by Nichole Fratoni, West Virginia University

Students will learn about the Salem Witch Trials and will begin to understand the reasons for why the trials happened.

Teacher Introduction

It is important that we teach our students about the consequences that take place when we falsely accuse someone of something.  Students also need to learn the importance of due process, a main concept in our current judicial system that allows us to have a fair trial if we are accused of committing a crime.  The Salem Witch Trials is a case of a false accusation that resulted in mass hysteria and unfair court trials.  Students can examine the accusations, examinations, court proceedings and evidence against the accused and see for themselves exactly what happens when someone's rights are violated.  

This WebQuest is only a portion of a learning cycle that addresses the judicial system that our nation currently operates on and the compounding reasons for why it works the way that it does.  It also meets the requirements of many Language Arts standards that apply to grammar and writing skills.  The tasks can be adapted to meet standards for grades 6-8.