Open to all Middle and High School Classes
Division I – 6th – 8th grade
Division II – 9th – 12th grade
Due: January 25, 2013
Table of Contents
- The Challenge
- Range of Activities
- Essential Questions
- Student Outcomes
- Evaluation Rubric
- Curricular Goals
In Maine, there is the Maine County Song about the sixteen counties of Maine that most students learn in elementary school. For many teachers, elements of grammar were taught through Schoolhouse Rock, which featured songs such as ‘Conjunction Junction’ and ‘Unpack Your Adjectives’.
Now it’s your turn. Create a song – rock, country, rap, hip-hop…any style of music desired — that communicates the following information to a group of your peers.
- The names, geographical identification and distinguishing characteristics about Middle Eastern countries (as defined by Iran to the East, Israel to the West, Turkey to the north and Yemen to the South); OR
- The names, geographical identification and distinguishing characteristics of the 15 former Soviet Republics; OR
- A selection (of your choice) of eight key countries that used to be a part of the British Empire, the years they became independent and one statement as to why; OR
- The names, geographical identification and distinguishing characteristics about the provinces of Canada; OR
- A geographical grouping of your choice, with your teacher’s approval. Your grouping must meet the same criteria as the examples above: geographic location, country/province name and distinguishing characteristics about the country or province.
With the exception of the British Empire example, which asks for a specific set of facts and story to be told, the other examples ask just for ‘distinguishing characteristics’. This phrase does not mean that you need to come up with one fact for each country or province. There may be more thematic approaches to creating these distinctions. For example, in the Middle East, identifying which Muslim countries are predominantly Shia and which are predominantly Sunni would be a very useful distinguishing key factor to communicate.
Figuring out what are and are not useful ‘distinguishing characteristics’ is very much a part of this challenge.
The goal is to create a musical educational tool to help people learn the names and places of these regions, but also to learn a few basic cultural ideas that define and distinguish these regions. Therefore, the song should be:
- between 1 and 2 minutes long; and
- developed with the idea that the jingle can be ‘memorizable’.
The focus of this Challenge is on the song writing and recording, and not on the visualization of the work. Since Youtube does require some sort of visual representation, your team has to produce some images to accompany your song. But this Challenge is an audio Challenge and there is no evaluation of the visual work.
- Historical research of global region
- Selection of key thematic facts from a variety of different countries/provinces.
- Songwriting around select historical facts
- Musical Audio – Pre-production, Production, Post-production
- Voice (and music) recording, Sound editing, Sound mixing
During Phase I, student teams will:
- Select their geographic area upon which to focus. (All regional choices must be approved by the teacher.)
- Research the basic facts, history and distinguishing characteristics of each country or province.
- We recommend that the teams create a chart for each country or province. That chart might include categories like foods, historic battles, famous leaders, religious predominance, oil/no oil, flag designs, mottos, musical traditions, ethnicity, and so on. By creating a chart, the teams will be able to find some common standards by which to access an understanding of these countries or provinces; by which to approach how these regions interconnect with each other, aside from simple geographic proximity.
- Once the research is completed and the charts are made, brainstorm with your team. What themes have you found that bind these counties or provinces together? What separates them and allows each their own identity? Are there some special relationships – good or bad — between certain entities in your select region? If so, should that be communicated in your song? In the end, select the key traits, per country or province, that you will communicate in your song and create an outline of those traits.
- Outline can be submitted to teacher for review and comments, at teacher’s discretion.
|Meridian Storiesprovides two forms of support for the student teams.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include:
|Media Innovators and Artists||Meridian Tips|
|On Fiction Writing – Lily King
On Sound Design– Chris Watkinson
On Radio Plays – Margaret Heffernan
|“Creative Brainstorming Techniques”|
During Phase II, student teams will:
- Draft the song that will capture the information that you have identified in your outline.
- The process of writing songs often (but doesn’t have to) begins with the music, in order to establish the beat for the rhyming or lyrics. For the music, we recommend using music that is either a) in the public domain*; b) original – made up by your team or people your team knows who have given you permission to use their music; or c) royalty free.
- Once you have chosen your music, begin to draft your lyrics. Your team should have a completed draft by the end of this Phase. (The final draft can be presented to the teacher for review and comments, at the teacher’s discretion.)
