This lesson aims to improve students’ understanding of the descriptive language used to depict the monster in Chapter 5 of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel Frankenstein. The lesson places a particular focus upon the descriptive language devices employed by Shelley, in order to create a clear image of the monster’s appearance in the reader's mind, and also to describe Victor’s strong reaction to his creation. By the end of the lesson, students demonstrate an ability to make sustained and original interpretations of the language used by the author.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Considering how their preconceptions about the monster have been influenced by modern media and representations;
- Read and understand a key extract from the beginning of chapter 5 - the point at which the monster comes to life;
- Infer and interpret the key developments of the extract, including Frankenstein's changing feelings and the monster's ambiguous actions;
- Identifying and analysing some of the key descriptive devices used by Shelley to create an image of the monster;
- Analysing the effect of the descriptive devices upon the reader;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts.
- Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and substantial; (including an animated Frankenstein's monster to guide them through the lesson);
- Descriptive devices worksheet (and a teacher answer sheet);
- Extract from the beginning of Chapter 5;
- Inferring and Interpreting worksheet;
- Analysis template with success criteria for creating well-structured responses;
- Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. This was originally taught to middle-ability year 9/10 groups, but can easily be differentiated for groups of different ages and abilities.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.