No Series: Breaking Down Complex Literature

ELA.RL.9-10.3

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 3: 
    Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting
    motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters,
    and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Breaking Down Complex Literature

Lesson Objective: Understand Browning's "My Last Duchess"
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Poetry
ELA.RL.9-10.3

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Mortlock's script help students understand the poem?
  2. How can you use these strategies when teaching other pieces of literature?
  3. What role does small group discussion play in this lesson?

5 Comments

  • Private message to Diane Nelson

Awesome, way to get students engaged. I like the way the teacher has made some pieces easier to understand. I like the answers the students gave as the Dutchess. This is a creative way to get the students comfortable with old English. Students are able to describe the Duke and can easily imagine what other characters would say.

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  • Private message to grace bollman
I love this lesson! You are right! Your modern scripted version helps them visualize the scene and infer what the duchess might be thinking even before the complex text is read! Beautiful!
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  • Private message to Brenda Bankston
This lesson plan was great. It really made the poem come alive. With this lesson plan, I would feel very comfortable teaching this poem. Thanks.
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  • Private message to Paula Nash
Great idea.
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  • Private message to Christina Ballard
This is a fabulous lesson that made the poem really come alive. I am eager to try this lesson and adapt it to other poems. I think with some practice, the students could be nudged into coming up with scripts of their own.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Summary

    A KS4 English lesson which helps the students connect with Robert Browning's My Last Duchess is examined in this video,

    Summary

    A KS4 English lesson which helps the students connect with Robert Browning's My Last Duchess is examined in this video, aimed at helping teachers with their planning.
    The language and structure of some 19th Century poetry can be difficult to understand and teacher Caroline Mortlock realizes this could create a barrier to her students' understanding of My Last Duchess.
    She tackles this by creating a modern version of the poem and reading it to her students first.
    While reading her version to the students, she gets them to give a voice to the Duchess and not until they have a feel for what has been going on between the two characters in the poem, does she introduce them to the original version.
    All resources required to deliver this lesson can be found in the extra materials section, including a lesson plan, mind map, original and modern language version of the poem.

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