Take a visual journey through Voltaire's Candide

Lesson Plan



Voltaire's Candide


Because Candide is so full of dramatic incident, colorful and exaggerated characters, and exotic, fantastic locales, it stretches a student’s imagination but can also be hard to grasp in any literal sense. Images, which can be both representative and associative, offer an opportunity for students to practice the skills of synthesis and symbolism. Below are some suggestions for incorporating images into your classroom study of Candide.


I. Use the questions under each image as writing or discussion prompts. (See "Candide in the Digital Gallery.")

II. Ask your students to discuss or write about correlations between the images and the actual text.

III. Have students meet in groups, with each group studying and discussing one image in depth. Jigsaw the groups back together so that “experts” for each image are in a discussion circle together. At this point, they can share interpretations of the images, and discuss their relationship to Candide.

IV. Have students, or groups of students, write captions for the images, and the classroom can turn into a gallery or exhibition.

V. Have students, or groups of students, retell the story of Candide in their own words. To illustrate their versions, students may use the suggested images and/or additional images from NYPL’s Digital Gallery to fill in any holes they feel the selected images leave.