As the audiotape plays, students in Susan DiFederico’s B-day classes sit enraptured as they listen to the dramatic reading of the play The Crucible while they pore over their own copies. Like every other book required for Pre-IB English II, this play comes with a multitude of activities, including worksheets and coloring pages, culminating in a large project after the break and a JSA-style debate beforehand.
For those unfamiliar with the story, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, is a dramatization of the witch trails in the 1600s that gripped the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. None of the classes have finished the story yet, but many of the students have thoroughly enjoyed the drama and suspense of the play.
“It’s a hysterical mess of things dotted with a few honest characters,” said Alice Lee (’16), using her best book review diction. “An immensely compelling read.”
Trevor Debus (’16) also gave his own opinion of the summary of the book.
“Crazy Puritan people who think that they know the devil,” said Debus. “But they don’t so they pin it on random people they don’t like.”
After they finish the book, students will be required to participate in a JSA-type debate where they argue over the controversial topic of whether or not the people who participated in the Salem witch trials should be held accountable for their actions. Presided over by DiFederico, students will gain knowledge and experience in public speaking and express their ideas to the class.
“I feel like I’m ready for the debate,” said Debus. “But I still need to do some more research.”
The students will be participating in the debates next week as the final large English assignment before the long-awaited break.