In this unit students gain an understanding of the elements of gothic literature as evidenced in four short stories: The Raven (Poe), The Masque of the Red Death (Poe), The Yellow Wallpaper (Gilman), and the Lottery (Jackson). Vocabulary is included for each story. Lessons focus on using text evidence to support analysis for tone, diction, inferencing, character analysis, author's purpose, and irony. Lessons include both independent and small group work, shorter writing tasks, small and large group discussion, and other opportunities for instructors to differentiate the lesson to suit classroom needs.
Students link together the literature and the history of the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Questions guide students as they study visual documents. Students also read the teacher's choice of two widely anthologized short stories and an excerpt from a best-selling novel of the period. Two exercises will raise student awareness of the impact that visual images have on their lives: one that is based on internet advertising and a second that results in a student-produced scrapbook.
This website is a great resource which offers a lesson plan, vocabulary, an analysis, a 30 minute audio reading of the text, and multiple articles that relate to Gilman's own experiences with mental illness.
This is a link to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. The link includes mini-lessons, an article written by Gilman, possible essay topics and rubrics, the historical context of the text, and compare/contrast Gothic Horror and Realism.
The site also includes links to other articles on mental illness; class debate topics; and student resources