Tag Archives: Frankenstein

English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein and Paradise Lost

Paradise LostStudents read a synopsis of each chapter of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and RHA’d it for content relating to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  The class was then divided into three groups for this assignment.

Three groups: God, Satan, and Adam

SEE:

Each group has to find five pairs of quotations that correlate between the chosen character from Paradise Lost (God, Satan, or Adam) and either Victor or the Creature from Frankenstein.

THINK:

Groups each choose the strongest pair of quotations that act as a correlation and state what they think about that correlation.

WONDER:

For the same pair of lines, state what they wonder about the correlation.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder.  Students then share Post-It Notes.

Milton

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph correlating God, Satan, or Adam to either Victor or the Creature.   They must use their pairs of lines as textual support for their claims.

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English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein and the Sublime in Art

This Visible Thinking activity is done with a twist.  Instead of merely sharing something simple that they see, think, or wonder, students must stretch to use adjective/noun combinations for what they see, similes for what they think, and metaphors for what they wonder… all relating to the sublime.

I let the classes select one of the following paintings:

800px-Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_The_Arcadian_or_Pastoral_State_1836

The Arcadian or Pastoral State by Thomas Cole

800px-Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_The_Savage_State_1836

The Savage State by Thomas Cole

il-penseroso-1845_jpg!Blog

Il Penseroso by Thomas Cole (inspired by “L’Allegro,” a poem by John Milton)

Peace%20at%20Sunset%20Thomas%20Cole

Peace at Sunset by Thomas Cole

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits by Asher Brown Durand (depicting painter Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant)

 

SEE:

Students list ten very specific details they see in the painting, and then share their list with a partner.  Any details that they have in common are marked with a checkmark (so that less obvious details stand out to them for later).

THINK:

Students put three things they think about the painting represents the sublime.

WONDER:

Students put three things they wonder about the painting represents the sublime.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder. 

For those with the color for SEE, they have to use an adjective/adjective/noun combination to describe something they see that represents the sublime.

For those with the color for THINK, they have to create a simile about how they think something in the painting represents the sublime.

For those with the color for WONDER, they have to create a metaphor for what they wonder about how the artist created the sublime on canvas.

Students then share Post-It Notes on the front board.

2013-05-10 09.13.17

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph about how the painting is a representation of the sublime, much like Victor’s escape to nature after the deaths of William and Justine.  Be sure to define and explain “sublime” as it relates to both the painting and the novel.

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English 9 Enriched: Parody- Young Frankenstein

How could I ignore Mel Brooks’ classic parody?

Similar to what we did with the creation scenes from the 1931 Universal film and the 1994 Kenneth Branagh version, we watched two video clips, did a SEE/THINK/WONDER for each one, discussed comparisons/contrasts, and then had a short writing assignment.

These are the two clips from Young Frankenstein (1974).

The first depicts Gene Wilder (as Victor Frankenstein) and Peter Boyle (as the Creature) doing a tap dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”  What I want the students to see is the parody of how people become afraid of the creature and also how the creature comes to loathe people who treat him badly.

The second clip is when the Creature (Peter Boyle) comes upon the house of a blind priest (Gene Hackman), and the priest unsuccessfully tries to offer his guest some hospitality.   I want students to make the connection to the blind man in the hovel where the creature has been spying on and learning from the family that lives there.

 

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched, Visible Thinking

English 9 Enriched: Visible Thinking- Frankenstein’s Creation

Students will be evaluating film techniques as well as comparing and contrasting film to text.  for the Visible Thinking part of the exercise, we will watch two different film interpretations of the creation scene in Frankenstein.    They will be looking for a total of ten things they notice (See) in each clip; however, they have to find two in each of the following categories: Characterization, Lighting, Set Design, Sound/Music, Costumes/Make-Up.

The first is from the Universal Films 1931 production starring Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein (notice the name change) and Boris Karloff as the creature (on a side note, Boris Karloff’s– whose real name was William Henry  Pratt– great grand-nephew lives here in Rochester).

NOTE: the YouTube link is to one person’s channel, and the videos all play when going to this link.  The one I used in class is the four minute piece at clip 3.  I am saving Gene Wilder for when we do parody!

The second is from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Victor Frankenstein, with Robert De Niro as the Creature.

After watching both clips, students shared what they saw in each of the five categories with a partner.  They then went on to write three things they THINK about how the clips reflect events in the novel, followed by three things they WONDER about how the clips reflect the events in the novel.  They must keep in mind as they write what they think and wonder that they are going to be asked to write a comparison/contrast piece for the film clips and the novel.

