What the heck is a witch? Is it the stuff of Harry Potter? Has our definition of witches changed over time? Put your super sleuths to work and use it as a jump off activity for colonization, The Crucible, or a fun activity for Halloween. After engaging students in a discussion of what a witch is, have them read a short expository essay about how witches were described during the time of the Salem trials. Discussion questions are provided to have students reassess their definitions.
My Revision/Response Post-its are both trait-inspired and--in this case--genre-inspired. I always want students to discuss their own writing intelligently, and this little "crib note" of language fosters really amazing conversations during writer's workshop. Find out about the training and its materials I offer here: http://corbettharrison.com/seven_elements.html
If you are looking for a way to get your middle school students interested in nonfiction, these passages will definitely help. This document includes four high-interest nonfiction passages. Students will learn unusual but true facts as they practice their close reading and comprehension skills. $