Language Arts Curricular Center

Access to these projects and activities are available with a paid subscription to Meridian Stories.

Language Arts Activities

Activities are designed to be 1 – 2 week units that are great starter projects for teachers and students that may be new to digital storytelling. These ask students to innovate on a relatively traditional assignment with a digital layer (adding voice over or music, a storyboard or a YouTube format). They are designed to simultaneously increase student engagement as well promote deeper learning.

Authorial Style: Truth or Bluff

Creative digital activity that addresses students’ understanding of an author’s use of language and sentence structure.

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‘I Am From’ Poem

Creative digital activity that asks students to explore their individual and collective selves in this classic poetic style.

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Poetry Laid Bare

Creative digital activity that asks students to re-train their relationship to poetry from the eye, to the ear. Percussion is involved!

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Storyboarding Literary Characters

Creative digital activity that asks students to approach their understanding of literary characters – or narratives in general – through a storyboard, and then combine their work into a montage of multiple, graphic perspectives.

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Facebook Profiles

Creative digital activity that asks students to represent their biographical research of an author or fictional character with a Facebook page.

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Crash Course

Creative digital activity that asks students to teach their peers about any topic you assign, using a popular YouTube style that involves quick talking and jump-cut editing.

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Essay Analysis: Taking Control!

Creative digital activity that asks students to explore the meaning of a given essay they are assigned by re-producing, for the screen, the essay’s exact words using text, voice, sound and music.

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Game Design

Creative, non-digital activity that immerses the students in the 4C’s of 21st Century learning by asking them to playfully practice game design techniques in order to create a functional game about…whatever topic you are teaching: language use, story structure, grammar, poetry, etc.

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Language Arts Projects

Projects are designed to be 2 – 4 week units that consistently ask students to dive deeply into targeted curriculum; translate their understanding of that curriculum into a story; and then produce that story digitally for others to view. Projects are informed by the foundation of Meridian Stories that values deep curricular explorations equally with the practice of the 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy, and public presentation.
Projects
A Book Without Beginning or End (Literature – Genres, Components / Creative Writing)

Cue the dramatic theme music: in this Challenge, your team is going to create a Show Open for a new fantasy series – one that takes place in a world of books, laying the fictional foundation for a new fantasy universe inside of which characters will flourish. To get a sense of what we are talking about, think of recent serialized book series, which then become feature films: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones.

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Dystopian Drama (Literature – Genre / Creative Writing)

Brave New World …1984 …Fahrenheit 451 …The Hunger Games …The Handmaid’s Tale …The Giver. These novels offer their readers a dystopian view of society. In this haunting Challenge, your team is asked to create the basic parameters of a dystopian society, and then write and shoot a scene that takes place in this dystopian society.

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Modern Poetry Visualized (Poetry – Analysis – Creative Interpretation)

In this Challenge, students are presented with three modern poems that have been published in a major literary magazine within the last few years. Each team must choose one poem, study it, debate it, and find its lyricism, meaning and ambition. Then, create a visual video interpretation of their select poem to accompany a recitation of the poem.

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Literary Speed Dating (Literature – Character Analysis, Comparative)

The blind date is a situation that evokes a wide range of emotional, literary and linguistic possibilities: tragic, comic, awkward, passionate, tongue-tied or verbose. The speed date smashes all of that into a condensed reality that lasts just three minutes. This Challenge asks you to take two famous literary characters, of your team’s choice, and put them together in a speed-dating scenario.

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Shakespearean Soliloquy Shake Up (Literature – Shakespeare, Soliloquy Analysis / Writing)

Friends, Romans Countrymen, lend me your ears: Meridian comes to assign soliloquys, not monologues. For the soliloquys of Shakespeare live after him and the monologues are interred with his bones. Welcome to the Shakespearean Soliloquy Shake-Up in which students will produce a video of your whole team performing a re-imagined soliloquy from Shakespeare.

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Literary Alterations (Literature - Analysis / Creative Writing)

What if…Snowball had not been run off the farm and had won the ideological fight between him and Napoleon (Animal Farm); or Holden Caulfield had decided to stay in school and entered into a romantic competition with Stradlater for the affection of Jane Gallagher (Catcher in the Rye)? In this Challenge, your team must take a major decision by a character in a work of literature, …and change it, playing out the ramifications of this decision in a ‘In the Next Episode’ TV Trailer format.

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Team Moth – Personal Stories (Writing – Personal Essay / Extemporaneous Speaking)

In this Challenge, your team will create a video of your entire team telling a true story in ‘Moth style’. What is a Moth? A Moth is the telling of a true story that happened to the presenter and is told extemporaneously. The Moth format comes to us from National Public Radio (NPR). For Meridian Stories, you have to present a ‘Team Moth’ and the deliverable is a video of the team performance. Teams will respond to prompts taken directly from the 2013 – 2014 Common Application that many students use to apply to college.

