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The Divine Comedy

Tenth Grade English


Prepared by:
Alexandra Preston
For
William Simpson
EDOUND 291 Principles of Teaching
Spring 2014, BU

Introduction:
The Divine Comedy is an important work of literature, because it helps to
highlight the political unsettlement and the emotional being and rationale of the people
living during 14th century Italy. In order to understand the main themes of the Divine
Comedy, the students will be given background information that they will use to gain a
better handle on their assigned readings. The Divine Comedy is considered to be one of
the most important works of literature ever written, and because of that I believe my
students should have exposure to it.
I think my students will find this unit interesting, because the Divine Comedy is

Ali Preston 5/7/2015 9:08 PM


Comment [1]: NCATE/NCTE Standard
4.3: integrate interdisciplinary teaching. In
order to understand the Divine Comedy I
will integrate history into my classroom.

full of interesting themes, ideas, and values. I hope that this unit will keep my students
engaged, as well as give them a greater understanding of the importance of classic works
of literature. I also think that Dantes Divine Comedy is key in todays society. Many
times there are ideas taken from the Divine Comedy that get put into other things, such
as: video games, movies, and books. I think that reading the Divine Comedy, will give
students a better understanding of the society that they live in and the references to the
Comedy that are often made.
Unit plans are incredibly important for teachers, because it gives them a written
down concrete plan. It helps novice teachers because it keeps them organized and helps
to give them a sense of security by allowing them to know what is going on and when. It
also gives teachers the ability to look back and know what they did well and what they
need to adjust next time.
General Objectives
1. Upon completion of the Inferno, students will be able to explain the reasoning
behind the shape and organization of Dantes Hell.
2. After reading Purgatory, students will be able to explain how the punishments
were different than those of Hell, and why they were more lenient.
3. When students have completed reading Paradise, they will write a short essay
explaining how the voice and tone of Dante has changed from the beginning of
the Inferno, to the end of Paradise.

Ali Preston 5/7/2015 9:11 PM


Comment [2]: NCATE/NCTE Standard
4.2: align curricular goals, teaching
strategies, and organization of environment
and learning experiences. In order to create
my unit plan, I needed to make sure that my
goals were fully aligned with my ending
lesson plans.

Pre-assessment
My pre-assessment will utilize two different techniques. The first technique that I will use
is class discussion. During the class discussion the class will be asked if they have ever
heard about the Divine Comedy, and if they have what they know about it. Hopefully,
so of my students will have seen some references to the Comedy in one aspect of their
lives. The other way that I will pre-assess my students is by having each of them take a
short quiz before will start the unit. This quiz will be helpful to some of my quieter
students, who may not have wanted to share their ideas during the larger class discussion.
I will then make a large poster for the class to hang up after the pre-assessments are done
to show what the class collectively knows. After the lesson is completed, the students will
be given the same short quiz to see what they have learned from the less. I will then add
this onto the poster as well so the students can see how well they progressed.
1: Have you ever heard of Dante Alighieri? Yes or No.
2: If yes, what do you know about him?
3:Have you ever hear of the "Divine Comedy?
4: If yes, what do you already know about it?
5: What do you know about political events going on in late 13th and 14th century Italy?
6: What do you remember about our discussion of Allegories?
7: Have you seen any influences of the Divine Comedy in your everyday life? (games,
books, video game, etc.)
8: What do you want to get out of this unit/hope to learn?

Body
Motivational Device:
To get my students ready for the unit I will give them a short lecture on Dante Alighieri
and 14th century Italy. I will also show them the website Dantes World, my hope is
that this will help to peak their interest and get them ready for the unit. Also after the
mini lecture on Dante and 14th century we will play a short game of trivia. The winner of
the trivia game gets two bonus points for the class, and the second place person gets one.
Topical Outline:
Lesson One: Introduction of the Divine Comedy, starting with the Inferno. Students
will begin learn about Dante, and what was going on politically that influenced and
shaped his writing of the Divine Comedy.
-1.2.11.C: Examine the authors explicit and implicit bias and assumptions,
beliefs about a subject, use of fact and/or opinion, and/or the authors argument or
defense of a claim as related to essential and non-essential information.
-Standard Area CC. 1.3: Reading Literature: Students read and respond to works
of literature with emphasis on comprehension, making connections among ideas
and between texts with focus on textual evidence.
-1.4.10.B: Write complex informational pieces (e.g. research papers, analytical
essays, summaries, descriptive pieces or literary analyses) that:

Gather evidence in support of a thesis.

