|teaching and creating|
the MOO to teach Frankenstein
Work in Groups Small groups work well. Designate a leader for each group and familiarize the leader with the work to be done, perhaps even showing him/her the space ahead of time.
Log Work As students discuss the novel, their typed comments made in the MOO become generative text ideas useful as brainstorming before writing a paper. They can keep a log of their work to use as a starting place for drafting papers, and they can turn in the log to you to show what they've done. Students can save their conversation by using the mouse to highlight the whole conversation that appears in the dialogue box (on the middle left side of the MOO screen). They'll have to scroll a long way to get it all. Copy and paste this dialogue into a word processing program.
Here are some possibilities. Please contact us with activities you discover so that we can post them.
· Examine: Have a list of questions to ask students while they are in the MOO. You can give them the questions ahead of time or you can make notes with your classes name on it and have the notes posted in various rooms. Consider these some sample questions. [LINK]
· Role Play: Students can be transformed into characters in the novel and then act as the character would. Such empathy is a helpful learning tool to get "inside" the characters. The students as characters can go to places they don't go in the novel and act out their feelings about the place. How would Elizabeth feel at the university or at the North Pole? Additionally, characters can confront one another in ways that enact confrontations in the novel or in ways that the novel evades. What would Elizabeth say to the monster? What would Mrs. Saville say to Elizabeth?
· Discuss: Teachers can create rooms for discussing questions or working with objects. If a group of five students is presenting on a section of the novel, you can create five rooms--one for each group member. The rest of the students move from one question/discussion room to another as they participate in a Q & A session lead by the presenting group member in each room. As another means of using group rooms, each group can have a room and outfit it with objects and chalk boards and notes. Then, the class as a whole can visit each group room in turn and participate in the group presentation.
· Meet Others: Perhaps you've read an essay by a scholar and would like to invite him or her to speak to the class. The class can meet the guest in a MOO room. You may want to make a special room outfitted for the occasion or use a room from the novel that particularly fits the guest's topic. Romantic Circles editors and section editors are often available to aid in class discussion. Feel free to contact us about possible meetings. Additionally, you may want to work with other classes (perhaps even from other schools) or colleagues teaching Frankenstein. The MOO offers a place to meet.
· Research and Create: We need help filling out the MOO, and students enjoy learning in the MOO by creating. Any room, object, or event in the MOO can be the object of study for a student or group research paper. Once the paper is written, the students can then propose submitting a description based on the paper. Also, they may want to submit the paper as an extended commentary on a room or object. We encourage these research projects since creating objects gives students a clear goal and large audience for their work, which in turn motivates students in their writing and research. So, for example, students researching alchemy may want to include their findings as MOO books and place them in Victor's library. A student writing on the French Revolution and its influence on the novel may want to append a note or description to the scaffold where Justine is hanged. Student proposals for new rooms, objects, or descriptions to be made a permanent part of the MOO should be first vetted by the class's teacher, then submitted to the RC editors for consideration. Use the email address on our contact page.
· Write Essays: Scholars interested in publishing brief essays or providing bibliographical material or links to essays about Frankenstein can find several places in the MOO for their work. The libraries both in the Frankenstein spaces and in the Villa Diodati and Masion Chapius (Byron's and Shelley's residences) can house scholarly articles. Likewise, we can make your essay a web document which can be linked to the description of an object. So, for example, an essay on galvanism would be linked to the oak tree struck by lightning outside the Frankenstein Family Home.
The following is a list of some questions one could use when examining the Frankenstein MOO. Please contact us with questions you've created and have found helpful so that we can post them.
Created May 2001 by Eric Sonstroem and Ron Broglio.