Paired Texts > The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In the informational text, "The Black Death," Margaret Gushue discusses how Europe was changed by widespread plague in the 14th century.Pair “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” with “The Black Death” and ask students to discuss when and why human beings turn against each other. What has driven “witch hunts” throughout history? Would students consider Europeans’ blame of Jews for the Black Death a type of witch-hunt? Why or why not?
The informational text, "Japanese Relocation during World War II," discusses the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.Pair “Japanese Relocation during World War II” with “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” to allow students to further explore the history of Japanese internment in America. Ask students to consider what drove the fear that resulted in the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans. How do times of war change our value systems and alter what we believe is right and wrong?
In George Takei's speech "Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me," Takei discusses his experiences being interned as a child and the reasons for which he still believes in the ideals of America.Pair “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” with “Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me” and ask students to discuss how fear impacted the actions of the American government during WWII. How do the two texts explore ways in which Japanese Americans contributed to war efforts during WWII? Ask students to discuss how the internment of Japanese Americans is similar to other “witch hunts” throughout history. What effect did the persecution in Salem and the isolation of Japanese Americans have on society?
The informational text "Witchcraft in Salem" recounts how mass hysteria gripped the town of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692-1693, a period now known as the Salem Witch Trials.Pair “Witchcraft in Salem” with “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” to provide students with additional information concerning the Salem witch trials. How did citizens heighten the fear and suspicion present in Salem during this time?
The informational text "McCarthyism" discusses the United States' fear of communism during the Cold War and the unfair trials led by Senator Joseph McCarthy to root out supposed communist spies.Pair “McCarthyism” with “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” to provide students with additional information regarding the conflicts of the Cold War. What can the results of this particular witch hunt teach students about prejudice? How can we prevent prejudiced hunts from occurring in the future?
In Senator Joseph McCarthy's "'Enemies from Within' Speech," he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the State Department of communist infiltration.Pair “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” with “‘Enemies from Within’ Speech” and ask students to discuss the similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare. What did the people in both of these time periods fear? How did these fears manifest? Ask students to consider the other periods in history Kubic classifies as “witch hunts” and how they are connected to the Red Scare.