Incorporate and document information and ideas from primary and


secondary sources accurately and coherently.

Anticipate and address readers potential misunderstandings,


biases, and expectations.

At the end of the lesson, students will be tested on their understanding of the
Inferno, they will be asked to do this in two different ways. The first way is
through visual representation of a Canto of the students choosing. The second
way is through a short speech where the students will have to demonstrate their
understanding of why Dante chose the punishments for the sinners in the way he
did.

Ali Preston 5/7/2015 9:14 PM


Comment [3]: NCATE/NCTE Standard
3.6: know print/non-print media & tech.
Dantes World is an online Dante archive
that could help my students explore Dante
on their own and generate more questions.

The class will be bases on class discussion, as well as some teacher lecture. The
students need background information about Dante Alighieri and 14th century
Italy to help better understand the Divine Comedy.

By reading the Inferno, students will gain an understanding of Dantes


organization of Hell. Students will also gain an understand of the political unrest
going on in 14th century Italy that had a heavy influence on his organization and
writing of the Divine Comedy.

Lesson Two: Continued exploration of the Divine Comedy. After finishing this lesson
students should be able to compare the Inferno and Purgatory to see how the crimes and
punishments differ, as well as how they are similar.
-Standard CC. 1.2.9-10.A: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its
development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and
refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
-1.2.11.C: Examine the authors explicit and implicit bias and assumptions, beliefs
about a subject, use of fact and/or opinion, and/or the authors argument or defense of
a claim as related to essential and non-essential information.
-1.2.10.D: Analyze inferences and draw conclusions, citing textual support, based on
an authors explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

At the end of the lesson, students will be assessed on their understanding of the
one of two ways. The first way will be a paper and the second will be a visual
representation. My hope is that this will help students who like to have options on
assignments, as well as provide a creative outlet for students who like to visually
represent their ideas.

This lesson will be based mostly on whole class discussion, as well as smaller
group discussions. Small group discussion will be helpful for the shyer students.
The ideas from the small groups will then be discussed with the class as a whole.

Students will see how Purgatory is similar and different to the Inferno. My hope
is also that by reading the Divine Comedy students will understand references
made to it in their everyday lives.

Lesson Three: After concluding the final section of this unit, it is my hope that students
will be able to see how the tone of Dantes voiced changed, as well as how Paradise was
organized differently from the Inferno and Purgatory.
-1.1.10.A: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate authors
technique(s) in terms of both substance and style as related to supporting the
intended purpose using grade level text.
-1.4.10.B:
Write complex informational pieces (e.g. research papers, analytical essays,
summaries, descriptive pieces or literary analyses) that:

Gather evidence in support of a thesis.

Incorporate and document information and ideas from primary and


secondary sources accurately and coherently.

Anticipate and address readers potential misunderstandings,


biases, and expectations.

-1.2.10.D: Analyze inferences and draw conclusions, citing textual support, based
on an authors explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

The students will be assessed on their final understanding of the lesson. Students
will have the choice between two different means of assessment. The two
different means cater to the different ways that students like to visualize and
represent their information.

This lesson is based heavily on student driven discussion and questions. My hope
is that by letting the students lead the discussion they will be able to formulate
their own ideas, and use their peers to help build on those ideas.

Students will be able to draw connections between the three stories in the Divine
Comedy and see how each book is similar and different. Also students will be
able to visualize the differences between how the different levels are set up.

Work Sheet/Activity Sheet:


Each lesson will have a work sheet that the students are expected to complete during the
class period. The work sheets will help cement the content of the lesson. Students will
hand in the worksheet after they are completed. The worksheets will be given 6 points for
completion, 3 points for half done work, and 0 points if the students fail to hand in the
work sheet.

Three Lesson Plans:


Lesson Plan
Name: Alexandra Preston
Date: March 7, 2014
I.

