Over 16 million comics and storyboards created

Free!
Pixton Comic & Storyboard Maker

Lesson Plan by Christina Bouwens M.A.

Dante's Inferno

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings medieval literature to life with comics and storyboards.

Make medieval literature come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
Print All

Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Character Map
  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel
  • Mind Map
  • Plot Diagram
  • Timeline

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Dante's Inferno
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings medieval literature to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings medieval literature to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Dante's Inferno

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bag
    Bag
  • Boat
    Boat
  • Cathedral
    Cathedral
  • Dog
    Dog
  • Icicles
    Icicles
  • Mountain
    Mountain
  • Shore
    Shore
  • Spirit
    Spirit
  • Wing
    Wing
  • Wolf
    Wolf
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Dante's Inferno

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Before reading Dante's Inferno, invite students to consider and discuss the major themes of:

  • Mortality
  • Fear
  • Punishment
  • Retribution

As a group or in small teams, dialogue about the following:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What might happen when we die? An afterlife? What is the purpose or understanding you have of this?

Identify student "findings" or thoughts on a board or in a graphic organizer (digitally) -- perhaps a Google document to be shared with all.

Finally, consider spending some time with the multimedia Dante's World website, as a whole group or individually. Site located here.

Opening Discussion

  1. Write a journal entry or other response to the following prompt, preparing to discuss as a group: What does it mean to "reap what you sow"? Where might you have heard this phrase before, or a similar reference? Discuss what this may mean, and how you interpret it as well as any example(s) you wish to share.

  2. Whole group discussion -- responses to the above, and:

    • from where does this idea originate?
    • do you think we as a culture or society believe in or support "punishment," "rewards," or "consequences"? How or why/why not?
    • what does the word "Inferno" mean to you?
    • what do you suspect our play (novel) might be about, based on these activities?
  3. Optional Brief Intro. Video (Youtube) to view with students located here
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
Step 3Concluding discussion with students

After our reading, discussions, activities, and work with Inferno, what has this poem taught you about what a monster is? How would you define a monster? Do you think Dante would agree with you? Why/how or why/how not? Are there worse or more malevolent monsters than others? How/how not?

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Dante's Inferno 1 Character Mapping

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Consider: what is a Protagonist in literature?

An Antagonist?

Let's analyze our main character in Dante's Inferno!

Instructions

Analyze the narrator "character" of Dante as he is written into the main character of the poem, drawing from specific scenes and lines.

Protagonist? or Antagonist? Which is Dante? Which is Virgil?

  • Draw upon prior knowledge of what a protagonist in literature is.
  • Contrast that with your prior knowledge of what an antagonist in literature is.

Quotation 1: Protagonist/Antagonist - identify words or line(s) from the poem to support whether Dante is the protagonist or the antagonist in clear detailed explanation.

Quotation 2: Physical appearance - identify words or line(s) from the poem to support detail about Dante's personal physical appearance; explain.

Quotation 3: Relations to Others - identify at least 1-2 line(s) from the poem in support of how Dante as a character treats others, and clearly detail / explain.

Quotation 4: Character development - identify at least 1-2 line(s) from the poem in support of why/how Dante grows as a character (think: emotionally or maturational growth); clearly detail / explain.

Rubric: Character Mapping

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview Each panel is detailed with accurate content and fully responds to the prompts, along with an image that corresponds well to the character as it is developed upon from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to support each quotation. Each panel has accurate content and responds well to the prompts, along with an image that corresponds to the character as developed upon from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to support each quotation. Each panel has content which seems to adequately address the prompts. An image is provided with little detail to the character from the poem; details/lines are somewhat unclear for the quotations as textual support. Each panel has content which minimally addresses the prompts. An image is provided but lacks detail to the character or setting; details/lines are lacking or are unclear for the quotations as textual support. One or more panels is missing appropriate content, or each very minimally addresses the prompts. An image is provided with little to no detail (character or setting); textual support is minimal or missing in each of the quotations.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully addressing required content
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels do not seem to be targeting required content
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Character Map

