Vampires, Zombies, and Aliens: Understanding Humanity through its Monsters

10th Grade Honors & CP2 - 2011-2012


Text / Assignment

Text / Assignment

Text / Assignment

Term ‘Research Paper

Term 1

“Maybe it’s only us”

Short Story

What do we fear?

How (and why) do we create a monster? 

*creative short story

Film Study: choose a film and analyze it

- what do we fear and how do we control it?

- what is the role of violence (esp. to destroy)?

- what happens if we don’t destroy the monster?

* film analysis #1 - published on class posterous

Lord of the Flies

- what does fear do to humanity?

- does fear make us inhuman or human?

* literary analysis #1

What is fear?

Why does it exist?

What are the results of fear?



Term 2

Physical Monsters

Frankenstein / Pop Stars & Politicians

- what makes a human?

- what makes a monster?

- who can create a human?

- what causes someone's downfall?

Beowulf / Alternative Hero Epics

- Who is a hero?

- How and why do we destroy monsters?

- What is the relationship between the hero and monsters

- Is violence necessary to destroy a monster?

Film Study: choose a film w/physical monster and analyze it...

- what do we fear and how do we control it?

- what is the role of violence (esp. to destroy)

- why is this a scary physical monster?

* film analysis #2 - published on posterous

What is ‘normal’ physical appearance? why does it matter? Why/how do people try to attain it?

How/why do people ostracize ‘ugly? Effect on individual and society?

Term 3

Behavior Monsters

Macbeth / Real Life Monsters

- how and why does a hero fall?

- what behavior(s) make(s) Macbeth a monster?

- what does Macbeth fear, and how does he instill fear?

* small groups: one scene with Macbeth evolving - focus on costuming, expression, scene construction 

Dracula / Osama bin Laden

- how and why is the Other demonized?

- how does the intentional construction of the narrative tell a specific story?

* short story of bin Laden  as vampire drawn as graphic novel

* class constructed narrative of War on Terror

Film Study: choose a film w/behavior monster and analyze it...

- what do we fear and how do we control it?

- what is the role of violence (esp. to destroy)

- how has society created this monster?

* film analysis #3 - published on posterous

What is ‘normal’ behavior?

How does a situation/role affect ‘normal’?

Why/how control abnormal behavior?

Term 4

What makes us human?

Brave New World

- without fear and violence, are the people in the World State human?


* literary analysis #2

What story do Physical & Behavior Monsters tell about humanity?

* 5-7 page paper published into class book (and ebook)

Short Story Revision into Film/Trailer Script/Film:

What do our monsters teach us about ourselves?

* film/trailer with allusions/themes from each of the year’s texts

Other Texts (to reference, take excerpts from, etc):

- The Walking Dead

- excerpt Metamorphosis - Gregor turning into a bug

Film Study:


Film Study:

Physical Monsters

Film Study:

Behavior Monsters

Film Study:

How do the combination of Fear, Physical, and Behavior Monsters tell a story about humanity?

Do we need the unhuman to help us define our humanity?

Friday the 13th


The Shining

- Beauty and the Beast







- The Silence of the Lambs  

- Invasion of the Body Snatchers

- Psycho

- The Shining

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

- No Country for Old Men

- Lord of the Rings

- Harry Potter

- V for Vendetta

- Star Wars

- Batman





        - Rime of the Ancient Mariner

        - do not read this poem

        - (poem from my college anthology)  

Short Stories

        - Most Dangerous Game (human as monster)



        - knifefight from All the Pretty Horses

        - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

        - Picture of Dorian Grey

Newspaper Articles


Primary Documents



        - short story setting

        - screen shot of monster from movie


Film Clips


        - “Literature of Crisis” lecture 1 - definition of fear


        - one per term


        - literary analysis

        - creative  

        - personal



        - on how own fears played into that term

        - on how project was shaped by own fears