LESSON FOUNDATION:
Lesson Title: The Gates of Hell

Lesson Number w/in Unit: 1

Unit Title: The Divine Comedy


Grade Level(s): 10th-12th grade

Time Allotted: 55 minutes

Subject Area(s)/Subject Content Explanation: High School


English/Exploration of the Divine Comedy, starting with the Inferno
Standard(s)/ Anchors:
-1.2.11.C: Examine the authors explicit and implicit bias and assumptions,
beliefs about a subject, use of fact and/or opinion, and/or the authors
argument or defense of a claim as related to essential and non-essential
information.
-Standard Area CC. 1.3: Reading Literature: Students read and respond to
works of literature with emphasis on comprehension, making connections
among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.
-1.4.10.B: Write complex informational pieces (e.g. research papers,
analytical essays, summaries, descriptive pieces or literary analyses) that:

Gather evidence in support of a thesis.

Incorporate and document information and ideas from primary and


secondary sources accurately and coherently.

Anticipate and address readers potential misunderstandings, biases,


and expectations.

Essential Question(s):
-What is the importance of the shape of Hell?
-How do the punishments of the people in Hell coincide with the
crimes/actions that they committed during the lifetimes?

-Do you see any irony in the punishments of these people/do you think they
are fitting, or should be punished in a different way?
Instructional Objective(s):
-After reading the Inferno, students will be able to recognize the main theme/
problem and discuss this theme with confidence in the classroom.
-Given their reading, students will gain an understanding of the time period in
which the Inferno was written, and will be able to draw connections and see
how this influenced the writing.
-After the lesson is complete students will be expected to complete a short
essay that will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Dantes
Inferno.
Formative Assessment:
-In small groups the students will discuss the assigned reading from the night
and identify a key idea or something that they found interesting. They will
then share this with the class when called on. Also at this time students will be
allowed to ask any questions to clarify something if they were confused.
-On the board will be a list of the punishments listed in the Inferno. On a piece
of paper the students will pick one and write about how that punishment is
appropriate given the crime that the person committed during their life time.
Summative Assessment:
-Students will pick the Canto, that they believe to be the most important or
most interesting. Then they will write a brief statement about why they chose
this Canto and what they learned from it. Next they will
draw/photograph/paint etc.. a visual representation of their Canto. The student
will write a brief paragraph about their visual representation explaining how it
fits in, and why they chose to display it that way.
-Students will be asked to prepare a 3-5 minute speech. The speech can be
about one of the circles of Hell in the Inferno or the students will be given an

Ali Preston 5/7/2015 9:32 PM


Comment [4]: NCATE/NCTE Standard
4.9: demonstrate that students reading
strategies permit access to range of
print/non-print media. Based on my
students comfort level they can create a
visual of a canto using whatever medium
they choose. That could involve the use of
Photoshop.

option to create their own circle and explain where in Hell it would be located
and the punishment that will occur.
II.

LESSON BODY:
INTRODUCTION:
While the class is starting to come into the room a bell ringer question will be
written on the board, to get the students to begin to think about what is going
to be discussed in class. An example of a possible bell ringer would be
briefly describe what you read from the night before and how this connects
to what we discussed yesterday in class After students are given adequate
time to complete the bell ringer, there will be a short discussion and review.
After that the lesson will move forward onto the new material for the day.
TEACHING PROCEDURES:
Methods Used to Present Subject Matter:
The lesson will be based on group discussion, and some guided lecture as
well. The students are expected to have read the assigned Cantos, so they are
able to fully participate in the classroom discussion.
Guided Practice:
-There will be whole class discussion, during which students will be
encouraged to ask questions to help clarify anything that they found to be
ambiguous while doing their readings.
Independent Practice:
-In groups students will pick one theme/concept that they think is the most
important. They will then discuss this with the class and get some feedback on
their idea.

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-Students will be given a short essay assignment that will be used to illustrate
their understanding of the material from class. The assignment will
incorporate a written as well as a visual element.
CLOSURE:
-Lesson will conclude with a ticket out question that will help wrap up and
cement the main: ideas, themes, and concepts that the class discussed during
instructional time.

III.

