Frankenbook Teacher's Resource Beta

What is Frankenbook?

Frankenbook is a collective reading and collaborative annotation experience of the original 1818 text of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The project launched in January 2018, as part of Arizona State University’s celebration of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Even two centuries later, Shelley’s modern myth continues to shape the way people imagine science, technology, and their moral consequences. Frankenbook gives readers the opportunity to trace the scientific, technological, political, and ethical dimensions of the novel, and to learn more about its historical context and enduring legacy.

How do you use Frankenbook?

Frankenbook's social annotation features provides readers a deeper and more engaging literary experience. Users are exposed to new insights that are specifically targeted by academic professionals to invigorate and expand upon this classic text. Teachers and students are able to engage in thoughtful dialogue in the text, providing richer and more specific interactions.

Social annotation encourages users to exercise their own voice, in the moment, while reading a passage - allowing for gut reactions and organic spontaneous responses. Teachers have the ability to see the thinking of their students as they experience a text.

Teachers may also work ahead and provide their own thoughts, questions, and prompts in the text, acting as an atemporal guide to push and pull students' focus to specific literary techniques or concepts.

Beyond the social annotation features, Frankenbook provides a variety of other media to stimulate and expand learning. Explained in more detail below, you'll see that essays, videos, and interactive experiences are provided to expand on Shelley's themes, but from a modern perspective. Discussion questions and assignments are also provided to be implemented within your classroom.

Look out for these icons. Clicking on them will take you to the relevant page with additional resources.

Assignment type indicators

All of the assignments are hosted in sequence on the Unit Structure page

The Home page provides you with quick access to all chapters of Frankenbook. It also has two additional pieces, an introduction the print edition, and an editors preface and acknowledgment.

These two pieces are great places to have students begin their annotation engagement, before getting to the text itself.

Please use the survey hosted on the home page to post any feedback!

Seven essays are provided on the same open-annotation platform as Frankenbook, allowing for student engagement. At the end of each essay, three discussion questions are provided that can be used on the site alone, or as prompts for additional writing assignments.

Informative Synthesis

Within the Media section are 7 "Reanimation" videos that bring new perspectives to themes within the Frankenstein text. Interviews with academic experts pose new questions and ideas that are paired with annotations within Frankenbook.

Additionally we have provided discussion questions for each video that encourage deeper thinking for students.

Media Questions

A 20 minute podcast from Imaginary Worlds considers "A Year without a summer" that set the scene for Mary Shelly to write her story.

*program starts at 3:15

Scripting for Interview and Storytelling

Frankenbook Assignment: Scripting for Interview and Storytelling

*******bobs annotation link is broken, and so are Judiths above ******

The about section provides a brief introduction to features on the PubPub platform. It also houses the community guidelines, which is an excellent source to review appropriate digital citizenship guidelines with students, and allows teachers to set clear expectations.

This section highlights the themes that the expert annotations were categorized under throughout the text.

Use these to target specific sets of annotations that link together ideas throughout the entire novel.

Why use Frankenbook over a standard text?

Here's how it works and Here's why it works (Theoretical underpinnings)

New Academic Perspectives

Frankenbook provides hundreds of new perspectives from dozens of academics working in a variety of fields. The unique frames of these individuals shine new light on Shelley's text and allow students to consider new information when reading this established text.

Look at the themes these experts used to categorize their annotations.

Build Classroom Cohesion

Social annotation allows for an increase in conversation around academic topics. This increase in communication allows for tighter bonds amongst students and positively contributes to the overall learning experience. Diverse, and often suppressed voices are given equal weight in the online community.

This article identifies strategies to get the most out of a classic discussion board. Social annotation already encompasses and furthers the reach of a classic discussion board.

Make Reading Visible

Its often hard to assess what challenges students are facing as they read on their own. The Frankenbook platform gives teachers a tool to make the students reading practice visible.

See Michelle Sprouse's explanation of this and how many other concepts come into play when implementing social annotation into your practice.

Empower Deep Reading

Students sometimes read only for a surface level understanding, or to ensure they can pass an upcoming quiz with as little effort as possible. However, the social annotation platform encourages students to engage with the reading by asking them to thoughtfully respond to the text, outside sources, and their peers.

Check out this article for some great perspectives on how Deep Reading can be approached.

Organic Spontaneous Response

Students often complete homework based upon what they think the teacher wants them to say. Allowing for on the spot responses encourages students to respond "with their gut" and not filter down their impressions to meet a given standard. This allows for a stronger connection to their post, and stimulates them to engage more in the conversation. The more a student feels represented in the class, the more they care about its content.

Teacher Guided Reading

Instead of posing questions ahead of time, teacher's find it useful to embed questions directly in the text, so students are primed to respond within a specific context. Pre-embedded questions serve as lampposts while students are reading and allow teachers to guide them even without being there. Textbooks use this concept regularly to engage students at precise moments.

Multiple Modalities

Frankenbook can be used for solo assignments or for group work. It can also be used asynchronously, or synchronously during scheduled class periods.

What are specific strategies for incorporating Frankenbook into classwork?

Below you will find a variety of assignment starters that are designed to utilize the unique features included in Frankenbook. They do not have specific academic levels assigned to them as they are open for remixing and can be modified to accommodate your classroom needs. However, advanced high-school through undergraduate students may find the assignments most appropriate.

1 - Annotate the Preface/Introduction

[Remi Kalir]

This activity uses the same ideas from Remi Kalir's Annotate your Syllabus assignment to give students an introduction to annotation and the Frankenbook platform. Instead of working on the syllabus, students use the Frankenbook Introduction or Editor's Preface to familiarize themselves with both the text and the tools.

Frankenbook Assignment: Annotate the Preface

2 - Informative Synthesis

[Provided by Marianne Raab from the University of Dayton]

Assignment requires students:

  1. Select one of the supporting essays or videos and identify a compelling question that relates to themes within the essay and Frankenstein text.

  2. Provide and explain relevant evidence from Frankenstein to identify Shelley's point of view.

  3. Provide and explain relevant evidence from essay to identify the author's point of view.

  4. Find an additional academic source that contributes to your argument

A full assignment rubric is also included.

Frankenbook Assignment: Raab Informative Synthesis Assign and Rubric

3 - Rhetorical Reading

This assignment serves as an introduction to rhetorical reading. It provides students with a list of items to search for as they read-like-a-writer, and then asks them to synthesize their annotations into a summary that situates Shelley's writing style. The annotations serve as a visible outline of the analytical process a student is using to inform their response and allows the teacher to see into their process. This gives teachers greater granularity when assessing students' processes.

Frankenbook Assignment: Rhetorical Reading

4 - Deep Reading for Re-Writing

Students have a tendency to read at the surface level for a basic understanding of text. This assignment requires students to not only analyze a selection of text, but to also consider new perspectives from other annotators. It then asks students to engage deeper by synthesizing both sets of information and re-writing a passage.

Deep Reading for re-writing

5 - Frankenstein and Science in Society

This assignment asks students to consider the lasting impacts of Frankenstein on Science in society topics. Students view current news events through a specific lense and provide resources for other readers to connect the dots between the two hundred year gap.

Frankenbook Assignment: Science in Society

6 - Frankenstein in Pop culture

This assignment asks students to consider how Frankenstein has maintained a continual influence on the collective imagination for centuries. It also breaks from the other assignments by requiring a media response to the prompt.

Frankenbook Assignment: Pop Culture