Students were then given two different colored Post-Its for SEE/THINK/WONDER; one color that related to the Universal film, and another for the Branagh version.   We then shared aloud and posted them in the front of the room on a large poster paper.  Once all students had the opportunity to share, we discussed the major similarities and differences between Hollywood and Shelley’s work.  They then went on to work on their writing pieces.

Alive

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English 9 Enriched: Defending Evidence Based Claims and Elevating Diction

My enriched kids are taking the Evidence Based Claims worksheets further than what we are currently doing in 9 Regents.  In this exercise, I put the following on the overhead:

Forming Evidence Based Claims for Frankenstein, Chapters 1-3

Each pair of rows will have one of the three chapters.  For each chapter, there will be students forming Evidence Based Claims about TWO of the following aspects of the narrative (one from column 1 and one from column 2):

Column 1: Characters                          Column 2:  other aspects

Victor’s character (Ch 1-3)                                 The setting in Geneva  (Ch 2)

Victor’s mother’s character (Ch 1-2)              Victor’s family life (Ch 1-2)

Victor’s father’s character  (Ch 1-2)               Victor’s early education (Ch 1-2)

Elizabeth’s character (Ch 2-3)                          Victor’s parents’ visit to the Lake of Como (Ch 1)

Henry Clerval’s character (Ch 2-3)                The effect of the lightning storm on Victor (Ch 2)

Mr. Krempe’s character (Ch 3)                         Victor’s mother’s death (Ch 3)

Mr. Waldman’s character (Ch 3)                      Victor’s ambitions  (Ch 1-3)

Victor’s university education (Ch3)                                                                                                                                                                           The university at Ingolstadt  (Ch 3)

 

First, I assigned a chapter to each pair of rows.  I gave each pair of students two Forming Evidence Based Claims worksheets, and then I drew class cards so that each student could choose a topic that related to their assigned chapter.  One partner chose from Column 1 for a character in their assigned chapter, and the other chose from Column 2 for some other aspect relating to their chapter.

Once the pairs had their two topics, I set them to work finding textual evidence for the top boxes of their Forming EBC worksheets first.  I told them that claims about characters would involve character traits, and the other claims would be about the significance of the aspect to the novel (either so far or as an element of foreshadowing).  They were to remember the overall setting of the novel: Victor is, throughout the entire book, telling his tale to Robert Walton aboard his ship that is stuck in the ice.  All these are details that Victor has chosen to relate to the captain; WHY are they significant enough for him to mention?

One stipulation, though, was that all claims had to be made using elevated vocabulary.  Since the book we are using contains a huge glossary in the back, and the packet I gave them also includes a vast glossary, they must find stronger, more precise words than “loving”, “caring” (a personal abhorrence), and “nice” (a word the belongs on the Dead List of character traits).  This is a skill we are still working on improving, and I am trying to get them to become more precise in their diction.

Student examples:

Matina Fr 1-3 Victor's Character

Matina attempted to use “vehement” to characterize Victor Frankenstein in Chapter 2.  The class talked about the word choice and thought about whether or not that was a word that really fit Victor’s personality.  We examined her choice of details as well as the claim she was making, and she finally came to choose the word “obsessive” in relation to this work.  I agreed with her choice because that word carried the negative connotation that would go along with the violent outbursts she describes.

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James Fr 1-3 Victor's ambition

In order to make a claim about Victor’s ambitions in chapter 2, James used a character trait (“his curiosity”) to formulate his point.  He embedded a quotation from the text as support right in his claim, and his final statement sums up his position well.  What was missing, though, was use of elevated vocabulary.  While I do see that he was getting right to the point of his claim, I would like to have James practice using higher diction that reflects Shelley’s word choices.

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English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein- Forming Evidence-Based Claims

Because of how the Forming EBC worksheets seemed to be helping my Regents kids better organize their ideas (as opposed to how we had been doing the same activity earlier in the year in a journal…they must prefer worksheets), I decided to see the sheets might work with my Enriched kids and Frankenstein.

I had the kids read the four letter from Robert Walton at the beginning of the novel.  I then listed on the overhead several ideas surrounding Walton:  his dream, his willingness to sacrifice for others, his doubts, his education, his relationship with his sister, his relationship with others (besides his sister), his financial background, his resolve, and his loneliness.   These were from Prestwick House’s Activity Pack for Frankenstein.