LESSON ESSENTIALS:
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING ACTIVITES:
-The lesson will be differentiated by:
-Group activities
-Whole class discussion
-Final short essay assignment
The group activity will help engage the students who learn more efficiently by
being active in the classroom and talking with other students. This group
interaction will help facilitate new ideas and help the students to think about
things that they may have missed reading by themselves. The whole class
discussion is for the more auditory learners. The discussion will be centered
on students thoughts and ideas, as well as input from the teacher. The final
short essay assignment will help tie everything we discussed in class together,
as well as provide a visual representation of the material.
INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES, MATERIALS, AND
TECHNOLOGY:
-35 copies of the Inferno (trans. Mark Musa)
-Internet
-Projector/smart board/whiteboard
-Markers for the board

11

Ali Preston 5/7/2015 9:34 PM


Comment [5]: NCATE/NCTE Standard
2.5: connect to sociocultural/ educational
developments. By differentiating my lesson,
I am showing my growth as a future
education. Differentiation takes into account
the various ways my students will learn.

-35 copies of handout with instructions for activity


-35 copies of short essay assignment
IV.

POST-LESSON REFLECTION:
ANALYSIS OF STUDENT LEARNING:
-Were the students engaged in the lesson, or did they lose focus and zone
out?
-Did the students understand the lesson and get everything out of it that
was intended?
ANALYSIS OF TEACHING:
-Did I meet the instructional objectives that I aimed for?
-Was I clear in what I wanted the students to do/achieve?
-If not, what could I have done to clarify my instruction?
-Was I prepared well enough, or could I have prepared myself better
for the lesson.

12

Lesson Plan 1 Worksheet:


Students will be given time during the class period to work on the following questions.
After completion of the worksheet students will hand it in and begin reading quietly.
Each question should be answered as best the student can. Students are allowed to work
with partners.
1: Explain why the heretics and the violent are considered sins of the lion.

2: In Canto XXI explain why it is important that Dante mentions the absence of light.
We stopped to see the next fosse of Malebolge and to hear more lamentation voiced in
vain: I saw that it was very strangely dark! (page 260)

3: Who are Francesca and Paolo? What was their crime in life? What is their punishment
in Hell, and how is this fitting? (Canto V, page 109)

13

Short Essay #1:


Part I:
From the assigned reading you will pick just one Canto that you will discuss in a brief 23 paragraphs. From the canto that you choose, you must explain why you think this is the
most important part of the Inferno. You will need to back up this statement with an
informed argument. Also you should use at least one quote from the text cited correctly in
MLA format.
Part II:
After you have chosen your Canto for the short essay you need to draw a visual
representation of that circle. This visual representation can be hand drawn, photographs
that you take or have taken from the internet (make sure you cite your source correctly if
they are taken from the internet), you may also paint something. Once you have decided
how to visually represent your Canto write a brief paragraph about why you chose to
portray it that way.

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Speech:
Option One:
Write a short 3-5 minute speech discussing one of the circles of Hell from the Inferno. In
your speech you should discuss why the people are placed in that circle and if you believe
their punishment is adequate or too severe for their transgression. You can also argue that
you think somebody should have been placed in a different circle, as long as you can
back up this idea and firmly state why you believe that.
Option Two:
Write a 3-5 minute speech creating a new circle of Hell. You must describe this new
circle and explain what people do to end up there, as well as the punishment that will
occur in this new circle. You also need to explain where this circle would be placed and
why you think it would fit into that spot.

15

Lesson Plan
Name: Alexandra Preston
Date: April 14, 2014
I.

LESSON FOUNDATION:
Lesson Title: Stuck in Limbo

Lesson Number w/in Unit: 2

Unit Title: The Divine Comedy


Grade Level(s): 10th-12th grade

Time Allotted: 55 minutes

Subject Area(s)/Subject Content Explanation: 10th-12th grade English/


Exploration of the Divine Comedy, continuing onto Purgatory
Standard(s)/Anchors:
-Standard CC. 1.2.9-10.A: Determine a central idea of a text and
analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it
emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective
summary of the text.
-1.2.11.C: Examine the authors explicit and implicit bias and
assumptions, beliefs about a subject, use of fact and/or opinion, and/or the
authors argument or defense of a claim as related to essential and nonessential information.
-1.2.10.D: Analyze inferences and draw conclusions, citing textual
support, based on an authors explicit assumptions and beliefs about a
subject.
Essential Question(s):
-How does the shape of Hell transfer to the shape of Purgatory?
-Have you noticed a shift in the tone of voice from Dante as the writer and
narrator?
-After the first Canto, how can you as a reader tell that Purgatory is going
to be much different than the Inferno?