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Op-Ed Text Alive! (Writing – Non Fiction / Essay Analysis)

Your team is going to write a short Op-Ed piece. Now typically, when you write a paper, the reader is the one who supplies the meaning. In this Challenge, you get a little more control over that relationship! Your team is going to visually ‘produce’ your piece using only text, voice-over, music and sound effects.

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Unraveling Literacy (Writing: Analysis, Texting)

What is happening 2 R writing?!?! Is the rise of texting an obstacle to bringing fully literate youth into the workforce? OR is the rise of texting a new and powerful tool to bringing newly literate youth into the workforce? This is what your team contemplates in the new Meridian Stories format, the Meridian Minute. What is the Meridian Minute? It’s simple: The video must be no more than 60 seconds and your team is only allowed two edits. In other words: three shots, two cuts.

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Six Word Micro Memoir (Writing: Personal, Poetry)

Hemingway invented the 6-word memoir: “For sale, baby shoes, never worn” – a life’s story told in 6 words. In this Meridian Minute Challenge, your team will explore the poetic six-word memoir format with the aim of creating a provocative visual and verbal self-portrait of you and your team.

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Language Arts Competitions

Competitions are curricular projects that student teams produce and upload to the site in the spring in competition with other registered schools. Each Competition is equipped with a step-by-step breakdown of the work, an Evaluation Rubric, Support Resources, Essential Questions, Student Proficiencies and Curricular Correlations to the Common Core and NGSS. All student entries are evaluated by two outside Mentors who score and comment on the entries for place and digital badging.

Story Engineering

Story Structure – Creative Writing – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills – 3D Printing, Engineering and Design

This is a Competition about story structure, creativity, engineering and three-dimensional printing design. In this Meridian Stories Competition, your team must develop, script and produce an original short story that is structured around a piece of engineering that your team needs to design and, if available, print out on a 3D printer. If a 3D printer is not available, then the team can construct the design in whatever means they have at their disposal.

The engineered prop is made up of three different pieces, all of which need to fit together in some form to create something that ‘functions’. Let the story creation begin! (Due: 3.23.18)

Story Engineering

Mark Twain: What’s the Story of this Story?

Mark Twain – Short Story – Language – Post Civil War History – African American History – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills

Mark Twain is a seminal American writer.  Most famously the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he is credited with, among other things, being the first author to respectfully bring the African-American dialect into mainstream literature. How did he find this voice? One theory is that it all began with a short story that he wrote ten years before the publication of Huckleberry Finn. That story is called “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It” and that is the subject of this Meridian Stories Competition. We want you to read this short, but extraordinary tale and in a talking storyboard format, tell us of your experience with this historical, linguistic and tragic piece of narrative. (Due: 3.23.18)

Mark Twain: What’s the Story of this Story?

Book Report Ride

Literature Analysis – Minecraft Coding/Video Production/Animation/Storyboarding – Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills

Book Reports can be kind of a drag. So, let’s make it into a ride. Using Minecraft or any other form of visual presentation – stop-motion, animation, live action video or graphic stills – take us on a roller coaster-like journey through three seminal scenes in your book. You pick the scenes, write the narration for this journey (only one voice), and bring us to a place where we won’t be able to resist reading the book ourselves. (Due: 3.23.18)

Book Report Ride

Comic Poetry Sketch

Poetic Structure Analysis – Comedy Creation – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills

April 2018 is both National Humor Month and National Poetry Month. Soooo, this Meridian Stories Challenge attempts to honor both!  Create a comic sketch that successfully communicates the basic rules that govern three different kinds of poetry. (Due: 4.13.18)

Comic Poetry Sketch

Your Young Adult Fiction

Literary Genre Exploration: Young Adult Fiction – Creative Writing – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills

Young Adult (YA) fiction is a relatively new genre of writing that continues to evolve in both narrative structure and popularity. But there are some clear markers that have to do with subject matter, protagonist’s story arc, perspective and emotional tone. In this Challenge, students are challenged to create and shoot two scenes from a YA story of their own making. (Due: 4.13.18)

Your Young Adult Fiction

Language Arts Resources

Resources are short videos and three-page print outs that support the technology driven, project-based learning that comprise the core of Meridian Stories. From Digital Rules to Minecraft; Creative Brainstorming to writing fiction, as told by a best selling author, the Resource Collection is an exclusive Meridian Stories asset that assists students and teachers in their work.

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  • One of three curricular areas
    • Language Arts
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  • participation in up to 5 Competitions (which includes posting Student Video, receiving Mentor Feedback, and earning Digital Badges);
  • access to 8 Activities and 10 Projects; and 
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$350 per year

REGISTER

Access To

  • All three curricular areas
    • Language Arts
    • History
    • STEAM

Including:

  • participation in up to 15 Competitions;
  • access to all Activities and Projects; and
  • access to the entire Media Resource Collection.