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Monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Victorian Monsters

Lurking behind the stuffy exterior of society is the heart of a monster. During the Regency-Victorian time period, the greatest literary monsters were born. The very names of these creatures conjure up nightmare images:  Frankenstein's monster, Count Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man. All of these monsters are here—including a few extra! Jack the Ripper, a real-life monster, is also featured. Use these materials to let your students experience these classic tales of horror.

GOTHIC ELEMENTS PRESENTATION  This presentation gives an overview of common elements of Gothic Literature.


Bring Frankenstein to life with this collection of five Reader’s Theater script-stories! The story of a misunderstood monster pitted against his unfeeling creator, Frankenstein is just as relevant today as it was 200 years ago—exploring deep-thinking questions like, “Should there be limits on science? And are monsters born or made?” If you're not sure this type of assignment will work in your classroom, try "Frankenstein: Part I" for FREE by clicking here.

FRANKENSTEIN DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  Use these questions to help your students analyze the deeper themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece.

FRANKENSTEIN VS. JURASSIC PARK  One of the things I love about the classics are their timeless themes. What do reanimated corpses and genetically-revived dinosaurs have in common? Quite a bit actually—as this excerpt from a scholarly article explains.

Teaching John Milton's Paradise Lost

JOHN MILTON'S PARADISE LOST   An adaptation of stories from the Book of Genesis, John Milton's great epic Paradise Lost grapples with weighty questions: Why is there evil in the world? What is the role of good and evil? Why do humans have free will? This 9-page Reader's Theater script-story adapts the first part of Milton's epic, giving students an overview of the poem's main characters and themes, as well as a taste for Milton's poetic language. Satan, decisively defeated by God, decides to build a capital in hell called Pandemonium and make it his personal mission to corrupt God's perfect creation. The poem addresses concepts of good and evil, free will, and the power of divine grace. Paradise Lost, especially the character of Satan, inspired Mary Shelley's characterization of Frankenstein's monster, and the story provides a great tie-in to Shelley's masterpiece. This download also includes a reading guide, key, and anticipatory activity.

JACK THE RIPPER  Learn the background of history's most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Compare this real-life monster to the literary monsters from the same time period. 

Dracula by Bram Stoker Reader's Theater script-story version

DRACULA SCRIPT-STORY COLLECTION Need a Gothic horror story you can really sink your teeth into? In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the forces of good face off against an ancient evil—Count Dracula, the lord of the undead, as he travels from his crumbling castle in Transylvania to the teeming city of London in search of fresh blood. Filled with fascinating characters like the resourceful Mina Murray, the knowledgeable Professor Van Helsing, the crazed mental patient Renfield, and the diabolical count himself, the story is equal parts horror, mystery, and adventure. This collection adapts the entirety of Bram Stoker’s original novel into six student-friendly Reader’s Theater script-stories. The world of Dracula will suck you in! You can read "Dracula: Part I" for FREE by clicking here.

DRACULA: PART I (PROSE VERSION)  The first portion of Bram Stoker's Dracula is a nail-biting adventure. Even if you don't have time for the full novel, this first portion can really whet your students' appetite to read the novel on their own.

DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE  This worksheet will give your students a quick overview of the classic story of man vs. monster.

THE INVISIBLE MAN  Another classic monster, the Invisible Man demonstrates what happens when human depravity is given freedom from consequences. This worksheet presents a summary of H.G. Well's classic novel as well as analysis questions.

"LOST HEARTS" BY M.R. JAMES  Written by one of the world's best tellers of ghost stories, this classic tale is both grim and gruesome. A young orphan is invited to live with his rich, much-older cousin, but ghostly apparitions begin to alert him that his cousin has monstrous motives.

"CANON ALBERIC'S SCRAPBOOK" BY M.R. JAMES  This Victorian horror story is more of a slow burn than a flash fire, but the payoff is pure creepiness. A visitor to an ancient cathedral discovers a mysterious manuscript that may be home to a centuries-old spirit.

"THE CANTERVILLE GHOST" BY OSCAR WILDE  Leave it to Oscar Wilde to turn the typical ghost story on its head. In this hilarious short story an American family moves into a classic haunted house and ends up torturing the ghost who lives there instead of vice versa.