This engaging and detailed lesson aims to improve students’ understanding of the lead protagonist in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Victor Frankenstein. The lesson places a particular focus upon how Victor fits the role of a tragic hero, and it studies the actions and behaviours that lead to his inevitable demise. Students also analyse how Shelley uses the character of Victor to present key messages about religion, unchecked ambition, and the treatment of the ‘others’ in society.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Defining the role of the tragic hero and exploring how Victor personifies these features;
- Understanding prevailing attitudes towards religion, ambition, and appearances, and investigating how Victor would have been received considering these ideas;
- Reading and understanding extracts in which Victor's fatal flaws are evident, and considering how they are relevant;
- Analysing how Shelley utilises Victor and his demise to present key messages to readers;
- 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);
- Mood map - to track Victor's role in the plot and eventual destruction;
- 'Frankenstein's Actions' 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 10 groups, but can easily be differentiated for groups of different ages and abilities.