16

Instructional Objective(s):
-After completion of the assigned readings from Purgatory, students will
be able to discuss one aspect of Purgatory that they found to be most
interesting.
- Upon completion of Purgatory, students will be able to compare their
readings back to the Inferno and find what is similar and different between
the two.
-After the lesson on Purgatory is finished, students will be expected to
write a short paper or make a visual representation that shows the
understanding of the material in a creative manner.
Formative Assessment:
-In small groups discuss how the punishments in Purgatory differ from
those in the Inferno. Why do you think these punishments are more lenient
than the ones we saw before?
-Again in small groups students will talk about how the people that Dante
meets in Purgatory, are different than those that he meets in the Inferno.
We will then discuss these ideas as a class.
Summative Assessment:
-Students will be given a short essay assignment, in which they must
discuss one aspect of Purgatory that they found most interesting. This can
be anything ranging from a theme, a person, an idea, or the scenery
-Students will be asked to make a visual representation of what they think
Purgatory looks like. They must then write a one page explanation of why
they decided to portray it the way that they did.

17

II.

LESSON BODY:
INTRODUCTION:
The class period will start with a bell ringer written on the board. The bell
ringer will help the students get into the mindset that they need to be in for
the class period. After the bell ringer has concluded, about five minutes,
the lesson will begin. The starting discussion will be based off of the
students answers to the bell ringers, and then we will move into new
material for the day.
TEACHING PROCEDURES:
Methods Used to Present Subject Matter:
The lesson will be based on group discussion, as well as some guided
lecture from the teacher to help give some background information and
increase understanding. The students are expected to have read the
assigned reading in order to be able to participate in class.
Guided Practice:
-There will be a whole class discussion, during which students are
encouraged to ask any questions about the reading to clarify any
ambiguity.
Independent Practice:
-In groups students will discuss the importance of the Dantes shadow
throughout Purgatory, and why Dante added in this detail. We will then
discuss their ideas as a class.
Closure:
-The lesson will conclude with students asking any last questions they
may have and then they will be given a quick ticket out question, in order
to confirm their comprehension/knowledge.

18

III.

LESSON ESSENTIALS:
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING ACTIVITES:
-This lesson will be differentiated by:
-Short group discussions/activities
-Whole class discussion/lecture
-Final Paper assignment
The short groups activities will be helpful for the students who do not like
to speak out in class as much due to nervousness. It will also be good for
the students who like to collaborate and talk their ideas through with other
before presenting them to the class as a whole. The whole class discussion
is good for auditory learners and it also give students the chance to share
and come up with new ideas together and work through questions. The
final paper is to make sure that students have a solid understanding of the
material they learned. It will also give the information a good visual
representation.
INSTUCTIONAL RESOURCES, MATERIALS, AND
TECHNOLOGY:
-35 copies of Purgatory (trans. Mark Musa)
-Internet
-Whiteboard/smart board/projector
-Markers for board (various colors to help highlight specific
things)
-35 copies of handout for activity
-35 copies of short essay

IV.

POST-LESSON REFLECTION:
ANALYSIS OF STUDENT LEARNING:
-Were my students able to make a comparison between the Inferno and
Purgatory the way that I hoped they would be able to?
-Did my students seem to be engaged in the lesson or did they zone out?

19

ANALYSIS OF TEACHING:
-Did I meet the instructional objectives that I aimed for?
-Did I cater to the needs of my individual students, or did I not do enough
to make the material understandable for all of them?
-Was I well prepared and organized for the lesson?
-Did I help support and promote student learning?

20

Purgatory Worksheet:
Students will be given time in class to work in pair on this worksheet. After students have
each completed their worksheet, they will hand it in to the teacher to look over and
correct anything that they students may have been confused on.
1: Create a short timeline of 6-8 important events from Dantes life. You may list them
or draw it.

2: In Canto III explain why the souls are so surprised by the fact that Dante has a shadow.

3: Through out the Divine Comedy, Dante refers to himself as the pilgrim, what is
the significance of this? Why does Dante refer to himself this way?

