Salem Witch Trials

salemThis being Halloween week, we have decided to study the Salem Witch Trials for our American history lessons.  Our goals for this study go beyond learning history and adding pages to our notebooks .  I hope that when this week is over we will have a better understanding about how dangerous rumors can be, and how easy it is to fall into the trap of contributing to the spread of false accusations.

As with all of our studies, this one started with a library trip.  These are the selections we chose for our witch trial studies.

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Below are the links to the online resources we are using.

Easy to read 2 page article about the Salem Witch Trials

Biography of Increase Mather and witch trial word puzzles, printables, worksheets and quiz

Witch Hat themed writing paper printables for notebooking and journaling  

Video walking tour of Salem

The following links are what my teens are following for further study.

Short article explaining the possible causes of the mass hysteria occurring during the Salem witch trial era

From the  History Channel

Letters, maps, sermons, art, and trial transcripts

PDF of Author Miller’s The Crucible

Salem Witch Trial Interactive Game – “Can You Survive Salem’s Witchcraft Hysteria?” (This is not for younger children, it needs to be played/reviewed by the parent before giving the link to the teens)


11 thoughts on “Salem Witch Trials

  1. Founders Academy Lynn Schott

    Having just taught this as part of my Young Patriot’s American History class, we also learned how dangerous it can be to mix superstition with orthodox Christian teaching, and then add legalism on top of it all. It is worth noting that though many were accused and persecuted, around 20 were executed for witchcraft. During the frenzy, a large percentage of the colony left to avoid being oppressed by ‘witches’, and others to avoid being falsely accused. After the executions, there was a backlash against the extremism that brought the whole business to an end. People finally came to their senses and snapped out of the witch frenzy. Enjoy your study!

    1. Betty Jo Post author

      Thank you for your helpful comments! Yes, our study went very well. Yours sounds like it was a good one too. We had some terrific discussions about legalism, gossiping, and superstitions. The research of the legal/court system at that time was interesting as well. I would think that the Salem Witch Trials would be a popular Halloween week study for many educators.

  2. Jess Benoit

    This is awesome…my kids would be interested in this. I wish I could crawl inside your brain to see just how to come up with all of these great ideas & plan them out!

    1. Betty Jo Post author

      Oh no you wouldn’t want to be in my brain LOL! You should however save this idea of a Salem Witch Trial study for when you are learning early Am. history. It was more than interesting.

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