The Crucible Project

I gave my College in the High School students (an American Literature class) a project to go along with the conclusion of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. They had the options below, and every one was chosen by one of the groups of three. Each group had to choose one option in each part.

Part I: Compose a full block business letter explaining in detail how two characters are foils or compose two Shakespearean sonnets connecting three characters in the final couplet of each (no repeated characters).

Part II: Compose and perfrom a scene (on video) occurring after the final act of the play or perform a scene from the play in class with the class as your live audience. Note: Part of this class is a performance and literature class, so the students have periodic performances.

Part III: Choose a quotation or passage deemed the heart of the play and create a visual representation of it or create a storyboard/mini-comic of one act.

Part IV: Only one choice: create a chart detailing how 20 literary terms/devices are employed by the author, include a quotation as proof, and explain the effect of the term/device on a character, the act, or the play.

So far, I’m half-way through the projects and they are fantastic!

What other ideas could I include for a future project of this type? What do you do?

6 thoughts on “The Crucible Project

  1. tamaraeden

    Hi there,

    We are working on the Crucible as well. We are definitely behind as we’re a new school and the beginning of the year started slow.

    One thing I like to do before or during The Crucible is research. High school students don’t tend to be required to do enough research. I got the following ideas from the web and then, of course, customize and tweak them. This year we did this:

    1. Research witch trials on the web. Take notes, create timeline. We still don’t have our computer labs set up so we did web research as a class using my LCD. Not ideal, but worked.

    2. Group research. Students are in groups of 4-6. Each person researches one of the following: Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism, Modern Persecutions, Arthur Miller’s life. They must turn in notes from their research which comes from three sources.

    3. Each group member must type 3 annotated bibliographies of their research.

    4. Each group combines their research and then one members creates a powerpoint then the kids present their powerpoint.

    SO…that’s the bulk of a pre/during project. During I give them study questions and quotes to know; the usual.

    This year I’m excited because I just received a donation to take 100 students to The Museum of Tolerance. This ties in very well with their modern persecution stuff.

    Don’t ask me if everyone gets all this done though 🙂

  2. drpezz Post author

    That sounds great!

    I’m lucky to have Social Studies colleagues who take the kids through an extensive Witch Trials unit, so I don’t have to do the research piece. I just make sure we read the play after this unit.

    Normally, I review McCarthyism after the play and show clips from movies like Guilty By Suspicion and The Majestic. The kids like it, and the clips give them a decent view of the hearings (although The Majestic is a rosy view).

    They are always surprised by Reagan’s involvement. 🙂

  3. Melissa

    That’s quite a range of options! My American Lit students are currently working on one of the following three choices:

    1) an analysis paper on how and why a dynamic character changes over the course of the play in either motivations, actions, or conflicts
    2) a letter written as a character to another character explaining their actions in the play (in standard business letter format)
    3) a “lost fifth act” of the play filling in a gap between acts, before act 1, or after act 4.

    (Please excuse the lazy typing; spent over 12 hours at school today!)

  4. drpezz Post author

    I really like providing options. I’ve found the students buy in much more when they have some choice over what they produce. It’s an easy way to instill some empowerment and feeling of control.


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