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Ministry of Education.

Research topics

Using the supplied websites along with library reference material, groups prepare a five-minute summary of their research on their allocated topics. The aim of imposing a five-minute limit is two fold:

  1. to ensure that this preliminary work does not occupy an inordinate amount of classtime. 

  2. to ensure students read and summarise reference material in their own words rather than eg. simply printing web pages and reading them.

The websites listed under each heading will aid student research in their particular topic. Teachers might consider extending this activity to also involve students in thinking critically about research sources. 

Group 1 - Arthur Miller

  • Key events in his life.
  • Other works (especially Death of a Salesman)
  • His beliefs/political outlook including communist connections.
  • Arraignment by the House Un-American Activities

Arthur Miller

Group 2 - Witchcraft: Background

  • What was witchcraft? Who practised it?
  • Describe the social response to withcraft in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • What social and religious factors are given to account for the harsh response to witchcraft?
  • What can you find out about modern witchcraft or wicca.

Group 3 - New England in the 1690s

  • What type of people settled Massachusetts?
  • How did they survive?
  • What were their main fears and anxieties?
  • What can you find out about their social structures/hierarchies?

New England Background (see background.rtf)

Group 4 - The Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s

  • What events led to these trials?
  • Who was involved - as prosecutors? As victims?
  • What were the outcomes of the trials?
  • How do historians interpret these events?

Salem Witch Museum 

A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials 

The Carey Document: On The Trial of a Salem Death Warrant

Group 5 - McCarthyism and the crack-down on communists in the 1950s

  • What was the Cold War?
  • What was McCarthyism? Who was Joe McCarthy? What were his aims? methods? Who were his victims?
  • What lead to his eventual downfall?

Updated on: 16 Apr 2018