21

Short Essay 1:
For this assignment, students will need to identify and discuss a theme, person, idea, or
aspect of scenery that they found to be most interesting or important to Purgatory.
Students should formulate a thesis that will become the main argument of the paper. The
paper should be 3-4 pages in length, and include at least 3 quotes from the text. These
quotes should help further your argument and should be cited in correct MLA format.
For example you could write about the theme of Love in Purgatory. You could argue that
the sins of those in Purgatory where motivated by the love these people had, not their
own personal greed.

22

Visual Representation:
Students will be asked to make a visual representation of what they think Purgatory looks
like. Students need to demonstrate a clear understanding of the organization of
Purgatory. Students need to only pick one Canto to visually represent, or they may
choose to draw Purgatory as a whole. If they choose to draw Purgatory as a whole,
students need to explain how this shows Dantes organization of Purgatory and use
quotes to support this. If students choose to create only one Canto they must specify
which Canto, as well as use direct quotes from the Canto they helped create this picture
in their heads. They must then write a one page explanation of why they decided to
portray it the way that they did.

23

Lesson Plan
Name: Alexandra Preston
Date: April 14, 2014
V.

LESSON FOUNDATION:
Lesson Title: Stairway to Heaven

Lesson Number w/in Unit: 3

Unit Title: The Divine Comedy


Grade Level(s): 10th-12th grade

Time Allotted: 55 minutes

Subject Area(s)/Subject Content Explanation: 10th-12th grade English/


Continued exploration of the Divine Comedy, culminating with Paradise
Standard(s)/Anchors:
-1.1.10.A: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate
authors technique(s) in terms of both substance and style as related to
supporting the intended purpose using grade level text.
-1.4.10.B:
Write complex informational pieces (e.g. research papers, analytical
essays, summaries, descriptive pieces or literary analyses) that:

Gather evidence in support of a thesis.

Incorporate and document information and ideas from primary and


secondary sources accurately and coherently.

Anticipate and address readers potential misunderstandings,


biases, and expectations.

-1.2.10.D: Analyze inferences and draw conclusions, citing textual


support, based on an authors explicit assumptions and beliefs about a
subject.

Essential Question(s):
-What do you think Dante wanted the reader to learn from the
Divine Comedy?

24

-How is Paradise, different from Purgatory and the Inferno? Why


is it structured differently?
-Why was Beatrice Dantes guide through Paradise, not Virgil?
Instructional Objective(s):
-Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to discuss, with the
class, what they think the main theme of Paradise is.
-After completing their readings, students will be able to create a visual
representation of Paradise, which illustrates how the scenery differs from
that of Purgatory.
-After reading Paradise, the students will be able to discuss with
confidence why it was important for Beatrice to be Dantes guide in
Heaven, not Virgil.
Formative Assessment:
-As a class we will discuss the arrangement of Paradise, and how it differs
from that of Purgatory and Hell.
-In small groups of 2-3, students will discuss the reading from the night
before and pick out what they believe was one thing that Dante really
wanted to have the reader see. They will then share their ideas with the
class for discussion.
Summative Assessment:
-In groups of 2-3, students will need to create a power point on one aspect
of Paradise. It can be something they found interesting, a main theme, or
something else that they decide on. They will then present to the class.
They will also need to write a 1-2 page paper to accompany their
presentation.
-Students will create a visual representation of Paradise, this will be put
next to the visual representations of Purgatory, in order to really show the
difference in the organization, as well as give the students a solid visual.

25

VI.

LESSON BODY:
INTRODUCTION:
The class period will begin with a bell ringer, and any questions that the
students may have had from the reading the night before. An example of a
bell ringer I could ask my students is: Discuss one aspect from last nights
reading that really stood out to you and why? After any questions have
been cleared up will we discuss the bell ringer quickly, and then move into
the meat of the lesson.

