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The Literature of Prescription

High School

English Lesson Plan
The Rest Cure: Gender in Medicine and Literature provides activities and instructional materials for three class periods for students to examine and analyze “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” a fictional work by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Students read this short story, and several primary source documents that provide historical context for the late nineteenth century when the story was written and first published. These reading materials are incorporated into the class procedures in order to help students gain historical insights as well as analyze social criticism in the literary work. Students also participate in a writing and peer editing team activity.

Health Education Lesson Plan
Making Sense of Mental Health: Past and Present presents three class periods that focus on increasing students’ knowledge about mental health disorders and resources. Students initially explore a literary depiction of ‘nervous disease’ in “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” a short story written in the late 1800s by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Students move from the past and fiction to the present and non-fiction, by working in teams to gather information about various mental health disorders from different perspectives—i.e., medical expert, patient, and family or loved one. In the end, teams make poster presentations and share their findings in order to raise awareness of mental health issues and resources.

The narrator with her husband

Courtesy National Library of Medicine