Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book Info

Grade Level
High School
STEM Concepts
Biology, Human Health and Anatomy, Ethics, History of Medicine, Electricity and Circuits, Biomedical Engineering

Frankenstein: Obsessed with creating life in a laboratory, a medical student haunts graveyards and dissecting rooms in search of the materials for his experiments. But when he achieves success, he rejects his ghastly creation. The creature — longing for love but shunned by all — turns evil and exacts revenge. Two centuries after its initial publication, Frankenstein endures as a synonym for “monster.” The first modern horror novel as well as the first science-fiction novel, Mary Shelley’s Gothic romance has intrigued generations of readers.

Source: Dover Thrift Publications


Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

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Collaborative Automata

Victor Frankenstein used body parts gathered randomly in order to piece together a creature closely resembling a human. He was able to give it “the spark of life” and behold, his creature stirred to life. Each of the body parts needed to perform the function they were originally designed for and work together in order for the creature to move, walk, and talk. Dr. Frankenstein needed to have a deep understanding of anatomy for this to happen.

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Ethical and Moral Issues in Frankenstein

Many studies have been conducted over the years on the psychology behind Victor Frankenstein. Many believe he was a pathological narcissist, while others believe he had multiple personality disorder brought on by underlying mental illness and years of isolation. In this theory, Victor was in fact the monster. Either way, the experiments he conducted pushed the boundaries of ethical and moral norms. In this PBL, students will research a variety of medical issues and the ethics behind them. They will choose a final product in which to report their findings and present it to the class.

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Body Art Gallery

Much of Victor Frankenstein’s time was taken up collecting and studying body parts. He needed to understand exactly how each part functioned within the body. He had to visualize how the various parts became a whole.  Victor would have been thrilled to see Bodies: The Exhibition ( that toured museums several years ago. The exhibit displayed the inner workings of the body in an accurate, informative, and artistic manner. With this multi-part, interdisciplinary lesson incorporates anatomy, engineering, ELA, and art. Students create working models of various body organs and functions. These are then turned into works of art and arranged in a collaboratively developed exhibition. An artist statement is included in the exhibition, explaining artistic and engineering choices.

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Check out our list of recommended reading for fans of Frankenstein.

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About the Author

An image of Mary ShelleyMary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Source: Wikipedia