Time Traveler’s Tool Box: Synthesis and Inference Activity

In honor of my favorite president–Mr. Lincoln–here is an activity that gives student historians practice dissecting primary sources, extracting meaning from them, and communicating that meaning in a coherent paragraph. In commemoration of Black History Month, the subject of Lincoln’s words is slavery. Read more

Tool box drawing

Time Traveler’s Tool Box: Questioning

Have you always wanted to travel back in time? It’s possible, you know. Historians know the secret.

A historian is a time traveling detective whose job is to solve mysteries of the past. But you don’t have to be a historian to transport to another era. Anyone can do it with a bit of practice and a Time Traveler’s Tool Box.

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Trial of George Jacobs

The Devil in the Details: Researching Hysteria, from the Salem Witch Trials to McCarthyism

Unsolved mysteries bug me. I want to solve them. In January of 1692, young Abigail Williams and Betty Parris fell into fits. They convulsed and barked and complained of being bitten and pinched. This kick-started the Salem witch hysteria that left twenty people dead and countless others physically and financially ruined.

What caused Abigail and Betty to sicken in those dark winter days? The Puritans diagnosed bewitchment. Today we find such a diagnosis ridiculous. So were the girls faking it? Read more