I then instructed the kids to “go head to head” with their partner…or in one case, a group of three because we had an odd number (meaning that they had to turn their desks to face the person across the row from them so that they could talk face to face).   Once they were in place, I drew names for them to choose which of the ideas about Walton each pair wanted to work with.   The catch was that once a topic was chosen, it was off limits for the next pair.  In one class, we started at the beginning once all eight had been selected by the first groups.  That gave the kids in that particular class who were drawn last an opportunity to have some choice instead of being “stuck” like most last groups are.

Alpha 1 Forming EBC

Using a Forming Evidence-Based Claims worksheet (like those in the Regents classes with Plato’s “Apology”), the partners had to argue and agree on what three pieces of textual evidence they were going to use to best support the idea they’d chosen.  Once they had their textual support, they had to explain why that detail was important to the topic.  Finally, they had to make a claim about Robert Walton’s character based on the evidence.

Delta 1 Forming EBC

These are some examples of student work:

 

Katie Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

In this, Katie is making the claim that Robert Walton is curious.  She also extends her claim with several points (signposts).  This is a very strong response.

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Brittany Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

Brittany is making the claim that Robert Walton is wealthy.  This is situational for the character, not a character trait (which is what was assigned).   She and her partner will have to go head-to-head once more to come up with a trait that is specific to Walton’s character based on the fact that he was a wealthy man.  She does state that “wealth wasn’t an important thing in his life,” so I will ask her and her partner to dig more into that idea.

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Melissa Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

Melissa claims that Robert Walton is compassionate and a loyal friend when she and her partner examined Robert Walton’s relationships with others.   She sites Robert Walton’s interactions with the stranger that has boarded his ship in the middle of the tundra.  She also offers points (signposts) to explain her claim.

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Next class, the students will use the information from these worksheets to write a paragraph characterizing one aspect of Robert Walton.  The “Claim” sentences will serve as the topic sentences for the paragraphs, the quotations will be the concrete details (CDs), and the “Connecting the Details” responses will serve as part of their commentary (CMs).

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Visible Thinking: Meeting the Common Core

One thing that I have noticed about the APPR rubric is that in order to get a “4” (high distinction), it’s necessary to make the classes more student driven than teacher driven.  A tall order for someone who likes to feel in control of what’s going on in the classroom!  I did, though, turn to the students for input as to what kinds of non-fiction ideas they had to go with the literature we’d be working with in the second through fourth quarters (I had already planned out the first quarter before school began).

I approached it using two Visible Thinking exercises.

First, I played the Opening Ceremonies from the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London.  Sadly, the video I used has been removed from YouTube as the 2012 Olympic extravaganza has been released as a DVD.  Money to be made, I suppose.  However, I was fortunate enough to tap into the video before its disappearance.  We watched the opening sequence that involved the pastoral setting of the early British Isles, including the traditional songs sung by the children in each of the countries of Great Britain.   We continued watching through the Kenneth Branagh and Industrial Revolution sequence all the way to the forging of the One Ring to Rule Them All.  vt6

While they were watching, the students did a “See/Think/Wonder” routine, and the topic was to look for evidence of the arts (poetry, literature, music, dance),  factual information (history), and the sciences (engineering, physics, etc).  The picture is the collection of their observations and thoughts that they shared about the Opening Ceremony.

After sharing their observations, their task was to examine how the arts, history and science were woven together to create such a spectacle.  The idea was to come up with ways to integrate literature and informational text so as to create an English 9 experience that would blend together as smoothly as the Olympic Ceremony.

The next step was to have each student come up with an idea for some kind of informational texts we might use to accompany The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and Frankenstein.   I gave them more Post-It Notes, and each shared ideas for what we might be able to incorporate that would help us to meet the Common Core Standards and the PARCC framework.

For The Odyssey, one of my favorites was to look at stories about soldiers returning from war in Afghanistan.  I ended up expanding upon the idea to have them choose a war and learn about how soldiers adjusted upon their return.  I also gave them the option of investigating how those at home dealt with life while loved ones served or, like after Odysseus left Troy, became MIA.

Romeo and Juliet brought the expected teen suicide ideas, so we will be brainstorming that one again as we get closer to the third quarter.

With Frankenstein, we will look at the early 19th century horror of the thought of reanimating dead tissue is now an every day occurrence on modern operating tables, as well as the modern shuddering at stem cell research.

These ideas came from the kids, and because they have invested their own ideas, I expect that they shall put forth greater effort than if I had announced these same topics.

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