Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic  Salem Witch Trials, and supports students’ in analyzing the role of Puritanism in shaping the values of New England communities. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display the phrase “Salem Witch Trials.” Ask students: 

  • What do you know about the Salem Witch Trials? What do you wonder? 


  • Read aloud the description on the Salem Witch Trials topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Quirky Stuff” or “Unsolved Mysteries.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Salem Witch Trials Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about the Salem Witch Trials while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a  movie that explains the events that led to the Salem Witch Trials, and document its effects. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast from the time of the Salem Witch Trials with a headline about what’s happening. 

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of culture in the American colonies with these topics: Regions of the Thirteen Colonies and Building the Thirteen Colonies

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments