Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
In this lesson, students will be able to:
- utilize textual evidence from the Frankenstein excerpts to answer text-dependent questions.
- support inferences with evidence from the text.
- analyze the creature and how he develops and changes over the course of the excerpt, including what contributes to the changes.
- analyze the creature's interactions with other characters, and how his own actions develop the plot.
- use various strategies to determine the meaning of selected words from the Frankenstein excerpts.
- utilize relevant evidence from the Frankenstein excerpts and video clips to support their extended written responses.
- write extended paragraph responses that are well-organized, focused, and include appropriate supporting evidence to back up their main points.
- come to the Socratic Seminar prepared for the discussion by having thoroughly read the Frankenstein excerpts and carefully answered the questions for the Socratic Seminar; draw on evidence from the Frankenstein excerpts to support all responses; propel the conversation by listening to and responding to others; clarify, verify, or challenge the ideas of their peers through use of appropriate evidence from the novel.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should be able to:
- locate appropriate textual evidence to support answers to text-dependent questions.
- utilize a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text.
- It is not required that students have read the chapters in Frankenstein leading up to the excerpts studied in this lesson. This lesson is designed to stand alone. The excerpts are drawn from Chapter 12, part of Chapter 15 and part of Chapter 16 of the novel as published by Project Gutenberg. The chapters in between that were not included in this close reading will not impact students' comprehension of the text or their ability to complete the activities and assessments in the lesson.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What are different strategies that can be used to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text?
- What characteristics can be used to define or label someone or something a "monster"?
- How does the creature develop and change over the course of the text excerpts, and what contributes to these changes?
- By the end of these excerpts, should the creature be labeled a monster? Why or why not?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. As an entrance ticket, ask students to write down characteristics such as personality traits, appearance, actions, and motivations that they deem necessary to categorize someone or something a "monster." Give students time to reflect and write. Students can write their characteristics in a bulleted list.
2. Allow time for a short class discussion so students can share some of their criteria for what makes a monster. The teacher might wish to record these ideas on a class chart to keep on display throughout the lesson.
Introducing the Lesson:
1. Tell students that in this lesson, they will be examining excerpts from Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Go over the guiding questions for the lesson with students.
2. Tell students that many different versions of the Frankenstein story have been told since Mary Shelley first published her novel in 1818. These versions, whether they are novels, comic books, television shows or mini-series, or movies, sometimes closely adhere to her original story, and other times vary greatly. Likewise, the depictions of the creature that Mary Shelley created in her novel sometimes adhere closely to the original character from her story, but some versions take great liberties with the character of the creature.
3. Tell students that we will begin the lesson by examining a short excerpt from one of the first film versions of Frankenstein. This version, released in 1931, features Boris Karloff's first iconic depiction of the creature. Make sure that students understand that in the novel, the creature does not have a name. The scientist, Victor Frankenstein, created the creature out of body parts from dissecting rooms and slaughter-houses. He also decided to build a creature that would be eight feet in height. Help students to understand that in some retellings and adaptations of this novel, especially in many film versions, the creature is called Frankenstein. In Mary Shelley's original novel, however, the creature has no name, and Frankenstein is the scientist.
4. Tell students that the clip they are about to watch is from just after the creature has been brought to life, and this is the first time that audiences in 1931 would have seen what the creature looked like. As they watch the clip, have students write down any characteristics, especially behaviors, actions, and details about the character's appearance, that they would categorize as "monster-like."
5. After showing the clip, allow students to share some of their thoughts with the class.
Setting up Close Reading #1:
1. Explain to students that they will be watching a few more movie clips with different interpretations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein later in the lesson, but now we are going to examine how she originally depicted the creature.
2. Tell students that prior to the first excerpt they will read, the creature has been brought to life by Victor Frankenstein, and then the creature fled from Frankenstein's lab. The creature ran off into the woods and through villages. When he ran into people, they were afraid of him; many ran away screaming and others tried to attack him. Then he found shelter in a little shack in the woods. This shack/shed is attached to a cottage. Through various holes in the wooden walls, he can see and hear what is going on inside the cottage, but the family has not discovered him. He has been secretly observing the family inside.
Also, without getting into too much detail, help the students understand that this part of the novel is told through flashback. The creature is actually speaking to Victor Frankenstein (whom he has met later in the story) and he is explaining to Frankenstein what happened to him after he fled from his lab. Because the creature is the narrator for this part of the story, we get to see everything through his eyes and hear his interpretation of everything that he experienced.
3. Pass out the text excerpt so that each student has a copy.
Close Reading #1:
1. Tell students that during this first close reading of the excerpt they will be text-coding as they read. They should use one color (or underline) to mark any specific examples of traits that they deem make the creature "monster-like" (based on appearance, personality traits, actions, and motivations), and use another color (or circle) any specific examples of traits that make the creature seem more human.
Also, explain to students that after we read the text, we will examine selected vocabulary words from the story. These words have been printed in bold. Students should pay attention to these words as we examine the text.
2. The teacher and strong student readers will take turns reading the text aloud. During the reading, the students should be text-coding. Depending on the needs of your students, you might wish to read aloud no more than the first two pages, then stop and have students report out examples of what they are text-coding and why. The teacher can provide corrective feedback as needed, and then continue with the read aloud, stopping periodically to check what students are coding, until all three excerpts have been read.
Note: Teachers may wish to stop during this reading (or wait until the second reading, depending on the needs of your students) and explain that in chapter fifteen, a new character has arrived to live with the family. Her name is Safie, she is Arabian, and she knows Felix from a previous time in their lives. They are in love (which is why Felix has been so depressed; he has been missing her). Felix teaches her how to read and speak his language, French, so that she can communicate with everyone in the family. At one point in the text Felix calls her his wife, so they must have gotten married once she moved in with them, but the reader does not see the ceremony. It is also important to note that as Felix taught her how to speak and read French, the creature, who was watching secretly from the shed, learned as well.
3. After discussing what students have text-coded (the teacher can provide corrective feedback where needed), pass out the vocabulary graphic organizer. Explain that they will work to determine the meaning of these words in the context of the story. They can use word parts and context clues to determine the meanings. They should complete the first two blank columns in the organizer for all ten words. After students have filled in these sections, provide access to online or print dictionaries so students can complete the last column of the organizer.
4. When students are ready, have them share their definitions based on the text, how they came up with those meanings, and what definition they wrote down from the dictionary. A key with the definitions of the words has been provided. As students share their answers, the teacher should provide corrective feedback when needed.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Close Reading #2:
1. Instruct students that they will read the excerpt for a second time to more closely examine the creature's story (reminding them again that the creature is the narrator for this excerpt), this time focusing on two of our guiding questions:
- Analyze the creature and how he develops and changes over the course of the excerpt, including what contributes to the change.
- Analyze the creature's interactions with other characters, and how his own actions develop the plot.
2. As students read the text for a second time, they will be stopping to answer text-dependent questions. Pass out a copy of the text-dependent questions to each student.
3. Read aloud questions #1-5 on the handout. Instruct students to not answer the questions yet, but as they read, if they see details that will help them to answer these questions, they should mark those details on their text. Allow students time to individually re-read pages 1 and 2 of the first excerpt. Then have the class come together and work with the teacher to answer text-dependent questions #1-5. The teacher can place the excerpt under a document camera and underline evidence from the text to support the answers to these questions.
A key with suggested answers for the questions has been provided.
4. Students will then re-read pages 2-4. Students can read these pages individually, or partners could take turns quietly re-reading these pages aloud. Students will then work with partners to answer questions #6-11. Students should be reminded to use specific evidence from the text to support their responses.
5. When ready, partners can take turns reporting some of their responses to these questions. The teacher can provide corrective feedback as needed, modeling text-marking by using a document camera to show where the appropriate textual evidence came from to support each answer.
6. Students will then individually/independently re-read pages 5-9 and answer questions #12-21. Depending on time, the teacher can have students complete this work in class or for homework. Either way, teachers should make sure to provide verbal or written feedback on students' answers to these questions before moving on with the lesson.
Note: Before students answer question 12, explain to them that at one point when the creature is wandering, he finds a bag of books in the woods, one of which was Milton's Paradise Lost. That is where he learns ideas about God and Adam and Eve.
7. Teachers may want to tell students that after the creature burns down the home of the cottagers at the end of this excerpt, he decides to hunt down Victor Frankenstein.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
1. Explain to students that they will be participating in a Socratic Seminar to more deeply discuss these excerpts from Frankenstein. (If your students have not participated in a Socratic Seminar before, please see the Further Recommendations section.) Pass out the Socratic Seminar questions. Explain to students that their written response should be in the form of a detailed paragraph. They should use textual support from the excerpts throughout their response. They will be able to refer to their written responses during the seminar, although they will not be reading them verbatim because a Socratic Seminar is designed to be a discussion.
2. Before beginning the seminar, teachers should go over the rubric they will use to evaluate student participation in the Socratic Seminar. There are many Socratic Seminar rubrics freely available online. Teachers should select a rubric that best meets their needs, the needs of their students, and aligns well to the Speaking and Listening Standard aligned to this lesson.
3. Students will now participate in the Socratic Seminar. The teacher should limit his or her involvement in the seminar to putting out the first question and helping with procedures. For example, if students begin to get off task, redirect them to the text. If it seems like the discussion of a question has been exhausted, put out another question for students to discuss. The teacher should take notes on students' participation during the seminar. It would be helpful to have a copy of the rubric in front of you and as well as a chart with students' names on it with enough blank space to take a few notes about each student's participation to justify their final participation grades.
4. After the Socratic Seminar, tell students that we will watch a few more selected clips of different movie interpretations of Frankenstein, focusing on different depictions of the creature. Pass out the summative assessment extended writing prompts so that students will see how these clips will help them answer some of the final questions for the lesson.
5. It is ultimately up to teachers to decide which move clips (and how many) to show to their classes. Teachers should be sure to show clips that depict actions by the creature as "monster-like." The teacher may also want to show clips where the creature is depicted in ways that are human-like, as he is depicted by Shelley in the text excerpts where the creature is growing and learning how to talk and read, where he is learning to feel compassion, and desires to be loved by others and have companionship. In that case, teachers may want to find the 1994 film adaptation of Frankenstein staring Robert De Niro and select school-appropriate clips to show their students.
A few ideas for clips:
- The scene in the 1931 version of Frankenstein where the creature fights with Victor Frankenstein until they have to knock him out with a drug.
- The scene in the 1931 version of Frankenstein where the villagers have followed the creature to a windmill where he and Frankenstein are fighting inside of it. The creature throws Frankenstein off the windmill, and then the villagers set the windmill on fire with the creature still inside.
- The scene in the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein where the creature wants food but cannot articulate his needs because he cannot communicate with words. He ends up getting into a fight with the people at the campfire over the food.
- The 1974 Mel Brooks film Young Frankenstein has several clips that teachers could use that show where the creature is acting monster-like, but is also displaying some human qualities. The scene where Victor brings him to life and how he reacts to Victor is a great scene to show, along with the blind man scene, where the creature visits a blind monk (note, this scene shows tobacco use), and the "Puttin' on the Ritz" scene, where the creature is performing on stage with Doctor Frankenstein but becomes terrified when a light bulb catches fire.
6. Encourage students to take notes during the movie clips for use in their extended responses. They should also remember to clearly label which of their notes are from which clips.
7. Students will now take their notes from the entire lesson plus the text excerpt to respond to the three extended writing prompts. Tell students that they must write an extended, well-organized paragraph for each question. Go over the rubric with students so they will know how they will be assessed. Explain to students that this rubric will be used for each of their three paragraphs; each paragraph will receive a separate grade using the rubric.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
The teacher can have a class discussion where students share some of their responses to the summative assessment writing response questions. During this discussion, the teacher might wish to have students return to the guiding questions and hook for the lesson and ask them if their definition of a monster has changed or not (and why or why not) since the beginning of the lesson. Students could answer this question on an exit ticket.
Students will use the notes, graphic organizer, and text-dependent questions they have completed from the two close readings of the text excerpts; the notes and discussion that was generated during the Socratic Seminar; and the notes they took during the various film clips to respond in writing to three prompts. Students will answer the three prompts in the form of an extended, well-organized paragraph. The writing prompts are included in this handout, and a rubric for teachers to assess each paragraph is also provided.
Close Reading 1: The teacher will be able to gather information about student understanding of the selected vocabulary from the text after students have completed their vocabulary graphic organizer and shared their answers as a class. This will allow the teacher to provide corrective feedback and, if needed, additional modeling on how to use various strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. Also, based on what students chose to text-code during the first close reading, the teacher can begin to determine students' initial understanding of the text.
Close Reading #2: As students discuss their answers for text-dependent questions #6-11, the teacher will be able to gauge students' understanding of the text to this point and determine if they are able to select appropriate textual evidence to support their responses. This knowledge will allow the teacher to decide if students need more support or corrective feedback before answering the last set of questions (#12-21), and if perhaps students should continue to work in partners or small groups rather than finishing these questions independently. The teacher could also decide to answer some of these questions from #12-21 as a whole group to provide more modeling before having students answer the remaining questions on their own.
Socratic Seminar: The teacher will be able to determine students' understanding of the text, in particular how the creature has changed over the course of the excerpt, what has caused those changes, and who is responsible for those changes based on students' discussion during the seminar. Additionally, the teacher will be able to see how students' criteria of a "monster" has changed since the hook activity at the start of the lesson and whether or not the students can apply that criteria correctly to the creature in the novel.
Feedback to Students
Close Reading #1: The teacher will provide verbal corrective feedback as students report out what they text-coded during the first close reading. The teacher will also provide verbal corrective feedback as students explain what they determined the meanings for the selected vocabulary words to be and how they went about determining those meanings.
Close Reading #2: The teacher will provide verbal corrective feedback on text-dependent questions #1-11 and has the option to provide written or verbal feedback on #12-21.