Essential Questions

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • Does society create “monsters” or are “monsters” just born?
  • What is the ethical relationship between “creator” and “creation” and/or parent and child?
  • Are we born as a tabula rasa where society’s expectations and individual desires create our identity or are we born with distinct traits?
  • How does one find fulfillment in life?
  • How does reading literature shape and provide insight in our own identity?
  • What are the timeless themes found in Romantic novels?


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Fri 10/25
Introduction to Romanticism & Poems highlighting the Romantic spirit

Reading Romantic Poetry

  • Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much With US” and “Tintern Abbey”

HW: Reading Prometheus myth and Byron’s “Prometheus”

Mon 10/28
Byron’s “Prometheus”

Introduction to Frankenstein

HW: Reading Letters I-III

Tues 10/29
Initial understanding for character, romantic characteristics, and structure of the novel

  • What is your sense of Walton?  What does he care about? What is he interested in?
  • What type of language does he use to speak about his cares and interests?
  • What type of tension is established?

Wed 10/30 – Fri 11/1
Reading the first volume


  • What is your sense of Victor?  What does he care about? What is he interested in?
  • What type of language does he use to speak about his cares and interests?
  • What type of tension is established?

Annotations for characters and motifs

Things to do in/out of class

  • Small discussion
  • Choosing an important passage that aligns with the lines of inquiry and writing about how the passage develops the idea
  • Collecting and gathering annotations – start to organize into patterns
  • Some other way of thinking critically of the text?

Bring 5 discussion questions to class on Monday

Mon 11/4 – Fri 11/8
Monday V. 1 Discussion

V. 1 Response due Fri 11/8

Learning Reflection due Thursday at the beginning of class

  • Conferences to start

Before Reading V. 2 – Working with allusions

  • What representation of creation do the Biblical passages provide?
  • What is Milton’s representation of Satan?
  • What is Milton’s representation of Adam as he leaves Paradise?
  • V2 Chapters 1-5-Chapter 3 shifts to the voice of the creature.  Do you sympathize more with Victor or with the creature having heard both perspectives?  Does Shelley suggest we sympathize with one over the other?  How does she do or not do this?  Is she effective?

Start reading V. 2

Mon 11/11 – Fri 11/15
Finish V. 2 for Thursday’s Class 11/14

Dichotomy, duality, both/and in Frankenstein

  • Working with your group, word map and brainstorm some of the dichotomies and dualities present in the text.  Use the paper to think and explore the relationships Shelley is exploring and what she might be suggesting about those relationships.  Look at and identify places in the text where her language highlights an idea about one or more of those relationships.
  • Xerox a passage (a long paragraph or a page) and do a close reading of it. First, annotate the passage more closely, noticing the movement of the passage.  What does Shelley establish?  Where does it move?  How does she develop the idea?  What do you notice about her use of language?  Then do some writing.
  • Go through your annotations again and start identifying patterns – motifs in language, imagery, symbolism, etc.  What are the contexts for each occurrence?  What might Shelley be suggesting through these patterns?

Bring 5 questions for Thursday’s discussion

Discussion on Thursday 11/14

V2 Response due Friday 11/15

Mon 11/18 – Fri 11/22
Writing as the Other

  • Sharing the “Writing as the Other” pieces

Writing as Henry Or Elizabeth

Finish Reading V 3 for Monday 11/25

Mon 11/25 
Reading Criticism and preparing for Socratic Seminar

Choose one of the following criticisms to read and annotate for tomorrow’s class

  • “Electrical Romanticism” by Jane Goodall
  • “Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein” by Anne K. Mellor
  • Frankenstein, The True Story; or, Rousseau Judges Jean-Jacques” by Lawrence Lipking
  • “Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism” by George Levine and “Frankenstein, Racial Science, and the Yellow Peril” by Anne K. Mellor
    • What ideas from the reading would you want to address with your group in discussion tomorrow?
    • What questions does the criticism lead you to ask about your reading of Frankenstein?

HW: Coming to class with read and annotated criticism.  In your notebooks, 2 discussion questions related to your criticism and other discussion

Tues 11/26

Mon 12/2 – Fri 12/6
Tuesday – V 3 Response

Assembling the Portfolio – Submit Friday by 2.05

Writing the essay

Writing Reflection: What was the feedback on my first essay?  What will I focus on in this essay?

Proposal and thesis

Mon 12/9-Fri 12/20
Feedback on outlines and conferences

Book choices for next unit

  • Reading first pages

Introduction to the “multiple I” and poetry

Reworking drafts

Thurs 1/2 & Mon 1/6

Bringing in a printed copy of your fully completed draft for Tuesday’s class


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