Character Mapping: Dante in Inferno by Student
ProtagonistWe know that Dante is the protagonist of this poem, as he is the one at the center of all the action and drives the plot forward from the first line to the last. Indeed, it is his story from the opening: "I found myself within a forest dark, / For the straightforward pathway had been lost" (Canto I). It is Dante's story throughout, moving forward the action and interacting with various other characters -- most notably, perhaps, his guide Virgil and always with his beloved Beatrice in his mind's eye. Physical AppearanceFrom the poem's opening line, we recognize Dante as being "midway upon the journey of our life." Thus, Dante is a middle-aged man, approx. 34 years old. Additionally, we know that Dante is Italian -- specifically, a Florentine. Relations to OthersDante looks up to Virgil as a master, and thus plays the role of the pupil and follower to him essentially from the start of the poem. We see this as Canto I ends in Dante's direct speech to Virgil: "'Poet, I thee entreat, / By that same God whom thou didst never know, / So that I may escape this woe and worse, / Thou wouldst conduct me there where thou hast said.'" Dante questions Virgil somewhat as to where his compassion is toward others in the first half of the poem, but he functions as a follower throughout to Virgil's master role. Partly, we as readers believe Dante follows Virgil in total obedience because Virgil recounts that Beatrice from Heaven summoned Virgil to lead Dante through Hell and help him redirect his path in life. Thus, as Dante follows Virgil through each Circle of Inferno, he asks various sinners to describe their sin/story. At the Gate of the City of Dis where Phlegyas reaches up into their boat, Virgil pushes him back and demonstrates to Dante the "proper" method of responding to these sinners: "my wary Master thrust him back, / Saying, 'Away there with the other dogs!' / Thereafter with his arms he clasped my neck; / He kissed my face." Eventually, Dante too learns aggression and flat out vicious responses toward the sinners as he tunnels further and further through Inferno. As his character develops, so too do his intolerance and anger: he relishes in the serpents winding about Vanni Fucci in the Seventh Bolge of the 8th Circle (Canto XXV); states Guido da Matolierfredo has his just desserts in the 8th Circle (Canto XXVII): "those who, sowing discord, win their burden"; he continues in such a fashion, more and more detached from the sinners and more self-preserving through the end of the poem. Character DevelopmentDante is very compassionate and rather soft-hearted from the beginning through around the midway point of the poem. Upon witnessing the first Circle of Hell (Inferno), his response to the great tumult is to grasp his "head with horror bound" and weep at the pain and endless misery surrounding him. This is a very different Dante from what we experience by the end of the poem; Virgil's impact is one of toughening up his pupil, and preparing him to make his way to worse, and deeper tortures as he witnesses the punishments inflicted upon increasing degrees of sin. In Canto XXIII, for example, rather than pitying souls or extending compassion to them, Dante finds himself fearful for himself, anxious to move forward and eventually upward. He proclaims to Virgil: "I am in dread," which is a signal that he truly is done going out of his way to communicate and empathize with the sinners the deeper and further they navigate hell; he is much more protective of himself, his soul now.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Dante's Inferno 2 Imagery

Intro

Imagery is the use of vivid language employing or involving the five (5) senses in creative description. It can involve any of all of the following senses:

  • touch
  • taste
  • smell
  • sound
  • vision

Consider Neil Gaiman's poem "Conjunctions" (2010) here.

You might notice imagery, such as in the following lines/words:

  • "frozen and untwinkling" (vision)
  • "reached up and picked them" (touch)
  • "Snow muffled the world, silenced the dog" (sound)
  • "insides glittering like jewels" (vision)
  • "the trout heart / pulsed like a ruby in his hand" (touch/vision/sound)

How does the imagery contribute to or impact the overall poem?

Next, we'll do something similar with Dante's masterpiece!

Instructions

  1. Identify at least 5 examples of imagery throughout Dante's Inferno. Try your best to identify an example of each type (ie. touch, taste, smell, hearing, vision).

  2. Clearly identify the words from the line and Canto of the poem for each of your five (5) examples with proper citation.

  3. Also, identify to which sense the lines refer.

  4. Create an image in your comic to best depict the scene &/or imagery established.

  5. Evaluate the overall impact on the Canto or poem overall this imagery creates (eg. does it create tension? fear? drama? disgust? another feeling? how/why?)

