SALEM WITCHCRAFT DOT GAME ACIVITY Experiential Exercise
Phase 1: Playing the Dot Game
1 Understand the intent of the activity. This activity is designed to allow students to experience the suspicion of witchcraft in Salem, Mass during the late 1600s. While playing the Dot 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 prepare your students for successful activities like this by establishing a trusting environment. Read over the activity directions carefully and be sure it meets your student needs.
2 Before class, prepare materials.
3 Project Slide Share: Dot Game Directions and prepare students for the game. Ask students to examine the preview slide and share as many responses as they can with a neighbor. Ask for a few responses. Tell 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 which they 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 not reveal the exact numbers. (Note: Consider heightening interest in the game by offering points or other prizes to the winners.)
4 Have students play the game. Follow these guidelines:
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 only dot members of their groups (of at least two people).
6 Debrief the experience. Ask these questions: Nondots: How did you feel when you discovered you were not a dot? What methods did you use to determine who was a dot? Dots: How did you feel when you discovered you were a dot? How did you convince others that you were not a dot? Everyone: For those accused of being a dot, how did it feel? Was it harder to be accepted into a group once you had been tagged? Given that there was no way to know for sure who was a dot, why did you try so hard to convince others that certain class members were dots? What emotions fueled this activity? Can you think of any time in history when something like this occurred?
Tell students that this activity was designed to allow them to experience the witchcraft hysteria and suspicion of the late 1600s in the American colonies and that they will now research to learn more about this time period.
7 Have Students Create T-Chart: Dot Game Historical Connections and guide students in comparing the classroom experience with history.
Have the students construct two column heads (Dot Game on the left, Historical Connection on the right). Using the slide, share, reveal the first element in the ³Dot Game´ column, and ask what it might represent about life in the early colonies. After students present a few ideas, reveal the corresponding entry in the ³Historical Connection´ column. Challenge the students to work together using Wikipedia and other resources to find a historical connection to the remaining bullet points for the Dot Game. (A possible site for research is http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm ) After you give pairs 10-15 minutes to work on their T-Chart, debrief the remaining points as a class and then ask them:
Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing.
Now bringing you back...