“Pit and the Pendulum” Lesson Plan with Photo Analysis Worksheet

I hate the term worksheet. It’s not the term, actually. It’s the connotation. According to search engine data, however, it’s not uncommon for individuals to search for a photo analysis worksheet, so that’s what I’m calling it: Photo Analysis Worksheet.

I didn’t create it. The National Archives people did. I did, however create this “Pit and the Pendulum” lesson plan that utilizes the aforementioned worksheet.

“Pit and the Pendulum” Photo Analysis Lesson Plan

Most teachers are simply searching for a good lesson plan and don’t really need all those codes and numbers associated with learning objectives. Most teachers, however, are required to include the objectives so I’ll put them at the end of this post. Here are the procedures.

  1. Distribute the aforementioned photo analysis graphic organizer handout.
  2. Project image 1 as students file in.
  3. Begin observing image #1. 2 minutes is the suggested time. This is just observation time. There’s no need to write anything at this point.
  4. Take a few minutes and fill in section B of the handout as much as possible.
  5. You’ll note the observation instructions mention examining each quadrant of the photo. The images in the slideshow below include each quadrant separately. You’re welcome.
  6. Show each quadrant for 0ne minute followed by one minute of adding to the chart.
  7. Do step 2. You may need to explain what inference means. You may not.
  8. Do step 3.
  9. You’ve probably realized that you could create images for just about any story for this assignment. I’ve included an image of the Spanish Inquisition.

If students have done according to plan, they’ll be extremely curious what is happening in the picture. Don’t tell them. Instead, do the following.

Instruct students to write a one-page narrative answering the following questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?

Pit and the Pendulum

Then you can mention it's an image that came up with a Google search of the Spanish Inquisition, so when you start reading "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe, students will have a general idea what's going on.

This is my introductory activity to "The Pit and the Pendulum." For a complete "Pit and the Pendulum" unit with graphic organizer handouts, lesson plans, summary, analysis, answer keys, rubrics, a quiz, and more, check out "The Pit and the Pendulum" teaching unit.

Common Core Standards for This Photo Analysis Activity

RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.9-10.2  Determine a central idea and analyze its development, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary.

RI.9-10.7  Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

W.9-10.5  Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

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