90-100%)




Introduction

  • thesis

  • overview of main points

  • engaging

  • thesis in the form of an argument is not evident – simple statement of fact

  • little attempt to introduce areas of focus

  • little attempt to provide background information

  • thesis is attempted, but needs to indicate a clearer argument and/or makes irrelevant connections

  • areas of focus introduced, but are not clearly connected to the thesis statement

  • background information is insufficient to engage reader

  • thesis demonstrates an argument and is relevant to the scope of the review, but needs to be re-worked to be clearer and less awkward

  • overview of areas of focus is clearly introduced

  • background information is sufficient, but needs to be more engaging

  • thesis demonstrates a precise argument very effectively and is clearly relevant to the scope of the review

  • overview of areas of focus are clearly introduced

  • greatly engages reader’s attention through background information

Plot Summary

  • synopsis of film is insufficient to give the reader a basic understanding of the sequence of events in the film

  • synopsis of film is sufficient, but there is too little detail to give the reader a clear understanding of the sequence of events in the film

  • synopsis of film is concise and gives the reader a clear understanding of the sequence of events in the film, but it could use editing for brevity

  • synopsis of film is very concise, and also gives the reader a clear understanding of the sequence of events in the film




Body:

Topic Sentences and organization



  • topic sentences are not related to the thesis

  • topic sentences are at times relevant, but need to make a clearer connection with the thesis

  • most topic sentences are clear, related to the thesis and indicate to the reader what will be discussed in the paragraph

  • all topic sentences are clear, directly related to the thesis and indicate to the reader what will be discussed in the paragraph




Conclusion

  • restates thesis

  • summarizes main points

  • final message to reader

  • abrupt ending, restatement of thesis is not apparent

  • little attempt to summarize the areas of focus

  • final message has been written hastily and with little thought

  • thesis restated, but is not clearly related to thesis in introduction

  • areas of focus are summarized, but in a different order from which they appear in the essay

  • final message is simple and vague

  • thesis restated, but use of words very similar to introduction

  • areas of focus are clearly summarized

  • final message is relevant and demonstrates some thought on topic

  • thesis clearly restated using different words from introduction

  • areas of focus are clearly summarized and in different words from the introduction

  • final message is insightful and relevant







Criteria

Level 1 (55-69%)

Level 2 (70-79%)

Level 3 (80-89%)

Level 4 (90-100%)




Use of Evidence



  • very little evidence, examples, and/or details from the film or historical evidence are incorporated statements

  • information is superfluous – editing for relevance is needed

  • demonstrates little understanding of when to incorporate citations – review required

  • evidence and examples incorporated from the film and historical evidence needs to be more relevant or specific

  • demonstrates some understanding of when to incorporate citations – review required




  • relevant evidence and examples have been incorporated from both the film and historical evidence but could be more detailed in some areas

  • demonstrates an understanding of when to incorporate citations, a few more were needed

  • substantial and highly relevant evidence, examples, and details have been incorporated from both the film and historical evidence to confirm topic sentences and thesis

  • demonstrates a very clear understanding of when to incorporate citations

Research

  • shows some evidence of research and investigation




  • shows considerable evidence of research and investigation




  • shows thorough evidence of insightful research and investigation

Evaluation of Film

  • a limited attempt is made to identify a point of view

  • analysis of cinematic criteria is lacking detail and very few cinematic criteria are used

  • a point of view is identified but either not enough cinematic criteria are used to defend it, or the analysis is vague

  • demonstrates a clear point of view and analyses recommended cinematic criteria, but more detail is needed to be convincing

  • demonstrates a clear point of view and analyses several recommended cinematic criteria with great depth and detail




Organization of Ideas

(areas of focus appear in order as listed in intro, transition words/phrases used well)


  • the writing lacks unity and coherence




  • the development of ideas is not completely logical or coherent

  • the progression of information and ideas is, for the most part, logical




  • the writing is unified and coherent throughout




Sense of Audience

  • sense of audience is clearly missing: informal language is most evident

  • sense of audience is somewhat clear: formal and informal language is evident

  • sense of audience is generally clear: formal language is used for the most part

  • sense of audience is very clear: formal language is used throughout (no personal pronouns are used, no contractions, no abbreviations)

Mechanics of Writing

  • grammar

  • spelling

  • several major and minor errors are evident and occasionally interfere with the reader’s understanding

  • proofreading and editing highly recommended

  • a few major and minor errors are evident, but do not interfere with the reader’s understanding

  • proofreading would have been useful

  • some minor errors are evident, but do not interfere with the reader’s understanding

  • very few minor errors are evident and meaning is clear




Embedded Citations and Works Cited List

  • attempts to follow MLA style

  • many major and minor errors are evident




  • follows MLA style

  • a few minor errors in style are evident




  • follows MLA style

  • no errors in style are evident





Harkness Discussion & Checklist

What is a Harkness Discussion?


