The Divine Comedy with 14 year old pupils

Description of how I lectured The Divine Comedy for my 14 year old pupils and suggestions of further lessions.

Today, my pupils didn’t want to read short stories as we usually do in Friday classes. In history we have come to the Middle Ages and I wanted to do  do something today that connected to that.

Okay, I said. We do something else. Answer these questions, you may use the computers:

  • Who was Dante Alighieri
  • What is  The Divine Comedy?

I wrote some additional questions on the whiteboard. I don’t recall them right now. Then we started. My pupil started and soon came across wikipedia. They quickly found some goodies to investigate further:

  • the death sins and their symbols
  • Judas
  • Brutus
  • Cassius
  • Caesar
  • Virgil 
  • Beatrice 
  • Purgatory 
  • Styx 
  • medieval art 

The pupils seemed to find it fun to identify the death sins they commit. How should I interpret this? 

I also borrowed the full text at the library. The actual text was not of so much use, but we studied the maps and the explanations quite hard.

At the end we discussed the moral of today and medieval moral. If had more time i could do much more of it. I am tempted to compare medieval morality with todays unwritten rules that have evolved now when Christianity has lost much of its influence. I also want to get the pupils to think about what it is like to live in a world with very fixed rules versus the modern freedom worship. I also want them to have heard the word Existentialism and what it means.

Much to do, but so little time.

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