Writing a Comparison Essay on Vampire Novels: High School Lesson Plan

Dracula 1931

This lesson, geared toward highly advanced high school students, provides them with an opportunity to read excerpts of different types of vampire literature and then, using the excerpts as well as a detailed outline and power point about the works of fiction, write an upper level comparison and contrast paper about these fictional creatures. This lesson would require students to draw on general information already presented about vampires in history, literature and myth as well. A difficult lesson, but a worthwhile one for students to truly develop higher level writing skills they will need for college.

The Assignment:

Have students spend some time reading, annotating and discussing each excerpt. The excerpts are from Dracula by Bram Stoker, Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. All these novels center around vampires, but each author depicts his or her vampire creature very differently and tells the story from varied points of view. While similar in characters, each novel is vastly different in terms of tone, mood, and theme, and this is where the student can truly utilize his or her compare and contrast skills.

Once they discuss each excerpt, use the attached downloadable power point to review some details about each author’s work that may not be drawn out directly from the excerpts. By combining the students’ readings and notes along with the outline and power point, the students will now have the tools they need to begin this lengthy compare/contrast assignment. It is by no means an easy lesson, nor one that will be completed quickly, but it can be spread out, with one excerpt looked at each week for a month, in order to have a supplemental writing task being ongoing during the entire unit on vampires.

Downloads

Vampire Literary Comparison Power Point

Excerpt from Dracula

Excerpt from Interview With the Vampire

Excerpt from The Historian

Excerpt from Salem's Lot

Sample Outline

References

  • Photo of Dracula in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of the series: Vampire Lore & Literature

If you’re students are crazy about Twilight it might be a good time to introduce some other literature based on vampire-lore. This series includes historical background on vampire legends, literature and poems about vampires.
  1. The Historical Dracula: Using History to Teach Vampire Legends
  2. Lurking in the Shadows: The Vampire in Myth and Literature
  3. Vampires in Poetry: Using British Poets to Teach An Eastern European Legend
  4. Writing About Vampires: Excerpts from Vampire Novels to Develop A Thesis Paper
  5. Virtue and Vampire Slaying: Using Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Teach Chivalry