Happy Halloween week! For those wanting to sprinkle a little Halloween spirit into the classroom this week, the attached lesson plan uses the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley as a case study to help students better understand the “Romantic movement.”  Not only will they analyze features of the Romantic movement, but the lesson also allows for students to discuss how different historians often have various interpretations of historical evidence. 


Enlightenment thinkers’ emphasis on “reason” influenced the radical Jacobins during the French Revolution and inspired many unpopular changes in France including de-Christianization and the creation of a new calendar. Indeed, Notre Dame was turned into a “temple of reason.”   Enlightenment thinkers such as Kant and Rousseau questioned exclusive reliance on reason and their ideas and others that questioned science and reason influenced writers and artists of the Romantic period such as Mary Shelley.  


The goal is for students to leave this lesson with a better understanding of Romantic literature as well as a better grasp of why historians often have multiple interpretations of historical evidence. 







Lou Gallo is a College Board AP® European History and United States History consultant who leads summer institutes nationally. He currently teaches both courses at West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, and also teaches AP® European History online at Dwight Global, based in New York City. He has also served in a leadership role at the AP® European History reading since 2000 and is a Senior Reviewer of the AP® European History coursebook by AMSCO®.