TEACHING PROCEDURES:
Methods Used to Present Subject Matter:
The instruction will be mostly based off of class lecture and discussion.
Some information might be presented through power point as well, such as
possible pictures of Dante and artists representations of the Divine
Comedy. Students are expected to come to class with questions, and be
ready to discuss.
Guided Practice:
-As a whole class we will discuss various aspects of Paradise, during this
discussion students should present their ideas to the class to talk about and
add ideas of their own. My hope is that through discussion students will be
able to see more of the Paradise than when they read it by themselves.
Group discussion is a good way to foster and develop new ideas.
Independent Practice:
-In groups of 2-3, students will pick one Canto to discuss with the class.
The Canto they pick should be one that they thought was most important
to Paradise as a whole or was very interesting. After they have been given

26

time to decide on their Canto as a group, they will share with the class and
we will discuss.
Closure:
The lesson will conclude with verification of any questions that students
might have had. I will also try to get rid of any other confusion from my
students. Students will also be given the chance to talk about one point
that they found to be most interesting from any of the three works. At the
end of the period students will be given a ticket out question pertaining to
the days discussion of Paradise.
VII.

LESSON ESSENTIALS:
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING ACTIVITES:
-The lesson will be differentiated by:
-Group activities
-Power point final presentation
-Full class discussion
The group activities will be geared towards the learners who like to move
around and collaborate with one another to help them learn. The students
final power point presentation is geared for the more visual learners, it will
also help cement information in their minds and allow for group work.
The full class discussion/lecture is more helpful for the auditory learners
who enjoy learning by listening and taking notes that way.
INSTUCTIONAL RESOURCES, MATERIALS, AND
TECHNOLOGY:
-35 Copies of Paradise (trans. Mark Musa)
-Internet
-Power point/projector/smart board
-Marker for the board
-35 copies of presentation assignement

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VIII. POST-LESSON REFLECTION:


ANALYSIS OF STUDENT LEARNING:
-Did my students gain the understanding from the text that I had
hoped they would gain?
-Did they show a solid understanding of the content on their
assessments?
-Did they seem to enjoy the lesson or were they bored by it?
ANALYSIS OF TEACHING:
-Did the students enjoy the unit as a whole?
-Did I meet the objectives and lesson goals that I had intended to
meet?
-Was I well prepared for this lesson, or was I more prepared and
fluid in my previous lessons?

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Paradise Worksheet:
Students will be given class time to complete the following questions. Students can work
quietly in pairs or by themselves. If students have a question they should raise their hand
and I will come over to help. After students have completed the worksheet they should
hand it in to the teacher and begin reading quietly to themselves.
1: Explain why Beatrice was Dantes guide in Paradise, not Virgil.

2: Although Heaven is based off of virtues instead of sins, explain why there are still
various levels of Heaven instead of just one sphere.

3: Dante admits that Paradise is based off of his own version of what Heaven would look
like. What would Heaven look like to you? How would you organize it differently?

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Power Point Presentation:


In groups of 2-3, students will need to create a power point or prezi on one aspect of
Paradise. It can be something they found interesting, a main theme, or something else that
they decide on as a group with teacher approval. They will then present to the class. The
presentation should be 6-10 minutes in length. They will also need to write a 2-3 page
paper to accompany their presentation. The paper should have a clear thesis and argument
made that supports their ideas.
An example of a topic could be Dantes reunion with Beatrice and how this is symbolic.

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Visual Representation:
Students will be asked to create a visual representation of Paradise, this will be put next
to the visual representations of Purgatory, in order to really show the difference in the
organization, as well as give the students a solid visual. Students need to only visually
show one sphere of Paradise, or they may choose to draw all aspects of it. Students will
be asked to supply a 1-2 page typed explanation of why they decided to portray Paradise
the way they did. Students should use quotes from Paradise that show the scenery. These
quotes need to be cited in correct MLA format.

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Unit Test
Name:
Date:
Unit Test on the Divine Comedy
For this test you will have the entire period to work on and complete it, unless it has been
specified that you get extended time. You are permitted to use your books for quotes in
the short essay section, however do not waste valuable writing time searching for a quote.
Good luck, and use your time wisely!
I.

Multiple Choice Questions Circle the correct answer (2 points each)

1: Dante and his family were supporters of what political party/faction?


A: Campaldinos
C: Ghibellines
B: Guelphs
D: Gemmas
2: Who exiled Dante from Italy?
A: Pope Boniface
B: The White Guelphs

C: Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII


D: The Black Guelphs

3: What crime does Dante view as the most grievous in the Inferno?
A: Lust
C: Betrayal
B: Greed
D:Envy
4: In what year was the Divine Comedy written?
A: 1308-1321
C: 1289
B: 1265-1300
D: 1321-1330
5: Who is Dantes guide in Paradise?
A: Virgil
C: Beatrice
B: Michael
D: Mary
II.

