Mary Shelley is the 18 year old author of Frankenstein (or the Modern Prometheus) and this is the story of how, on a stormy night, in a gathering of recognized Romantic period geniuses, she began to write this story which is the inspiration of the entire Gothic horror genre.
Linda Bailey, ©2018, Tundra Books, Random House, ISBN 978-1-77049-559-3
Frankenfish and Other Cool Characters
What about an art activity where students combine the features of several animals to create a frankenanimal? An elephant with zebra stripes and butterfly wing ears looks great. You might want to give out some basic animal drawings and some drawings of parts (tusks, horns, claws, patterns, wings, fins, tails, etc.) that they could combine to create their frankenanimal.
The Actual Plot of Frankenstein
If your students are interested, SparkNotes has an illustrated summary of the plot of the story of Frankenstein. Most people think Frankenstein is the monster and most people know how the monster was created, but they don’t know the actual plot—which is actually very strange and convoluted in today’s ears.
Trying Out the Quill Pen
The young people on the “dark and stormy night” would have written with a quill pen on parchment paper. Metal pen production began around 1822; before that writers used the quill pen made from the primary flight feathers of a goose or turkey (from the left wing for right handed people). The tip was cut with a sharp “pen knife” and then dipped in ink to fill the hollow of the feather. The ink would come out slowly as you wrote. The feathers were shortened to a convenient length for the hand.
If you can get goose or turkey feathers from a farmer that raises them, you can cut a few examples so that students can experience what Mary Shelley would have used in 1815 when she wrote the story. By the time that metal pen nibs were created, they were needed for the paper made from wood chips that we use—which tended to wear out a bird-feather quill. There are online tutorials that will help you to make your own with which to demonstrate.
Buying a few pen holders and a few metal nibs from an art store such as Opus can also give you an interesting activity for students as these pens were still in use in schools in the 1950’s and you were expected to master the pen in Grade 3.
For 11 creative writing ideas, click Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein to download.