Burn, baby, burn!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Learning Target: I will analyze how the TV show Criminal Minds draws on Dante’s Inferno to create a modern interpretation of circle 6 of Hell.

Opening Session: Grab a sheet of paper and jot down the first five words you think of when you think of Hell…. was fire among those words? Good. Because today we meet the hottest part of Dante’s Inferno (which, now that I think of it, is kind of a silly name)… CIRCLE 6!!!!

Work Session: Welcome to the circle for the heretics, y’all. The burning dead. This particular circle of Hell is one that absolutely terrifies me! Dante discusses some contemporary celebrities with a burning sinner before Virgil moves him on, and with that, I want to go on to our main activity of the day:

CRIMINAL MINDS! How many of you guys watch this show? This particular episode – season 10, episode 2 – is all about a killer who was inspired by Dante’s Inferno. As we watch the video, pay close attention to how the killer chooses each of his victims. He already knows what “punishments” he’s going to give them (the MOs of his murders), so can you figure out how he chooses each victim?

After we finish watching today, I want to do a bit of writing. Give me 3-4 sentences on each of these prompts:

  1. Visual imagery can be a powerful thing. SEEING something is often more impressive and gives us a more lasting feeling than reading about it. Which images/scenes from this episode stand out most in your mind? Why do you think that is?
  2. What is it about the Inferno that makes this particular part – the burning, flaming part – the most memorable part of Hell?
  3. How did the producers of this episode of Criminal Mindsdraw on Dante as source material? What did they emphasize or leave out? Did they make any choices that surprised you?

Closing: Do your poster activity as your ticket out the door!!

Assessment: Writings will be graded; TOTD can be formatively assessed

Differentiation: Summaries given as needed, learning style (visual, auditory), sentence frameworks given.

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