Short Answer Section (6 points each)

1. Given your knowledge of the political unrest during 14th century Italy, explain how
this might have influenced Dantes organization of Hell. Explain why you think he
decided to put each circle where he did, and how you think he decided the punishments?
During Dantes lifetime there was a lot of political unrest. One of the worst things to
Dante was the idea of betrayal, because of this he put betrayers in the lowest circles of
Hell. His punishments were almost based on the idea of irony, as well as poetic justice.
His punishments always deal with the opposite of what the sinners wanted in their lives.
For example Francesca is stuck with Paolo in Hell, and comes to resent him.

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2. Explain the differences between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines? What beliefs did
they hold, and why did this cause so much strain between the two parties?
The Guelphs supported the Papacy, whereas the Ghibellines supported the Holy Roman
Emperor. This created a ton of political tension that divided the country. Dantes family
firmly supported the Guelphs. The Guelphs later split into two factions called the White
Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Dante was a member of the White Guelphs and was later
exiled by the Black Guelphs.

3. Explain the significance of Dante writing in vernacular Tuscan Italian instead of Latin.
How did this influence written texts from that point on, and why was this an important
leap?
Most important works of literature were written in Latin, because that was considered to
be the scholarly language of the time. However, once Dante wrote in Tuscan people
began to realize that vernacular language can be just as scholarly. Because of Dante
writers began to use a variety of their own languages, not just Latin. This also helped the
spread of literature, because now it was not only the people who could read Latin seeing
these works, it was everyday people.

4. Using your knowledge of what an Allegory is, explain how Purgatory can be viewed as
an allegory of the lives of Christians.
Allegory: story or poem that has a deeper meaning than what is easily seen/read.
Purgatory can be viewed as an allegory of Christian lives, because it shows the hard
work people must go through in order to be truly sorry for their sins. Also there are
connections in Purgatory to the Jews being lead out into the desert. Another connection
to Christian lives is that Virgil and Dante get into Purgatory on Easter. This can be
viewed as their rebirth and cleansing of their souls.
5. Discuss how the structure of Paradise is so different from that of Purgatory or Hell and
how it is similar. How is the basis of Paradise different? (Hell was based on the 7 deadly
sins, what is Paradise based on?)
Paradise like Purgatory and Inferno has ten different circles or spheres. The first nine
are dedicated to sinners while the last ones are for God and the devil. Unlike the Inferno,
Paradise does not have circles. Instead Paradise utilizes spheres for the realms of
people. In Paradise the people are categorized by the cardinal virtues. The people are
put into different celestial spheres based on inadequacies in their fulfillment of different
virtues. However, these people are not considered sinners.

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6. Explain how the story of Count Ugolino and Ruggieri in Canto XXXIII is an example
of poetic justice.
Ugolino was locked in a tower with his children by Ruggieri. They were left to starve,
and Ugolino began to eat his own children. In Hell Ugolino is eternally eating Ruggieris
brains. Again, this is Dantes way of showing what happens during you life will come
back to get you in Hell. Ugolino is being punished for eating his own children, as well as
be accused of treason. Ruggieri is being punished for betraying his one time from and
causing him to eat his children. Because of there betrayals to one another their
punishments are linked.

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Bibliography:
Alighieri, D. (1971). The divine comedy volume i: Inferno (M. Musa Trans.). New York :
Penguin Group.
Alighieri, D. (1984). The divine comedy volume i: Paradise (M. Musa Trans.). New York
: Penguin Group.
Alighieri, D. (1981). The divine comedy volume i: Purgatory (M. Musa Trans.). New
York : Penguin Group.
Clear standards. (2011). Standards Aligned System: PA Dept. of Ed. Retrieved from,
http://www.pdesas.org/Standard/Views
Cruickshank, D. R., Jenkins, D. B., & Metcalf, K. K. (2012). The act of teaching (6th ed.)
Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Dante. (2014). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/151164/Dante
The Divine Comedy. (2014). In Encyclopedia Britannica online. Retrieved from
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/166565/The-Divine-Comedy
Parker, D. (1996). The world of dante. Retrieved from
http://www.worldofdante.org/index.html

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