Rubric: Imagery

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview At least 5 clear examples of imagery are accurately identified and highly developed from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to evaluate the impact of the use of imagery throughout the work. At least 4 clear examples of imagery are accurately identified and highly developed from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to evaluate the impact of the use of imagery throughout the work. 3 examples of imagery are accurately identified and developed from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to evaluate the impact of the use of imagery throughout the work. Fewer than 3 examples of imagery are identified and somewhat developed from the poem; relevant details/lines are selected to evaluate the impact of the use of imagery throughout the work. Fewer than 2 examples of imagery are identified yet not fully developed from the poem; relevant details or lines are not clearly selected nor evaluated for their impact on the work.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully illustrating each example of imagery
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels do not appear to fully illustrate imagery examples
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Storyboard

Dante's Inferno Imagery by Student
SightIn Canto XII, Dante and Virgil must navigate very rocky, cragged terrain, "[o]f such a kind that every eye would shun it." Dante and Virgil must climb downward through this frightening (and smelly!) terrain into the Seventh Circle of Inferno, which is given some of the most descriptive lines in the poem: "ruin"; "smote"; "the cliff is shattered so"; "broken chasm" and so forth.

SoundIn the deepest, darkest center of the Eighth Circle (Canto XXXI), Dante's turns from the valley toward darkness where sound is more than amplified. Indeed, Dante asserts: "[t]here it was less than night, and less than day, / So that my sight went little in advance; / But I could hear the blare of a loud horn, / So loud it would have made each thunder faint, / Which, counter to it following its way, / Mine eyes directed wholly to one place." Soon, Dante and Virgil come across the giants -- between the Eighth and the Ninth Circles of Inferno. TouchIn the Second Circle (Canto IV), as Paolo and Francesca swirl in their eternal punishment for the Lustful, the heat feels palpable. Dante and Virgil look on as they note the hot, incessant air: "[t]he infernal hurricane that never rests / Hurtles the spirits onward in its rapine; / Whirling them round, and smiting, it molests them." TasteWhen Dante and Virgil navigate to the 3rd (final) Zone in the Seventh Circle, they meet the Usurers just before hitching a ride with Geryon further into Inferno. This poem doesn't deal much (if at all directly) with the sense of taste, but this particular scene lends itself well to thinking about and focusing on the mouth. Indeed, as Dante describes on of the Usurers suffering in Inferno, he describes him as such: "twisted he his mouth, and forth he thrust / His tongue, like to an ox that licks its nose." Dante seems to empathize with the inability to taste or interact with the material world any longer, as this particular Usurer must focus only on a goat-emblazoned "purse" or satchel about his neck, apparently weighing him down and marking his violence against art. SmellIn the Third Circle (Canto VI), "filth-begrimed" Cerberus gnaws and gnashes at the sinners (Gluttony) with sewage rain all around. The description throughout this Canto lends itself easily to an acrid, horrid smell.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Imagery in “Cinderella” by Pixton
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Dante's Inferno 3 Plot Analysis

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Plot Diagram
  • Timeline

Intro

Plot refers to the storyline or narrative of any given text.

The plot is based on a conflict; the conflict can be one of two major types:

  • Internal Conflict: the main character is struggling with something within him/herself (human vs. self)

  • External Conflict: the main character has a struggle with someone or something other than him or herself
    • human vs. human
    • human vs. nature
    • human vs. God/Supernatural
    • human vs. technology

A storyline or plot focuses on the conflict development throughout the narrative, moving through the following stages (not necessarily always in this order):

  1. Exposition: identifies the main characters, conflict, and setting (time & place)
  2. Rising Action Events: events building the conflict; in other words, which things happen to further complicate the main problem (conflict)
  3. Climax (Climactic Event): an event which is the turning point of the narrative; oftentimes, the climax is the highest point of tension or suspense in the storyline
  4. Falling Action Events: events which move the narrative from the climax toward a resolution of the conflict
  5. Resolution (also known as the Denouement): the end result or how the conflict ends. To put it directly: who or what wins? What is the final result?

Instructions

Identify the following in your comic, including quotations and Canto, stanza, and line references throughout:

  1. What the Main Conflict of the poem is:

    Internal or External Conflict? Human vs. (Fill in the Blank)

  2. The Setting (Time & Place) and protagonist as well as the antagonist.

  3. At least 1 Rising Action event

  4. The Climax

  5. At least 1 Falling Action event

  6. The Resolution

Rubric: Plot Analysis

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview Each panel is detailed with accurate content and fully responds to the prompts, along with a corresponding image; relevant details/lines are selected to support each plot point. Each panel has accurate content appropriate to the prompts, along with corresponding images; relevant details/lines are selected to support each plot point. Each panel has content mostly appropriate to the prompts, and corresponding images; details/lines from the poem are mostly relevant and utilized to support each plot point. One or more panels missing appropriate content and/or corresponding images; details/lines from the poem not entirely relevant and/or included for each plot point. Some panels missing content and/or corresponding images; details/lines from the poem sporadically included and/or not relevant to plot points.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully addressing required content
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels do not seem to be targeting required content
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Plot Diagram

