By Joan Holub

Illustrated by: Dede Putra & Kevin McVeigh

Copyright Date: 2015

Published by: Penguin Random House

Lexile Reading Level: 760

Common Core State Standard:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

Suggested Delivery: Independent, Read aloud

Grade Level Recommendation: 5th Grade

Key Vocabulary:

  • trial: the state or position of a person or thing being tried or tested
  • witchcraft: the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic
  • tortured: the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty
  • accusation: a charge of wrongdoing; imputation of guilt or blame
  • remedy: something that cures or relieves a disease or bodily disorder; a healing medicine, application, or treatment
  • hysteria: an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping, etc.

Reading Strategies:

  • Before: This is a complicated topic for students to understand. One way a teacher can set the stage for the book is to play a short video.  I found this video to be informative and appropriate for 5th grade students. (Salem Witch Trials Video for Kids )
  • During: Ask the students to think of a time they told a lie that spiraled out of hand.  Have them reflect on how many people were effected by the lie.  Compare their situations to the one in the text.  (Text-self connection)
  • After: Allow the students a chance to write down 3 facts they have learned, 2 questions they still have about the Salem Witch trials, and 1 moral of the story.

Writing Activity Suggestion: If you were accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch trials, how would you convince people you weren’t a witch? Do you think people would believe you? Why or why not?

Electronic Resources:

  • Penguin Random House Website– Want to find out more about the book? Go to the publisher’s page.   You can also find books with the same text format on this website.
  • Scholastic – For more information on the book follow the link to the scholastic website.
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