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Students will learn how to identify absolutes and use them in their writing
Students will use poetry to gain a better understanding of absolute phrases

White board and markers, chalkboard and chalk, or projection technology and
Paper and writing utensils
Frankenstein novel



1) Distribute Absolute handout. Discuss the steps of constructing an absolute.

2) Model two sentences in which one sentence can be subordinated to create a sentence
that uses an absolute phrase. Use the two sentences to demonstrate how two sentences
can be combined to create an absolute phrase. (Refer to the attached absolute phrase
handout that discusses the steps of creating an absolute phrase.)
a. The snake prepared to attack. Its fangs were bared and its tongue was flicking.
b. The snake, its fangs bared and tongue flicking, prepared to attack.
c. Show how the absolute can be moved to the front.
d. Show how it can be moved to the end.
e. Use these examples to explain to students how using absolute phrases can help
them vary their sentence structure.
3) Discuss the sentences with the class. What differences do they notice between the
absolute phrase when it includes the to be verb and functions as a sentence and the
absolute phrase as a dependent clause. What is included in the sentence that is lacking
in the phrase? (Try to guide students in a discussion of to be verbs; i.e. was/were
etc.). Hopefully, this will lead to a clear idea of what an absolute is. Also, ask students
which sentence captures their attention more. Hopefully, the discussion of this
question will lead students to see the worth of using absolutes in their writing.
4) Explain how using absolutes can help students be descriptive in their writing.
a. The cheetah attacked.
b. The cheetah attacked, its claws slashing through the air. (Discuss why this
isnt a comma splice by showing how they would function as two separate
5) Task students to rewrite these sentences with absolutes.
a. The boxer struggled. His legs were shaking and his body sagged. (Sentence
i. His legs shaking and his body sagging, the boxer struggled.
b. The scuba diver approached the shark. (Add description.)

i. His heart racing, the scuba diver approached the shark.

6) Play Absolute Match Maker Game (directions are attached).
7) Distribute I Am Character Analysis Poem handout.
8) Model an example of an I Am Character Analysis Poem (see handout).
9) Assign students to write their own I Am Character Analysis Poem.
10) Give students the rest of class to work on poems.
11) Homework: Read chapters 21 & 22 of Frankenstein.
It is important for students to learn absolute phrases because an absolute phrase is a
grammatical construction that will help students improve their writing. Using absolutes
will help students vary their sentence structure and describe things better.

**Adapted from http://books.google.com/books?



1) Come up with pairs of sentences that can be combined to create one sentence with an absolute
phrase. Each pair must be on a related subject (Come up with as many pairs of sentences
so each student has one sentence.)
2) Write sentences on index cards or 4X6 pieces of paper. (Once sentence per card)

3) Distribute sentences.
4) Direct students to read their sentence and then use tape to tape their sentence to their forehead.
5) Inform students that each one of them has a sentence soul mate. Direct them to interact with
each other until they find their soul mate.
6) Once students find their soul mate, the pairs will work together to combine their two sentences
to create a new sentence that has an absolute phrase.
7) Lastly, students will share their original sentences with the class and then share their new

Absolutes show a special "how" relationship between two sentences. The two sentences are
combined in a way that subordinates one to the other. For example,
Mary was sitting at her desk. Her head was slightly lowered over a pile of chemistry notes.
Mary was sitting at her desk, her head slightly lowered over a pile of chemistry notes.
In order to construct an absolute, follow these steps:
1. Check to see if there is a "be" verb in the sentence you want to subordinate.
2. If there is a "be" verb, eliminate it and combine the sentences with a comma.
Julie accepted the award. Tears were streaming down her face.
Julie accepted the award, tears streaming down her face.
3. If the subjects are the same, delete the subject of the absolute as well. For example,
Julie accepted the award. Julie was overcome with emotion.
Julie accepted the award, overcome with emotion.
OR Overcome with emotion, Julie accepted the award.
4. If there is no "be" verb, change the main verb of the subordinating sentence into its
-ing form. Then eliminate similar subjects and combine sentences with a comma.
Johnny ran after the bus. He waved his hands and whistled.
Johnny ran after the bus, waving his hands and whistling .
OR: Waving his hands and whistling, Johnny ran after the bus.
5. If there is a "possessive" relationship between the two sentences, use possessive
pronouns (its his, their, etc.) to indicate the relationship between the subjects.

Functions of an absolute: adds description and varies sentence structure.


Character Analysis I am Poem

Directions: Write an I Am poem that describes a character from Frankenstein. Describe the
characters qualities and his/her actions in the book. Note: use and underline at least two
Below is an example to help you get started.

I am Victor Frankenstein
Woe is me.
Ambition the wheel steering my life,
I left my love; greatness I would achieve.
My heart distraught,
I created life where life was not.
Shirking responsibility for my creation,
I spurned his yellow eyes.
Hate, my hate,
Triggered my destruction.
What is morality to one who has not seen kindness?
My prejudice has only fostered death.
I am woe.
Victor Frankenstein is me.

**Adapted from Constance Weavers participial lesson

Frankenstein I Am Character Analysis Poem

____ (5 pts) Student uses and identifies at least two absolutes

____ (5 pts) Student adequately examines the role of a character in Frankenstein and/or portrays
the qualities of a character.