AP Lang: Pivotal Scene I


  • ELAGSE11-12RL5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12RL6 Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Georgia ELA

Learning Target
Students will analyze various interpretations of Proctor’s relationship with Abigail and predict what will happen in the rest of The Crucible.

Opening Session
Grab your Crucible books and let’s have a short discussion to summarize Act I and Act II of The Crucible. What has happened so far in the book? How do you interpret these events; specifically, what’s the deal with John Proctor and Abigail?

Work Session
We’re going to closely analyze one of the most important – or pivotal, if you will – scenes in The Crucible today. Grab your books and flip to the part where Proctor is talking alone to Abigail on page 23. This has one of Mellman’s favorite lines in the whole play – “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again.”

I want everyone to copy down the charts I’m putting up on the board. There are several different ways you can interpret this scene, and I want you to find evidence of each of them. What words, stage directions, etc. could the actors and directors use to make the audience feel a specific way about the relationship between Proctor and Abigail?

More importantly, why would they want to make you feel a specific way, instead of leaving it up to interpretation (or, why would they intentionally leave it vague the way Arthur Miller did)? After you fill in the charts, write a paragraph explaining why you think a director/producer/actor might make those specific choices.

Closing Session
Write a prediction for what you think is going to happen at the end of the play! Give me one paragraph just summarizing what you think is going to go down, and then a second paragraph in which you explain WHY you think those things will happen.

Assessment Strategies
Formative (check of Pivotal Scene charts)

Process (scaffolding; learning style [visual])

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