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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

You Can't Handle the Truth: A Web Quest on The Crucible

Project URL:

How it works:
This unit, based on Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible,  is designed in Web Quest form. The lessons are truly student pages that have links to web resources. There are additional pages for teachers who are planning a unit, such as writing assignments, examples of work, web pages designed by students, and a hotlist of relevant websites. A full range of information pertaining to the play's subject matter is presented. Students learn the history of both the Salem witch trials and the Hollywood blacklisting of the 1950s, and a discussion of tragedy as a literary concept  links The Crucible to other dramatic works such as Greek drama and Shakespeare. Students design their own web page, create their own notes on the play, and receive acting advice from professionals via the Internet. They are also able to take a virtual tour of present-day Salem, Massachusetts.

Standards addressed:  
Students read a literary work of quality and complexity, and produce a response to literature, a report of information, and a narrative account. They participate in group meetings, respond to drama using interpretive and critical processes, and develop a multi-media presentation utilizing on-line sources to exchange information for writing and presenting a research paper.

Materials used: 
Computers with Internet connections (one computer per group of five to six students) and web authoring software such as Dreamweaver are required.

The students:
You Can't Handle The Truth was designed for high-performing and/or honors-level students who were juniors in high school with above-average writing skills and more motivation than the typical student population.

Overall value:
Students use the Internet as a resource for a wide range of purposes: for information and research, and also as a tool for performance-based objectives such as acting and presenting. They also make connections to literary criticism and historical data that is essential to the understanding of The Crucible.

You may want to return to each lesson for a day or two depending on the level of your students. You can also just create written notes if your class is not yet up to producing a web page. You don't need a computer for every student--you can do many of the activities in small groups, with only 5-7 computers in your classroom.



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