Day Two – Prompt #2: Ideas for Engaging Frankenstein with Purpose

As a graduate student studying in literature, I contend that I will teach on a particular level at some point in time. During my undergraduate studies, I have pursued studies in creative writing as well. For that reason, I’m happy to find that activities as a form of exploration for students can invoke creativity within digitization. These activities deprive from creativity through adaptability and flexibility through necessity to be inventive with new, advancing technology in that regard. Furthermore, these activities will need to not only flexible but integrate these activities to the lesson plan; using old, relatable information or lessons to go over new skills and recent information for example. With that, the classroom activity of my choice would be a character role play or debate.

In the chapter, the activity that incorporates digitization like “Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by asking students to perform a debate that demonstrates and deepens their knowledge of course content” (Battershill & Ross, 88). Alternatively, it can be performed outside the classroom by having the students perform and record the debate through YouTube. This activity can be best used during a time of absence and/or approaching date of testing, project, or another important assignment.

With Frankenstein, a debate between characters would be beneficial as the story utilizes archetypes and conflicting perspectives. For example, Victor Frankenstein and the Creature would be the most obvious debate between archetypes. Furthermore, these two characters have such a developed relationship and overarching viewpoints that act like water against fire. With a student’s participation, however, the discussion with each character can go both ways such as the good being perceived as the bad or the guilty as the innocent.

Naturally, one of the drawbacks of this activity can be a student or group of students may be hesitant to participate in such an engaging display of theatrics. From personal experience, I know how stressful it is to perform before an audience but at the same time, I’ve pursued theater courses in a university setting and I’ve come to enjoy such activities now. Another drawback is that it would require time and explanation prior to the activity. Any misinterpretation of the activity and its instructions can disrupt the students’ mindset, possibly failing to grasp the lessons intended.

I would construct this activity (or project) by splitting the groups of students evenly, a classroom of twelve (12) students would be broken up into groups of three (2) for example. The activity would be two students pose as the characters, given out and supervised by the teacher, and the students would be left to their devices; such as the theme/topic of the debate, the script, the video-taping, the presentation. The debate would be held by each candidate (or “character”) within five (5) minutes each to discuss their side of the argument; the topics must be submitted to the teacher prior to the presentation in order to prevent “repeats.” With two students to each group, the grading would be simpler as well. (498)

2 thoughts on “Day Two – Prompt #2: Ideas for Engaging Frankenstein with Purpose

  1. Vincent, I think that having the students perform a debate between characters is a brilliant idea! I love that you get down to the nitty-gritty of the assignment and chart out how you would have them enact this in the classroom. You’ve clearly put a great deal of thought into how this would work and I think that the ultimate payoff (increasing student engagement, deepening understanding into the characters, and even creating community within the classroom) would be tremendous. I also think that you touch on a good point that students who might otherwise be reticent to speak in class might feel more comfortable behind the guise of “acting” as one of the novel’s characters. It can be difficult to engage students who are shy, but this idea has a great deal of potential to do just that (I’ve been trying to not read other’s blog posts before writing my own, but now I want to revise my blog post to focus more on the classroom praxis, for instance specific ways to use both the mind-mapping and variant analysis.)

  2. The medium you choose to employ for this activity (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) might actually depend on how long you want the activity to take. As far as making a fake character account, Facebook might not be the best platform to use. For a simpler assignment, Twitter’s design would work well because it allows for quick responses between characters within one thread or discussion. For a longer, more in-depth assignment, YouTube video responses might be more appropriate.

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