Put new life into your "My Last Duchess" lesson by having students act as the duke's treating physician for a psychological analysis.
Personality Survey - This is part of the pre-reading activity to introduce students to how we assess different personality traits and mental illness. Students read 15 different statements and answer if they strongly disagree, disagree, are unsure, agree, or strongly agree with each statement. This can be done on paper or as a four-corners activity to get students up and moving.
Ted Talk Guide Questions - Students really enjoy this Ted Talk about mental health and the psychopath check list. The overall theme of the talk is how everyone is a little psychopathic and that our mental differences are what make us unique and human. This pre-reading activity prepares students for the final writing prompt where they will plot the duke on a psychopath spectrum and support their assessment using details from the talk and the poem.
Quick Introduction - A very brief introduction to Browning, dramatic monologue, iambic pentameter, and enjambment.
Copy of the Poem - The poem is in the public domain so a copy is included. The worksheet with the poem includes plenty of white space for annotations and paraphrasing. Also included is a sample of the poem with annotations already written out.
Task Cards - There are 16 total and they are divided according to the different standards they focus on: Craft, Structure, Key Idea, and Characterization. You can have students complete each card via stations and group work, or you can assign them according to students' personal needs. Answer sheet is included.
Worksheets - The same 16 questions are also provided on worksheets in case you or your students prefer worksheets over task cards.
Writing Prompt - Students plot the duke on a spectrum to determine where he falls between the points of "Not Psychopathic" and "Completely Psychopathic." They need to support their answer with specific details from the Ted Talk and the poem.