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Worldview Activity

  • I can explain the meaning of worldview from my own experiences and through the story of the Puritans.

Essential Vocabulary 

Worldview Overall perspective through which you see and interpret the world.
  1. Draw an outline map of the world OR the United States. 
  2. Label as many things in this map as you can in 5 minutes. You might include things such as: 
    1. Physical features (mountains, oceans, bodies of water). 
    2. Political features (cities, countries, states) 
    3. Cultural features (birthplace of Islam, where Renaissance started, location of Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, fan base for a specific team) 
  3. Based on your map, write one sentence about your worldview in the present day.
  4. Would it be important for a future historian to consider your worldview if they were studying your life 350 years from now? Explain.

Worldview of the Puritans

Understanding the past requires historians to consider worldview. Otherwise, historians can become guilty of presentism, or using a modern lens to interpret the past. Puritans in 1692 had a very different worldview than modern  students in the United States. To truly appreciate the story of justice and the Salem Witch Trials, historians must account for the Puritan worldview. Puritans, like most Europeans and colonists in North America, believed in witchcraft. Witches were not only real, but dangerous. Religion and community were a matter of life and death in the Puritan worldview. To find evidence of witchcraft in the community was a very serious matter that concerned everyone: Justice meant finding any so-called witches and executing them, so they could not harm the community.