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Teaching The Crucible with Castle Learning

November 2, 2018

/ by

Jeff Hersh


The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a stage play that originally premiered in 1953. It dramatizes a partial fiction version of the real-life witch trials that occurred in Massachusetts in the years 1692 and 1693. How does a play from over 65 years ago, about an event over 300 years ago, still feel relevant today?


The answer comes partly in the play’s original allegorical intentions. Though there weren’t any literal witch hunts happening in the 1950’s United States, there were metaphorical ones occurring as the fear of Communism led to hysteria. Led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, there were Senate hearings to “out” and blacklist any known communists living and working in the United States. Playwright Arthur Miller made the connections in history to the witch trials and executions that occurred in Massachusetts centuries before.


Today, those correlations can still be made, as students see in various forms of media how the idea of fear and hysteria can cause the most rational minded to seek quick answers and find others to blame for the problems at hand. Because this happens again and again in history, this play inherently can (and arguably should) be examined through modern lenses and taught year after year, to generation after generation.


With Castle Learning, teachers can access 203 questions about The Crucible. Teachers will find a combination of question types available to assess comprehension of the play including multiple choice, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, and constructed/extended response.


Questions are broken down into sections by acts, and there’s also a study app available for purchase for students to continue their study of the play.


Teachers can use the content in any way that helps them best teach the play. They can even input their own questions, allowing complete control over how they guide students to explore and create meaning from the text.

 Prepare students for computer based testing.


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