January 16, 2007

The Crucible/McCarthyism lecture

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:02 pm by mrsmauck

THANKS so much to all who posted their great comments on my introductory McCarthyism lecture for The Crucible: Georgia English teacher and adventurous gal Courtney (who appears as Anonymous for some reason), Golden State special ed teach and avid reader California Teacher Guy, New England elementary teacher-in-training Brown-Eyed Girlie, Texas late-blooming teacher maestra RedKudu, and English/History teacher and newbie to this little blog, Ms. Q! It’s incredible to me that I solicited teacherly advice, and got such a wide range of respondents, geographically and educationally, all with great insight and valuable experience from which to draw!

I’m going to begin calling the schools this week to which I sent out resume packets last week, so updates to come on the job front!

Also, my sole graduate course this semester, Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence, begins today.

Recently finished reading:

  • The Sledding Hill, by Chris Crutcher: Great high-interest, low reading-level book with powerful messages about death and censorship. Told from the POV of a teenaged boy who dies in the first chapter, but sticks around to help his best friend cope during his grieving period and a struggle against the school administration to keep a Chris Crutcher novel in the school curriculum (self-referential much?).
  • A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly: Great female protag in 16-year-old Mattie, a turn-of-the-century country girl with a lot of responsibility at home blocking her dreams of going to college at Barnard, where she’s won a scholarship. Gets a bit muddled with a true story woven throughout of a young woman who was murdered at a summer resort.
  • The Water is Wide, by Pat Conroy: Inspiring, entertaining teacher memoir, with fascinating themes of racism (Conroy openly talks about his former racist days, growing up white and privileged in South Carolina), poverty, and bureaucracy in the school system.
  • Anthem, by Ayn Rand: I love most dystopic novels, but this one stood out: extremely philosophical, with sophistocated ideas of laissez-faire capitalism, altruism, and conformity. Short enough to do a great unit on these ideas in the classroom. Check out the reflective teacher’s experiences teaching it in a middle school classroom right now!


  1. "Ms. Cornelius" said,

    I loved Anthem. I also loved A Canticle for Liebowitz. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that one. Then there’s Fatherland, which is an alternative history based on the premise of Hitler winning World War II.

  2. Ms. H said,

    I absolutely LOVE Chris Crutcher! I had to read Whale Talk at home…alone…because I kept busting into uncontrollable laughter — complete with snorting!! I’ve been somewhat successful in getting my male students to read, because I hand them one of Crutcher’s books and warn them they might be offended…because there’s some cussing. The boys RUN from the room with my book in their grimy little hands!!

  3. kreb0 said,

    As a current high school Junior reading the Crucible (in Massachusetts, no less), I found your guide to be quite helpful in an essay I had to write comparing and contrasting the book with McCarthyism. The slides were not overly confusing, and seemed to be laid out well (and you even mentioned his communistic ties!), but on slide 7, it seems as though his penmanship of the Crucible came as a result of his involvement with HUAC, when, in fact, this was four years after he published the play. Just something to consider.

    good luck! and let me know if I can be of any assistance (my lit teacher is quite unhelpful). Tommy.Stames at Gmail.


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