teaching and creating





getting started


bulletin board

Who is the MOO designed for?

The Frankenstein MOO space has a variety of levels for interactivity and degrees of sophistication both in MOO skills and in knowledge about the novel. We have designed the space for use by college and high school students within the context of their classes; however, it can also be used by scholars and artists interested in working within an electronic performative space. Frankenstein as a novel is fitted for a wide range of readers; in a like manner, the MOO space accommodates a wide range "player characters" with varying interests and levels of education.

Using the MOO to teach Frankenstein

Established Teaching Modules for Romantic Circles High School.

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 such as Word. (n.b. Using your keyboard, copy is Ctrl+C while paste is Ctrl+V).

Specific Activities

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. [LINK CONTACT] 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 students creating objects gives them 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 finding in the books found in Victor's library. A student writing on the French Revolution and its influence in the novel may want to append a note or description to the scaffold where Justine is hung. Student proposal for an new room, object, or description to be made a permanent part of the MOO should be first vetted by the class' 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 cottages) 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 lightening outside the Frankenstein Family Home.

Sample Questions

The following is an incomplete list of 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.


  • Which areas are gothic and what lends a gothic air to them? Compare Mount Blanc to P. B. Shelley's poem "Mount Blanc." How are they similar and how do they differ? How does this space utilize the sublime?
  • What objects (or even whole rooms) do you find compelling and why? 
  • Compare and contrast the novel's description of the object with the description found in the MOO. Does the MOO object properly describe the novel's object and does it properly evoke the effects found in the novel? If so, how? If not, how can the object be improved?
  • Find two spaces that are very different from each other and explain their differences. For example, compare and contrast the Frankenstein Family Home with the University in Ingolstadt. Compare and contrast nature spaces with human-made "civilized" spaces.


  • Much of Frankenstein is concerned with social justice and the law. Which rooms portray this concern? Do they show a just or unjust treatment of people? How could social injustice be related to the way Victor treats the monster?
  • In some rooms there is some graffiti on the wall. Who said these quotes and how do they relate to the question of justice in the novel. Helpful Hint: to find the quotation, you can do a key word search from Frankenstein online (Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library).


  • What books do you find in the MOO that help explain how characters act?
  • Mary Shelley uses many secondary sources in creating her novel. Are these sources in the MOO? If not, then where and how would you place them in the MOO. If they are there, compare the secondary sources with the MOO space. How are Mary Shelley and the MOO using these authors?


  • Do any cues from notes or robots in the MOO help you better understand the novel's characters? Discuss the insights you've developed.
  • Use the role playing mode by which your player character becomes a character in the novel by entering the costume room and dawning one of the novel's characters. How do you embody the character? How do you react to various spaces and how do the spaces and other characters react to you?

This web site is copyright 2001-2009 by Eric Sonstroem and Ron Broglio.