Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Fun Fall Finds- The Crucible and Ergotism

Fall always reminds me the most of school. Even though my school year seems to start earlier every year (we start at the beginning of August!) 

San Diego hasn't felt much like fall (we've had TONS of hot hot heat) but my school year is definitely in full swing.

This fall thirteen bloggers have come together to offer you the chance to win 13 different products  or a TPT Gift Card.

In October, I get to teach one of my student's FAVORITE stories to discuss: The Crucible!

Click above to find it on Amazon
Students LOVE the blame game, the sexual scandal, the girls being crazy, and of course, they all love to hate Abigail.

The play is also a GREAT chance to bring some non-fiction into my classroom. We read real tales of persecution that happen worldwide now. We look into the effects of peer pressure and authority. We investigate the real identities of the names that Miller borrowed for his characters.

At the end of the year students select where the blame for the witch trials goes using evidence from the play. While many students usually take the easier root of placing the blame on Parris, or Abigail. However, a surprising number of them choose to place the blame on ergot!

Ergot is a fungus that  some researchers have found could be the source of the accusations in Salem. Students really connect to this opinion. It is physical enough to make it easy to understand, yet the science of it makes them really work at it.

For this blog hop I am offering the chance to win this worksheet to help your students learn about this strange fungus and apply that knowledge to the Crucible. It includes a graphic organizer to help them organize their thoughts to answer the prompt, and multiple choice questions based on those seen in the 2016 SAT. This is especially a nice topic since the SAT is integrating more science based texts.

My junior students find it challenging, but it is the one that resonates the most with them. Plus, it involves crops and witches; perfect for the season of fall.

For those of you not lucky to win the contest (which runs from the 20th-25th) you can buy this on TeacherPayTeachers for just $1.50!

Enter the contest below, and then check out some of the other blog contributors to see their great stuff!


  1. In all of the years that I taught The Crucible, I NEVER knew this! How fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing :)


    1. I read an article about it years ago and I thought it was fascinating! I am glad my students (and fellow teachers) do too. So often the things I think are really cool are duds in the class :)

  2. I just recently heard about this theory and love implementing it when I teach The Crucible! Interesting stuff!

    1. We go over a lot of these theories (psychological, social, economic) and somehow they like the fungus :)

  3. I just read about that the other day! That's a great connection to make. Love The Crucible!

  4. The Crucible is a really hard read for my students, but they love to discuss it. I think it's the crazy that appeals to them.


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