SALEM WITCHCRAFT DOT GAME ACIVITYExperiential Exercise
Phase 1: Playing the
1 Understand the intent of the activity.
his activity is designed to allow students toexperience the suspicion of witchcraft in Salem, Mass during the late 1600s. While playing the
game, students try to form groups that exclude a targeted group of students. In the process,they learn how accusations created suspicion and fear during this era. Make sure you prepareyour students for successful activities like this by establishing a trusting environment. Readover the activity directions carefully and be sure it meets your student needs.
2 Before class, prepare materials.
Cut a small slip of paper for each student. Make a small red dot on eight of the slips. Leave theother slips blank.
Fold all the slips so the dots are not visible.
Have a small stack of pink sticky notes within easy reach for the game. (
hese are usedto symbolize the fact that once accused, it became very difficult for people to reestablish their innocence.)
Slide Share: Dot Game Directions
and prepare students for the game.
skstudents to examine the preview slide and share as many responses as they can with aneighbor.
sk for a few responses.
ell students that they will now experience and the anti-witchcraft anxieties in the colonies during the late 1600s. First they
will play a game in whichthey will form groups based on students¶ secret
identities. Review the directions for the game,allowing time for questions.
You may mention that there are more nondots than dots, but do notreveal the
exact numbers. (
Consider heightening interest in the game by offering
points or other prizes to the winners.)
4 Have students play the game.
Follow these guidelines:
Give each student one slip of paper.
llow students approximately seven minutes to move around the room, question one another,and form groups.
Require that groups stand apart from one another so that people can easily tell who is in eachgroup.
Remind students to report any suspected dots to you.
ag students accused of being dots byplacing a sticky note on their shoulder.
If students are slow to initiate accusations, sow seeds of distrust by whispering to somestudents, ³I think (another student¶s name) is a dot.´
Expect some students to feel anxious or uncomfortable about the accusations andscapegoating that occur as students form groups.
5 Determine the winners.
When time is up, have students stop questioning each other.Starting with the smallest group, have students unfold their slips of paper to reveal who is a dot.Declare the winners as (1) the members of the largest group that does not have a dot member and (2) any dots who are the
dot members of their groups (of at least two people).
6 Debrief the experience.
sk these questions:
How did you feel when you discovered you were not a dot? What methods did you useto determine who was a dot?