- Begin discussions on the musical production of this song. Who is going to sing or rap? How will this be recorded? Teams can bring in non-team members to sing or rap or play an instrument – in short, to support the musical presentation of the written work.
* Public Domain – Music that has been written before 1922 belongs in the ‘public domain’ in the United States. Music that is considered ‘public domain’ may be used for free by anyone in any way that they would like. There are numerous websites that list available public domain music.
During Phase III, student teams will:
- Produce the song.
- Post-produce and mix the song, adding visuals.
- How does one learn to remember or internalize the names and distinguishing characteristics of a geopolitical region of the world that is distant and remote?
- How does one research a geopolitical region’s ‘distinguishing characteristics’? What makes some characteristics relevant and others less than relevant?
- How does one use language, rhythm, rhyme and music to create an educationally effective vehicle that carries substantive geopolitical information?
- How has immersion in the written creation of original content and the production of digital media deepened the overall educational experience?
- How has working on a team changed the learning experience?
- The student will learn the names and distinguishing characteristics of the countries or provinces in a select geopolitical region of the world.
- The student will research a select geopolitical region and identify a range of distinguishing characteristics that help to define the countries or provinces that make up that region.
- The student will explore lyrical language and music as a way to effectively communicate the geopolitical content.
- The student will understand the unique use and function of language when written for music.
- The student will understand how working deeply in two different media affects the learning experience.
- The student will be able to use audio media — including recorded voice and music — to effectively communicate a narrative.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
|CONTENT COMMAND – Clear understanding of the geographical information|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Geographic Content||The geographical content is not presented clearly||The geographical content is evident, but inconsistently or weakly presented||The geographical content is presented clearly|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||The selection and communication of distinguishing characteristics is not clear or useful to our overall understanding of the region||The selection and communication of distinguishing characteristics is generally clear, but not particularly useful to our overall understanding of the region||The selection and communication of distinguishing characteristics is very clear and very useful to our overall understanding of the region|
|STORYTELLING COMMAND – Effective use of language to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Lyrics||The lyrics are hard to follow and confusing||The lyrics are clear and often engaging||The lyrics are clear, engaging and creative|
|The Mnemonic Factor||The song is not structured to be easily repeated or learned||The song is structured to be repeated or learned||The song is very well crafted to be easily repeated or learned|
|MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of the voice and music to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Voice||The casting and use of voice(s) does not deliver the content clearly or effectively||The casting and use of voice(s) delivers the content clearly||The casting and use of voice(s) delivers the content clearly, effectively and engagingly|
|Sound Recording and Mixing||The quality of the sound recording and mixing makes the content difficult to follow||The quality of the sound recording and mixing delivers the content clearly||The sound recording is mixed clearly and effectively, making for an effortless listening experience|
|Music||The choice of music detracts from the educational effectiveness and enjoyment of the song||The choice of music services the educational effectiveness and enjoyment of the song||The choice of music greatly enhances the educational effectiveness and enjoyment of the song|
|21ST CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only) – Effective use of collaborative thinking, creativity and innovation, and initiative and self-direction to create and produce the final project.|
|Collaborative Thinking||The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally||The group worked together effectively and had no major issues||The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member|
|Creativity and Innovation||The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative||The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their realistic evaluation and implementation of those ideas||The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively|
|Initiative and Self-Direction||The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively||The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems||The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project|
The Geography Jingle addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by two nationally recognized sources:
- The new Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts; and
- The Themes of Social Studies, as outlined by National Council of Social Studies (NCSS).
Below please find the standards that are addressed, either in whole or in part.
Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts Standards
Text Types and Purposes
|Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.|
Production and Distribution of Writing
|Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.||Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.||Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.|
Production and Distribution of Writing
|With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.||Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.||Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.|
|SL1 SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration
|Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one- on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
|SL5 SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.|
|SL6 SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate||Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate||Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate|
Goals – NCSS – The Themes of Social Studies
|Theme – PEOPLE, PLACES, AND ENVIRONMENTS|
|This theme helps learners to develop their spatial views and perspectives of the world, to understand where people, places, and resources are located and why they are there, and to explore the relationship between human beings and the environment. In schools, this theme typically appears in courses dealing with geography and area studies, but it is also important for the study of the geographical dimension of other social studies subjects.|