Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.

More

 

Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.

More

 

Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

An Exploration of The Crucible through Seventeenth-Century Portraits

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

An Exploration of The Crucible through Seventeenth-Century Portraits

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Kottaras

Pasadena, California

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • compare their knowledge about the Puritans to Miller’s characterization in their journals.
  • describe a character’s insights, developments and actions and critique that character’s behaviors using the Character Trading Card.
  • learn about the historical and cultural context of The Crucible as it relates to art and portraiture.
  • analyze several portraits of Puritans from seventeenth-century America in their journals.
  • create an original portrait of their character using the information gathered in their Trading Card assignment and their review of seventeenth-century portraits.

  • write a description and rationale of their portrait.

  • present their portrait to the class in during a Gallery Walk.

 

back to top

 

Session One

  1. Begin by having the students respond to the following questions in writing. 
    • When you hear the word “pilgrim,” what images and associations come to your mind?
    • What stereotypes of the original Pilgrims (or Puritans) have Miller’s play upheld, so far?
    • What has surprised you about Miller’s characterization of the Pilgrims, or Puritans?
    Students may respond with connections back to Thanksgiving, the Puritans’ relationships with the Native Americans, their religious piety, their physical struggles in the “New World,” etc.  As a class, review students’ journal responses, and write the responses on the board or on chart paper.
  2. Show students the Character Trading Cards interactive and, as a class, have the students complete a practice trading card for Tituba, so as to check for understanding, before moving on to the next step.
  3. Divide students into 8 groups, one for each of the following characters who appear in Act One:
    • Betty
    • Reverend Parris
    • Abigail
    • Mr. Putnam
    • John Proctor
    • Giles Corey
    • Rebecca Nurse
    • Reverend Hale
    Students will remain in these groups throughout the next session to create a Character Trading Card for their assigned character.

back to top

 

Session Two

  1. Using the information provided in Act One, student groups (that were assigned in Session One) will use this session to create a Character Trading Card for their assigned character.  When they finish, have students print their Trading Card.  Remind students that their work will not save.
  2. Before they leave, have the students share one way that this particular character’s actions or motives contradicted their former understanding of the Puritans.
  3. Collect the Trading Cards, and if you have access to a photocopy machine, make a copy of each card for each student, to be handed out during Session Three.

back to top

 

Session Three

  1. Provide students with an overview of the historical context of Early American literature and art (or lack thereof) using PAL: Perspectives in American Literature - A Research and Reference Guide Chapter 1: Early American Literature to 1700 - A Brief Introduction and The Cambridge History of American Literature: 1590-1820 By Sacvan Bercovitch, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  2. Have students open the link to the image of Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary at the Worcester Art Museum’s on-line gallery and/or bring it up on the LCD projector.  You can click on the image to zoom in.  Ask students to describe the painting, using the following questions to catalyze their responses and ask students to share their responses to the portrait:
    • Describe the painting.  What are the mother and child doing?  Describe their clothes.  Describe the room. 
    • Describe the faces of the mother and child.  How would you describe their emotions?
    • What feeling do you get when you look at this painting?
    • What new information does this portrait give you about life for seventeenth-century Puritans?
  3. Have the students return to their groups and go online to visit the portraits of Puritans at the following online galleries.
  4. Have them look through all of the portraits, and then choose the one that they think most closely resembles their assigned character from the Trading Card assignment.  Once they have selected a portrait, students respond to the following questions on the Puritan Portrait Response handout:  
    • Describe the setting of the painting. What colors are used?
    • Describe the expressions on the subject’s face.
    • Describe what the subject is wearing.
    • Describe how the subject is sitting or standing.
    • What feeling do you get when you look at this painting? How do the
      colors affect your response?
    • What new information does this portrait give you about life for
      seventeenth-century Puritans?
  5. Before they leave, have students from each group present which portrait they
    chose to respond to in Step 4 and their response to one of the last two questions. If you will not have access to the computers, have students print out their chosen portrait.  Also, students will hold on to their responses to use during the next session.

back to top

 

Session Four

  1. Students try to create their own definition of the word “portrait” (without looking at a dictionary) in their journals. Record answers on the board or chart paper; as a class, create a whole-class working definition for “portrait.”
  2. Go over the Character Portrait Assignment and Rubric. Students will use the time in class to create a portrait of their assigned character and write a rationale to explain their choices.

back to top

 

Session Five

  1. When students have completed their portraits, hang them up around the classroom and place a number on each one.
  2. Hand out the Character Trading Cards from the first day, one for each student. Have students complete a Gallery Walk, with their intended goal being to try to correctly match the Trading Card to the matching character(matching the card to the number.)
  3. After the Gallery Walk is complete, review each portrait, asking the students if they have determined the character, based on the clues presented in the portrait. After the students have identified the characters correctly, have the student present the rationale of their portrait to the class.
  4. Use the rubric, as well as verbal rationales, to evaluate the students’ understanding of characterization and portraiture for the Character Portrait Assignment.

back to top

 

EXTENSIONS

  • Have students visit the Portrait Wing of a local museum and then write an essay to compare-contrast Puritan portraiture with modern portraiture.
  • Have students create a self-portrait. Students might even re-imagine themselves as a Puritan, highlighting the qualities with which they identify.
  • After reading act 3, have students study and create portraits of some of the original members of the McCarthy Hearings (such as Senator Joseph McCarthy, Joseph Welch, Sam Ornitz, Paul Jarrico, Marsha Hunt) at such websites as excerpts from the PBS documentary "The Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist" and the McCarthy-Welch Exchange "Have You No Sense of Decency" delivered June 9, 1954 during the Army-McCarthy Hearings in Washington, D.C.
  • Students can use the trading cards as a review for a final exam for The Crucible.

 

back to top

 

STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

back to top