February marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials, an infamous series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.
Below we’ve gathered five of our favorite resources to help you teach this historical event.
5 Resources to Help You Teach the Salem Witch Trials
Crash Course Video by Scholastic
If time is of the essence, this whiteboard animation video packs in a lot of information—and it does so in less than two minutes!
Salem Witchcraft Hysteria
Experience the 1692 Salem witch-hunt through this interactive online trial. As you navigate your way through Salem, you’ll learn about important events and key players—you’ll also have to answer a few unsettling questions: “Are you a witch? How long have you been in the snare of the devil?”
Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project
Browse court records, personal letters, sermons and diaries of the era. In addition to this, you’ll find maps of Salem Village and learn all about the “afflicted,” the executed, the accused, the defenders, and the critics who took part in the Salem trials.
Salem Witch Museum
The Salem Witch Museum has a lot of useful information, but we found their interactive map of Salem to be particularly useful.
Discovery Education’s Salem Witch Trials: The World Behind the Hysteria
This is a useful resource to give students a sense of context about the lives and the social mores of those who lived in 1692 Salem. Here students will discover:
- Some of the daily challenges, fears, and pressures of life in 17th century
- The state of Salem Village as a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
- Problems faced by Puritan farmers
- Three major factors behind the witch trials
- The stories of six individuals—from a “bewitched” young girl, to the accused witches, to town leaders—whose lives were touched by the events
In Search of History: A History Channel Documentary
This documentary ventures back 300 years to unravel the truth from the legends about the events at Salem. Students may be surprised by some of the facts revealed in this 68-minute film—we certainly were.
Photo credit: Christine Zenino