This engaging and detailed lesson aims to improve students’ understanding of the social and historical context of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel: Frankenstein. The lesson places a particular focus upon the developments in health, science, and technology at the time the text was written and set, the locations visited by the author, and the life of Mary Shelley. By the end of the lesson, students demonstrate their ability to link their understanding of context to specific sections of the text.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Considering how life has changed between the end of the 18th Century and the present day;
- Researching key information about health, scientific understanding, and major events in the late 1700s;
- Understanding the features of locations in the novel, and interpreting what they may symbolise;
- Developing their understanding of the author: Mary Shelley, and considering the key events in her life that influenced her writing of Frankenstein;
- Linking knowledge of time, place, and author, and relating these to specific areas of the text;
- 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, and links to helpful website);
- Comparison between 1700s and the present day worksheet (and a teacher answer sheet);
- Card sorting activity based on locations in the novel;
- Mary Shelley worksheet (and a teacher answer sheet);
- 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. NOTE: One of the task requires access to researching materials, e.g. internet or library access.