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Lesson: The Monster Behind the Mask


Author: Natalia Barker
Subject Area:
Grade Level: 10 - 12

Introduction

What is your mental picture when you think of Frankenstein? Is it a green monster with bolts sticking out of his neck? Or maybe you think of a young Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in the hilarious Young Frankenstein. Most of us share a similar visualization of a Halloween-ish creature with his arms sticking out in front of him and a zombie-like glaze over his eyes. The exercises in this lesson are designed to help you learn about the legacy of Frankenstein in our modern culture for comparison with the book as we get to know the real monster behind the mask.

Goals

As you read the novel, you will 1. create connections between your personal life and the content of the book. 2. create connections between popular culture and the novel. 3. evaluate the effectiveness of how the book and characters are changed in various productions. 4. analyze how the themes of the novel are present in everyday life. At the end of reading the novel, you will be able to see how Frankenstein's monster has walked out of the page and into our lives.

Directions

In this lesson are four activities to be completed at different benchmarks throughout the novel. You will complete the first activity, It's Best to Read a Monster By His Mask, before we begin reading the book. The second activity, It's weird! It's crazy! It's mad! It's science!, needs to be completed after you finish reading chapter five. After we finish chapter sixteen, complete Green and Gross On the Outside, Warm and Fuzzy on the Inside. And when you have completely finished the novel, finish the final task, Does the monster make the man or does the man make the monster? We will be reading and discussing the book in class in addition to completing these activities. We will also talk about these activities and use them in class, so be sure to stay on your reading and complete the activities in a timely manner. Be sure to pay attention to the directions that come with each activity so you know what to write on the computer and what to prepare for class. Have fun!


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Title: Frankenstein and Mary Shelley URL: http://current.com/green/89367449_frankenstein-and-mary-shelley.htm
Directions: Between all this talk about the book's monster and the media's monster, I'm a little confused about what's true for the book. Watching this video really helped me sort out the basics!


Title: Frankenstein: A Pop Culture Prince URL: http://www.squidoo.com/franklenstein
Directions: Wow those commercials are hilarious, and now that I'm thinking about it, I can remember a ton of examples of pop culture Frankensteins! This website helped jog my memory. I sure wish I had a bowl of Frankenberry to munch on right now!


Title: Frankenstein in Popular Culture URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein_in_popular_culture
Directions: This Wikipedia page provides a lot of information and examples of how Frankenstein has popped up in popular culture. Take a look, but remember how Wikipedia works in popular culture as well. As you think about the information, how is the format and platform itself an example of Shelley's commentary on science and technology in the novel?


Title: The Literary Gothic: Mary Shelley (And More Frankenstein Resources) URL: http://www.litgothic.com/Authors/mshelley.html
Directions: Hmm, after all this talk about Frankenstein, I'm starting to like this Shelley lady. If you want more information about the writer, the novel, or the literary traditions that is came from and began, check out this website. It might give you some good ideas for the activities you do with the novel.


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Activity: 1. It's Best to Read a Monster By His Mask (complete before you begin reading the book)


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Goals

In this activity you will 1. Develop an understanding of how the novel has impacted culture. 2. Write a statement of your expectations for the novel based on the information from the sources you explore. 3. Find a second example of a literary figure in popular culture. 4. Evaluate the accuracy of depictions of literary characters in pop culture.

Directions

1. Watch several of the Frankenstein based videos in the playlist. 2. Based on these videos and your culturally designed perception of Frankenstein, write a brief prediction of what the monster in the book will be like. Think about other "monsters" or spin offs in popular culture and if these are accurate representations of the true literary character. 3. Write a prediction of what the monster in Frankenstein will be like. Make sure to use examples from the video clips you watch to support your prediction. Keisha, Pablo, and Rubric are all here to help you think about what you see. Keisha can help you make predictions, Pablo will help you reflect, and Rubric can guide you through thinking about media representations. Just choose each of these three areas from the drop down menu and click on each character's button for their commentary.



Activity: 3. Green and Gross On the Outside, Warm and Fuzzy on the Inside (complete after chapter sixteen)


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Goals

In this activity you will 1. Evaluate a peer critique of pop culture's depiction of the book's monster in film adaptations. 2. Extend that critique with additional examples of the discrepancy of representations. 3. Create a visual response to the evaluate-extend analysis that demonstrates the monster's true nature based on the text.

Directions

1. Watch the student produced video about the differences between film adaptations of the book. 2. Summarize how the video compares and contrasts the monster's depiction in the film with the monster in the book. 3. Find two additional examples of the comparison and contrast that are not addressed in the video. Write these at the top of a word document. 4. Develop a visual response (representative pictures) paired with quotes from the book that depict what you believe is the monster's true nature. Add these to the word document beneath what you wrote for step five and print that document. Don't forget to use Keisha, Pablo, and Rubric for help! Keisha will talk you through summarizing, Pablo provides help on how to think about web evaluation, and Rubric provides a check off list for visualization.



Activity: 4. Does the monster make the man or does the man make the monster? (complete after finishing the book)


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Goals

In this activity you will 1. explore a website depicting a print text variation of Frankenstein. 2. make connections between the classic novel and new approaches to it. 3. evaluate the website's role as informing, marketing, and persuading. 4. connect the understanding of the website to the popular culture depictions of Shelley's Frankenstein.

Directions

1. Read and explore the website. 2. Write down three examples of how the website informs the reader, markets a specific product to the reader, and persuades the reader to buy the product. 3. Reflect on the various examples of Frankenstein's connection to popular culture and determine how this website provides another example of this. 4. Since you have finished reading Shelley's Frankenstein, determine if these are books you would like to explore and explain why in a journal entry. Elaborate on how the website works to encourage you to read the books. Keisha, Pablo, and Rubric can all help you think about what to write about in your journal entry.



Activity: 2. It's weird! It's crazy! It's mad! It's science! (Complete after chapter five)


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Goals

In this activity you will 1. develop an understanding of background information about the author and how that information applies to the novel. 2. make connections to modern science and technology. 3. write an argument for a particular viewpoint on a selected topic. 4. prepare a position to argue with evidence for a classroom debate.

Directions

Mary Shelley's motivation to write Frankenstein was in part due to her frustration with science and technology. I guess we would call Shelley and her friends "outdoorsy" compared to most people in their time. They really valued nature and thought that scientific and technological advances would hurt people and society. We talked in class about how Frankenstein's monster is a great scientific breakthrough in theory but in practice was clearly a mistake. 1. Keeping this information in mind, read the website provided. 2. Compare Shelley's point of view from the novel with view points and information presented in this article. 3. write a reflection that connects this activity to our study of popular culture's versions of Frankenstein. Information on the website provided addressed several areas considered popular culture. How might the novel fit into the discussion? 4. Prepare a statement that argues on Mary Shelley's behalf on the position you think she would take on this modern controversy. Be sure to provide a central statement of her position and three reasons why that would be her position. Think about Frankenstein and the message she sends through the novel. 5. In class, we will have a debate in small groups where both sides of the argument are presented and debated. Details of the debate will be provided in class.




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