Podcast Listening Skills, Mystery Picture, Writing Activities #7 Mary Shelley


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Do you want a monster of a lesson that’s interactive and requires no prep? Listen, Learn, Write: Mary Shelley’s Creatures is an awesome and simple-to-use podcast activity that will teach your students the true story behind the incredible young woman who “gave birth” to Frankenstein and the entire science fiction genre! In fact, to this day, Mary Shelley continues to inspire other authors, inventors, and even scientists!

The mystery picture and writing activities are perfect for middle school students who need a little extra practice learning to listen for critical information. Students will LOVE the podcast, and they’ll be excited to see the hidden picture slowly being revealed as they answer the self-checking multiple-choice questions correctly.

The writing prompts provide an excellent way for students to use inference skills combined with creativity as they integrate information from the podcast into their own writing. Whether used in the classroom or at home, this is an excellent tool for helping students improve their listening and writing skills!


This podcast listening and writing activity is quick to prep and implement because all you have to do is give students the links to the podcast audio and the activity. That’s it! You can choose to do the hidden picture AND the writing tasks, or you can do just one or the other. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

You can assign this at any time of the school year. However, it would be particularly great to use as an introduction or conclusion to a science fiction unit, during Women’s History Month in March, as a Halloween activity, or as an introduction to Frankenstein!


Listen, Learn, Write: Mary Shelley’s Creatures tells the fascinating and true story behind Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Frankenstein! Kids will learn how a volcano and a ghost story contest helped a teenage Mary Shelley write the first work of science fiction. It’s a work of literature that’s inspired inventors to create robots, and it’s also inspired writers and scientists.


  1. You can leave it with a sub. (It’s PERFECT substitute work because it’s NOT just busy work!)
  2. Use it to introduce a speaking and listening unit or a content-related lesson.
  3. Assign it between lessons or units, when you aren’t ready to start something new.
  4. Share the materials with early finishers.
  5. Assign it for homework or as an enrichment activity.

What’s my favorite way to use this fun podcast listening and writing activity? Right before a vacation when the kids are a bit… squirrely!


  • Suggested classroom Do-Now activity for generating interest in creativity and inventions.
  • Several links to access the podcast. Students can use their own devices or you can play it for the whole class.
  • Listening tips for students
  • Google Sheets activity with 9 multiple choice questions and a hidden mystery picture
  • 1 Google Slides with short response writing prompts
  • 1 Google slide that provides students with extension questions to encourage curiosity and research
  • Answer key

NOTE: The podcast’s audio is not included; however, I supply you with several links to access it.


Students will practice:

  • listening comprehension skills
  • inferencing skills
  • using digital media
  • writing using textual evidence
  • writing for a specific task, purpose, and audience


Part 1: Podcast and Self-Checking Mystery Picture: about 30-35 minutes

Part 2: Writing: This will take another 15-20 minutes or can be a bit longer if you review the answers and have students share the creative writing part.

Bonus Writing Extension: This part enables students to continue learning, and can take 5-10 minutes.



♡ It’s Easy to Use!

All you have to do is assign the tasks you want students to do. Everything is self-directed! Students will learn while working independently. It’s a great activity to leave with a sub!

♡ It Provides Valuable Skill Practice

Students must learn to listen actively, recall information, make inferences, and provide evidence. This resource provides that valuable practice in a unique and imaginative way.

♡ It’s Fun and Engaging!

The podcast is engaging and perfectly appropriate for middle school. Students will love learning about everyone’s favorite monster, and they’ll love trying to uncover the self-checking mystery picture! They’ll also have a blast with the fun creative writing task!

Thanks for checking out Listen, Learn, Write: Mary Shelley’s Creatures! Be sure to look at the preview to see everything that’s included!

Wishing you the best!

Darlene Anne

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