Lesson 3 – The Great Genre Mashup

Grade: 9-12 (Elective course)
Duration: 75 minutes (Long Block)
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students will…

  • Reflect upon and discuss characterization.
  • Consider exemplars of genre.
  • Read an article pertaining to the concept of “hard” science fiction.
  • Write about the conflict arising when one text may fit more than one genre.
  • Grapple with the notion that accounts/interpretations of the same event may vary widely depending on witnesses’ backgrounds/critical lenses.
    • Guiding questions: “What are the implications if two contrasting perspectives both seem viable? Can they coexist? What does this suggest about the nature of Truth?”



  • Students will begin class by responding to a five-minute quick write: “What is the novel’s position regarding the responsibility of being a creator? Consider the following excerpt” (see attached slideshow presentation).
    • After students have been given time to respond, the class will regroup so as to discuss the quick write responses. Volunteers will be encouraged to read their writing aloud to the rest of the class.
  • Independently, students will be instructed to “Choose an excerpt that you believe to be the ‘most Gothic’ (whatever that means) from last night’s reading. Using bullet points, clarify what characteristics from the excerpt make it the ‘most Gothic’ to be found.”
  • Students will be put into groups to discuss their findings.
    • Each group member will read her/his selected excerpt and explanatory bullet points.
    • After everyone has read, the group will come to a consensus about which is the “most Gothic” of all.
    • Each group will report out their findings to the rest of the class!
  • At this point, the class will do a read-aloud of Nagata’s article about hard science fiction (see attached)!
  • Working towards the conclusion of class, students will be given a handout entitled “Creating a Monster – Gothic Fiction or Science Fiction?”
    • To utilize this handout, students will twice-view a clip from Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Frankenstein which shows the creation of the creature.
      • During the first viewing, students will be asked to take note of everything in the scene that points to it being Gothic.
      • During the second viewing, students will be asked to take note of everything in the scene that points to it being science fiction.
    • After the viewings, the class will discuss its findings!


  • Read chapters 6-9 in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!

[next up: lesson 4]

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