(from: http://learn.quinnipiac.edu/teaching/gettinghelp/documents/Harkness_Discussion.pdf)
THE "HARKNESS" DISCUSSION

It is called the "Harkness" discussion method because it was developed at Phillips Exeter Academy with funds donated in the thirties by Edward L. Harkness. It involves students seated in a circle, motivating and controlling their own discussion. The teacher acts as little as possible. Perhaps the teacher's only function is to observe, although he/she might begin or shift or even direct a discussion. The students get it rolling, direct it, focus it. They act as a team, cooperatively, to make it work. They all participate, but not in a competitive way. Rather, they all share in the responsibility and the goals, much as any members share in any team sport. Although the goals of any discussion will change depending upon what's under discussion,some goals will always bet he same: to illuminate the subject, to unravel its mysteries, to interpret and share and learn from other points of view, to piece together the puzzle using everyone's contribution.

Discussions skills are important. Everyone must be aware of how to get this discussion rolling, keep it rolling and interesting. Just as in any sport, a number of skills are necessary to work on and use at appropriate times. Everyone is expected to contribute by using these skills. Here are a few of the categories of contributions any one person can make. A comment in a discussion could be any of these (although there are more):


  • organizing, leading

  • summarizing, restating or clarifying the text

  • citing specific quotations, passages or pages from the text

  • asking a question about the text

  • commenting on the text, giving an opinion or reaction

  • making a suggestion about text or discussion

  • summarizing discussion up to that point

  • analyzing text or comment or whole discussion

  • reacting to comments

  • answering comments

  • restarting discussions

  • filling in a gap

  • arguing a point

  • asking for new information

  • asking for other comments, reactions

  • comparing to other works



Don't forget: this is a team effort. Not only does everyone have to do his/her bit, but everyone has to look out for each other: don't hog! Encourage those members who are holding back—direct questions to them. Keep the conversation alive. Preparation is key! Make sure you come to class ready to discuss a work--have some ideas and questions before we start. Don’t forget the focus of your discussion, the text! Cite quotations and examples generously, analyze it in detail and consider different interpretations. Those are the keys to great discussion.

GRADED "HARKNESS" DISCUSSION

Since this is a team effort, there will be a team grade. The whole class, more or less, will get the same grade. The exceptions are those students who distract or detract from the discussion or resist efforts to get them involved (they will score lower grades). It is also conceivable that persons could score higher grades by performing truly exceptional group beneficial feats such as "saving" or immensely uplifting a discussion in a way that benefits everyone. But, with few exceptions, everyone gets the same grade, so think as a team, act as a team.

This is what you need to earn an A:

A truly hard-working, analytical discussion in which


  • EVERYONE has participated significantly and, more or less, equally.

  • the pace allows for clarity and thoughtfulness -- but not boredom.

  • there is a sense of balance and order, focus is on one speaker at a time and one idea ("on the floor") at a time.

  • there is an attempt to resolve questions and issues before moving on to new ones.

  • there is a clear sense of what the group has covered and how.

  • comments are not lost, the loud do not dominate, the shy are encouraged.

  • students are animated, sincere and helpful.

  • the discussion is lively without being "hyper" or superficial.

  • everyone is clearly understood. Those who are not heard are urged to repeat. Those

  • who do not hear or understand are urged to speak up.

  • students take risks and dig for deep meanings, new insights.

  • students back up what they say with examples, quotations, etc. Students ask each

  • other to back up assertions with proof (if possible). (Not all of the time: there is also a

  • need for much speculation and even "uneducated" guessing in a discussion like this).

  • ALL STUDENTS COME WELL PREPARED.

  • the TEXT is referred to often!



The class will earn a B by doing most of the things on this list (a pretty good discussion). The class will earn a C by doing only half of what's on the list (half of the class is cruising). The class earns a D by doing less than half of what's on this list (everyone is cruising). The class fails if it's a real mess or complete dud and virtually nothing on this list is accomplished or genuinely attempted.

It should be clear that unprepared, unwilling students cannot hide or be carried by the crowd, but will, rather, force others to motivate them or else bring the group down as a whole. Don't do that to your classmates!



Harkness Discussion Checklist


Name: _______________________________ Class: ___________________________

Date: _______________________________




  • Frequency of Participation:

    • As a participant, you –

      • Took part on a consistent basis.

      • Took part on occasion.

      • Took part only one time.

      • Took part only when asked.

      • Did not take part.

  • Discussion Behavior:

    • As a participant, you –

      • Positives:

        • Listened to peers.

        • Addressed comments to peers.

        • Used names.

        • Made eye contact.

        • Interacted respectfully.

      • Negatives:

        • Tended to be dominant.

        • Side tracked discussion.

        • Disrupted the discussion.

        • Were inattentive.

  • Use of Materials/ Sources:

    • As a participant, you –

      • Habitually cited materials/sources.

      • Cited materials/sources on occasion.

      • Rarely cited materials/sources.

      • Did not cite materials/sources.

  • Types of Participation:

    • As a participant, you –

      • Questioned

      • Affirmed

      • Answered

      • Explained

      • Added Information

      • Built on Information

      • Used Support

      • Drew Others in

      • Reflected

      • Redirected

      • Summarized

      • Made Connections


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