Dante's Inferno Plot Diagramming by Student
ExpositionDante, lost and soul-broken at the opening of Inferno, wanders lost in a dark path. He feels he has "lost his way" at the mid-way point of his life, and becomes terrorized by various wild animals in the wildnerness of Canto I. There, he runs into Virgil, a lost soul (shade) who shares that he will guide Dante through Inferno to where he must go. Main ConflictInferno's main conflict is Dante vs. himself: he doesn't feel that he is on the one true path (the path of the godly) and isn't sure which way to go from here, in his mid-life. He has lost the love of his life, Beatrice, and feels his faith fading... He learns from Virgil that Beatrice came to him "from Heaven" and instructed Virgil to be Dante's guide, to help him through his mid-life crisis to find himself, and thus God and the godly path, again. Rising ActionVirgil leads Dante to the gate of Inferno, with the inscription to "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Passing this first threshold moves Dante and Virgil into Dante's first encounter with the condemned, as he hears the tormented cries and screams of those in Inferno. Dante's response tells us he remains a compassionate being: "I, at the beginning, wept thereat" (Canto III). Another rising action event is where Dante observes Minos circling his tail to identify to which Circle of Inferno the sinner will go; Dante thus encounters Paolo and Francesca in the Second Circle. This Circle of Hell is for those condemned based on Lust or Carnal Sin. Dante invites the sinner Francesca to share her tragic tale, as he wishes to learn from the sinners at this point in Inferno. Again, Dante's response is one of deep sadness and pity, which hits him hard: "I swooned away as if I had been dying, / And fell, even as a dead body falls." ClimaxWhile Inferno may not have a true climactic moment, considering that it is the first of three epic poems amongst Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, there does seem to be a turning point for Dante as a character in this story. The turning point seems to be where Geryon flies Virgil and Dante deeper into Inferno, dropping them at Malebolge. This feels climactic to me, as Dante moves from being compassionate toward the sinners throughout Hell to now -- post-flight -- aggressively reminding a sinner why he's placed as he is, eternally. Where Dante pesters Pope Nicholas III (enveloped in flames) in the Third Pouch as a Simoniac, he taunts: "stay here, for thou art justly punished, / And keep safe guard o'er the ill-gotten money." From here, we continue seeing this less soft-hearted version of our hero. Falling ActionMalebolge; demon flight through the 8th Pouch back to the 6th within the Eighth Circle; navigating through the Ninth Circle of Traitors -- of Kin, Country, Lord and Guests (Cantos XXXII - XXXIV). DenouementDante is no longer wrestling with himself -- mid-life crisis averted! He knows that his journey isn't over, yet he is relieved to move toward the stars and out of Inferno having encountered the Devil Himself in the deepest center of Hell as a three-headed giant gnawing on the three worst Traitors Against Benefactors (Cassius, Brutus, Judas). Dante will continue to pursue the godly path, and leave Virgil as he can no longer serve as his spirit guide. Thus, his conflict with himself is over.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Conflict and Plot in “Cinderella” by Pixton
ExpositionCinderella lives a humble life with her father, and is very happy. However, soon after taking a new wife, Cinderella's father passes away. Main ConflictWith her new husband now deceased, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters take over the house. Rather than welcoming Cinderella into the family, they make her a servant and treat her cruelly. Rising ActionThe Prince, looking to get married, announces there will be a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom to attend. Cinderella plans to go but her stepsisters ruin her dress. As she sits in tears, her fairy godmother appears and gives her everything she needs for a grand experience at the ball. But there is a catch; at midnight, everything will return to how it was before. ClimaxCinderella enters the ballroom and immediately catches Prince Charming's eye. After a night of dancing, the two are in love. Cinderella loses track of time, however, and when the clock strikes midnight, she flees from the ball. Prince Charming is left with nothing but her glass slipper. Falling ActionThe prince is determined to find the mysterious woman from the ball. He sends his men to visit every household in the kingdom and have them try on the glass slipper. The woman whom the shoe fits will be the new princess. DenouementAt last, Cinderella gets a chance to try on the glass slipper and it fits perfectly. Prince Charming knows she is the one he fell in love with at the ball. He rescues her from her wicked stepfamily and they live happily ever after.

Find more lesson plans:

  • MADE AT PIXTON.COM