This unit has been developed to enhance student’s skills in reading, writing, critical thinking, vocabulary, and comprehension through exercises and assignments related to the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Each step in the unit is a step towards the final assessment which is a critical literary analysis essay.
The introductory lesson introduces students to the epic poem “Paradise Lost” by John Milton and the story of Satan’s fall from heaven. The reason I have chosen to start with this lesson is that is gives students an opportunity to be acquainted with the story since it plays a central role in the novel thematically and comprehensively. Also, it gets the students ready to discover what they see or read might not always be truthful. With this lesson I use a picture of Satan when he was an angel and ask them to describe the picture without telling them it is Satan. During the novel it is imperative to always be wondering if the story we are getting about the monster is accurate. Therefore, coming back to the idea of not taking everything we see at face value.
The background lesson that comes after the introductory lesson is used as a “hook” to spark student’s interest in the novel and the unit. Here I use a quick survey which asks the students whether they believe technology should be used in a number of circumstances which gradually become more controversial. The last two questions deal with the question of cloning and creating life with technology. The idea is to initiate a debate about the uses of technology and knowledge which will be the major theme addressed throughout this unit. After the debate, I introduce the student’s to the central theme of Frankenstein which is ‘Dangerous Knowledge’ and how this novel’s message can be very relevant in our world today. Lastly, this lesson is aimed at getting students introduced to the author Mary Shelley and her motives and inspiration behind the book. Also, I reinforce the idea that Frankenstein is not a green monster with bolts in his neck.
The quizzes that are used were meant to check the student’s reading as well as make them responsible for the material. I noticed that kids were not reading so to make them accountable I made the quizzes up so there was punishment for not reading. I felt that this was needed since there was hardly any additional work after we discussed the material and read aloud in class. Now, after awhile the quizzes became ineffective so a different method was needed. However, it is good to have some sort of assessment in quiz form at the beginning I found to make them understand there are consequences for not reading.
The activities/assignments involved with this unit were quick but important. They were used to solidify what was being talked about during the reading. Assignments were not given after each lesson which helped strengthen the learning when we did have work. They worked on skills in writing with the ‘create your own...