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
Read the passage below take from the Edgar Allan Poe short story, “Ligea”.
- Select three distinct story elements from the passage and create your own original 2 – 4 minute horror scene in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. Story elements include character, setting, words or phrases that suggest tone or emotional state, props, atmosphere, sounds or visuals.
- For example, a team may choose to base their new horror scene on these three elements from the passage below:
- ‘repetition of the sound’
- ‘startled me from my revery’.
- Teams may add their own ‘horror’ elements to the scene.
- The Challenge is to create a ‘scene’ and not an entire story with a traditional beginning, middle and end. However, scenes do share the same defining features of stories. Citing the work of Jack Bickham in the Wikipedia entry on ‘scenes’, the characteristics are:
- Statement of a goal
- Introduction and development of conflict
- Failure of the character to reach his goal, a tactical disaster
- While not all scenes follow this pattern, this can serve as a helpful starting point on which your team can layer the elements of a horror scene.
- The phrase ‘style of Edgar Allan Poe’ is not meant to lock you into a time period or dialogue style in any way. It is simply meant to suggest this: let Edgar Allan Poe, a master, be your mentor as you create your own horror scene.
- Optional (teachers decide whether or not to include this): Style Paper – Write a two page paper that explains a) their understanding of the key elements of Edgar Allan Poe’s style of writing and storytelling; and b) explains how their scene is faithful to this style)
- The final scene must clearly identify the three story elements implicitly in the story itself. After the conclusion of the scene, the team must create a slate that identifies the three story elements for the judges.
- Horror Video (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
- Style Paper, as determined by your teacher
Passage from “Ligea”
“It might have been midnight, or perhaps earlier, or later, for I had taken no note of time, when a sob, low, gentle, but very distinct, startled me from my revery. I felt that it came from the bed of ebony – the bed of death. I listened in an agony of superstitious terror – but there was no repetition of the sound. I strained my vision to detect any motion in the corpse – but there was not the slightest perceptible. Yet I could not have been deceived. I had heard the noise, however faint, and my soul was awakened within me. I resolutely and perseveringly kept my attention riveted upon the body. Many minutes elapsed before any circumstance occurred tending to throw light upon the mystery. At length it became evident that a slight, a very feeble, and barely noticeable tinge of color had flushed up with the cheeks, and along the sunken small veins of the eyelids. Through a species of unutterable horror and awe, for which the language of mortality has no sufficiently energetic expression, I felt my heart cease to beat, my limbs grow rigid where I sat.” (“Ligea”)
- Literary Text Analysis
- Literary Genre Analysis (Horror)
- Character and Scene creation
- Script writing
- Video - Pre-production, Production, Post-production
- Costumes, Set, Directing, Acting, Memorization, Video Editing, Audio Editing
We recommend that this Meridian Stories Challenge take place inside of a three to four week time frame. The students must work in teams of 3-4. All reviews by the teacher are at the discretion of the teacher. Below is a suggested breakdown for the students’ work.
During Phase One, student teams will:
- Read and discuss a variety of Edgar Allan Poe stories to acquaint themselves with his ‘style’ of storytelling.
- Study the “Ligea” passage, itemize all of the story elements contained therein and begin to brainstorm about which three would combine to make a great horror scene.
- Brainstorm about the scene itself.
- Choose your three story elements and create an outline of your scene. (The choices and outline are presented to the teacher for review and comments, at the 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 Script Writing– Kent PierceOn Making Horror Films– Aviva Briefel
On Acting – Janet McTeer
On Movement and Rhythm in Video – Charlotte Griffin
|“Building Characters”“Creative Brainstorming Techniques”
During Phase Two, student teams will:
- Finalize the story outline for the scene.
- Write the script.
- Scout locations for shooting.
- Create costumes and props and other set pieces, as needed.
- Prepare the logistics for the actual shooting of the scene.
- Rehearse the scene.
During Phase Three, student teams will:
- Shoot the video
- Edit the video
- Post-produce the video, adding music and sound effects as desired.
- Write the Style Paper (if necessary)
- How has your analysis and consequent re-interpretation Edgar Allan Poe’s language changed your understanding of the power, versatility and beauty of language to create horror and fear?
- How has your analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and consequent digital production experience, increased your understanding of the vital elements of story creation in general; and of story creation in the horror genre, in particular?
- In developing a new scene on paper, what have you learned about character creation, dialogue writing and scene structure?
- In developing, prepping and shooting an original horror scene in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, what did you learn about the relationship between words (dialogue), images (setting and character) and music/sound to create effective storytelling?
- How has immersion in the 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 have a deeper appreciation and understanding of Edgar Allan Poe’s effective use of language to create a sense of horror and fear.
- The student will have a visceral understanding of the key elements in scene and story creation, particularly in the horror genre.
- The student will have created new characters, written dialogue and prepared an entire scene on paper with the purpose of eliciting horror and fear in its audience.
- The student will understand the differences between telling a horror story through text and telling a horror story through a mixture of text, imagery, music and sound.
- The student will know the basic constructs of using video media to effectively communicate character and a story.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
|CONTENT COMMAND – Clear understanding of both the horror genre and the specific style of Edgar Allan Poe.|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Whole Scene||The scene is not effective at eliciting the sensations of horror||The scene is inconsistently effective at eliciting the sensations of horror||The scene is engaging and effective at eliciting the sensations of horror|
|Style of Horror||The scene is not closely aligned with the tone, sensibility, detail and thrill of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories||The scene is inconsistently reflective of the tone, sensibility, detail and thrill of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories||The scene is closely aligned with the tone, sensibility, detail and thrill of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories|
|Three Story Elements||The three Edgar Allan Poe story elements are not presented clearly||The three Edgar Allan Poe story elements are evident and integral to the scene||The three Edgar Allan Poe story elements are presented clearly and used creatively to propel the scene forward|
|STORYTELLING COMMAND – Effective character creation, written dialogue and scene structure|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Character Creation||The character(s) do not contribute to the appeal or understanding of the scene||The character(s) are interesting and appropriate for the scene||The character(s) are compelling and perfectly suited to the scene|
|Dialogue||The dialogue does not service the story effectively||The dialogue services the story effectively||The dialogue is believable, reveals character effectively and services the plot well|
|Scene Structure||The scene is not engaging and the structure is not evident||The scene is inconsistently engaging and the structure is loosely evident||The scene is engaging and clearly well structured|
|MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of the media to communicate character, genre and story|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Acting||The acting is lacking coherence and discipline for the scene to be effective||The acting is inconsistently good, intermittently contributing to the scene’s success||The acting is believable and engaging, contributing to the scene’s success|
|Setting and Cinematography||The setting and use of the camera don’t support the action or help create the tension necessary to sustain a horror scene||The setting and use of the camera intermittently support the action of the scene and help create the tension necessary to sustain a horror scene||The setting and use of the camera support the action of the scene and help create the tension necessary to sustain a horror scene|
|Editing and music||The scene feels patched together and the overall use of music and sound effects detracts from the scene||The scene generally flows, but the use of music and sound effects don’t always support the intentions of the scene||The scene is edited cleanly and effectivelyThe selective use of music and sound effects enhance the horror and drama inherent in the scene|
|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 Edgar Allan Poe Horror Scene Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by the new Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts. Below please find the standards that are addressed, either wholly or in part.
Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts Standards
|RL3 READING: LITERATURE
Key Ideas and Details
|Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision||Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme||Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)|
|RL4 READING: LITERATURE
Craft and Structure
|Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.||Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).||Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)|
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.|
|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.|
Knowledge of Language
|Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.||Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.||Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.|
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
|Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.||Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.||Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.|