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Monster by Walter Dean Myers Myers

In this novel, a 16-year-old African American teenager is on trial for murder. The teenager, Steve Harmon, who was taking a film class in high school before his arrest, decides to make a movie about his experiences in prison and in the courtroom. Monster is his record of the events that occur during his murder trial, written as a movie script. The otherwise impersonal – though riveting – script is interspersed with diary entries from the defendant. The novel unfolds like a courtroom drama; the reader feels like a spectator at a trial. One of the most fascinating aspects of the novel is that the reader is in the dark about Steve’s guilt or innocence.


Novel  Introduction:

A video interview with Walter Dean Myers:


Parent Letter to Introduce Novel: Monster Parent Letter

Monster pre-reading activity

Anticipation Guide, Monster

Monster Vocabulary

Reading Journals for throughout the novel

Monster Reading Activity

Lit Circles #1

Students will get into small groups and will answer questions based on each section of the questions

Monster Lit Questions July 6

Lit Circles #2

Monster Lit Questions July 7-8

Lit Circles #3

Monster Lit Questions July 9-10 update

Lit Circles #4

Monster Lit Questions July 11-13 update

Lit Circles #5

Monster Lit Questions July 14-17

Writing Assignments – Write a Closing Argument

Monster Writing Assignment


Monster Literary Analysis

Literary Analysis for Monster

Literary Analysis Rubric

Literary Analysis Rubric[1]

Project Ideas and Misc:

Novel Unit Project Rubrics

Monster Project Ideas

monster discussion questions

monster and civics

monster final project


250 page unit plan on novel:






Monster Pacing

Day One – Introduction of the Novel – anticipation guide and pre-reading activity

Day Two – Finish pre-reading activity

Day Three – Read Monster pp. 1-32 – HW: Reading Log

Day Four – Read to pg 44 -Monday July 6 Lit Circles and juror reflection

HW: pp. 45-88 and reading log

Day Five – July 7-8 Lit Circles

Day Six – Read pp. 89-136

HW: Finish reading and reading log question

Day Seven – July 9-10 Lit Circles

Day Eight – Read pp. 137–200 and reading log

HW: Finish reading

Day Nine – Read pp. 201-238 – question/Writing Assignment

Day Ten – Finish Writing Assignment for Monster

Day Eleven – Read pp. 238-281

Day Twelve – July 14-17 Lit Circles

Day Thirteen – Introduce and work on unit project

Day Fouteen – Work on unit project

Day Fifteen – Present unit project




































  1. Kelley Burgess

    This unit was very helpful in my teaching this novel. I would add some of the court/legal terms to the vocabulary for general understanding of criminal courts and how they work.

    I have put together these materials. If you would like a copy of “Criminal Law in a Nutshell”, please email me.

  2. Sara Weller

    I am going to teach Monster for the first time after the first of the year. This unit plan looks amazing! What type of pretest do you give? Thank you for making your materials available.
    Sara Weller

  3. Stacey Minyard

    Hello! I am teaching Monster for the first time this year (1st time teacher!) and I would love to have any updates you may have made to your unit plan. This is a great start to what I am going to teach!! Thank you so much for making this available!


    • admin

      Sorry, I haven’t taught 9th grade in a long time and haven’t looked for updates. If you come across any, I would love to add to this page for other teachers.

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