You will begin by modeling how to closely examine a picture. You can show students how to examine the details, background, colors, etc...in order to gain an understanding of what the picture represents. Students will then examine pictures that deal with ancient Roman gladiator fights. In groups, they will discuss questions that will require depth of thought, inferences and close examination of the sources. At the end of the lesson, students will independently complete a question that ties many of the sources together.
Document based questions are excellent ways to either get students interested in a topic or force them to apply what they know in order to truly understand where they are with the information. Too often, we are presented information and interpretations without ever thinking outside the box or challenging those assertions. Students need to develop the ability to synthesize many pieces of information into an understanding and application of their own.