Classroom Activities

Digital Incentives

are 2 – 3 day projects that outline a novel approach to curriculum, and then expands the educational impact through the inclusion of a digital layer.



are 2 – 4 week projects where the students work in teams to create a meaningful media narrative around substantive curricula.

Storyboarding Literary Characters

For many students writing is one of the most difficult ways to express themselves. It is, ironically, a wall to expression. And yet upon reading a short story or work of literature, these same students have many things to say about the characters and their motivations; the use of language by the author; and the sense of place or foreboding that the author has created. But writing that out may not be the best course of action.
In this Digital Incentive, we turn to storyboarding as a unique and expressive way for students – both writers.

Edgar Allan Poe Horror Challenge

Students will read a passage from the Edgar Allen Poe short story, “Ligea,” and use it to create their own 2 – 4 minute horror scene in the style of Edgar Allen Poe.

Authorial Style: Truth or Bluff?

We all recognize that there is value in attempting to write in the style of a celebrated author. It’s only when we try to write like Nathaniel Hawthorne that we become deeply aware of how his sentences often flow like elaborately constructed fish ladders; or that his meaning often only begins with his subject, and then takes off into allegorical stratospheres ..

Essay Analysis –Taking Control!

The Common Core has identified ‘Reading Informational Texts’ as one of the primary areas of focus for all students in the US. As important as this task is – and it is positively critical to understanding the layers of thought that can only be articulated in writing forms such as essays, Op-Eds, and newspaper articles …

‘I Am From’ Poem

There is a teen series that was produced in Iraq from 2010 – 2013 called Salam Shabab (“Peace Youth”). This reality game show always began with the participants introducing themselves with an ‘I Am From’ poem. The program’s creators chose this format because it delivered to the audience personal and relevant information in a short amount of time …

Poetry Laid Bare

Some literary forms defy media intervention. It can be argued that poetry is one of them. The reading, analysis, appreciation and understanding of poetry are premised on a quasi-sacred, unmediated (undigitized) relationship between the reader and the words of the poem …

Comic Poetry Skit

Create a comic skit – two to four minutes — that successfully communicates the basic rules that govern three different kinds of poetry …

Community Mascot

Mascots are an unusual breed of character. They are animated or costumed characters designed to represent the spirit of a community, as well as inspire that community to succeed (usually in sports!). This Challenge asks each team to design a mascot for their community …

Encyclopedic Musing in Word and Image

“The purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, race in the future years to come.”

Mythological Photographic Storyboard

A myth is a traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people. The purpose of myths is to account for the origins of something, explain aspects of the natural world, or delineate the psychology, customs, or ideals of society. ( …