Submission Due Date: April 1, 2022
Designed for Middle and High School Students
|Table of Contents
· The Challenge
· Assumptions and Logistics
· Meridian Support Resources
· Presentation of Learning
· Evaluation Rubric
· Essential Questions
· Student Proficiencies
· Curricular Correlations – C3 Framework and Common Core (SL1, SL2, SL5, W3, W8, L5, RH2, RH8, RH9)
|Range of Activities
· Historical and Current Events Research
· Historical Current Events Analysis
· Community Research and Interviews
· Scriptwriting – Rap
· Digital Literacy Skills – Video – Pre-production, Production and Post-production
· 21st Century Skills: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking,
Immigration: a hot political topic, a wrenching personal topic, a global issue, and a cauldron of tragedy and transcendence. In short: it’s a rap.
Ours is a nation of immigrants. In this challenge, your team will create a 3–4 minute rap about immigration as informed by intelligence collected in your community. Your team can talk to first, second or third–generation immigrants; local politicians; educators or others who have knowledgeable opinions on the immigration debate that continues to rip at America’s core. Once you have a cross-section of opinions and experience, coalesce this information into an exploratory rap about this explosive issue.
Immigration is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative or humorous (see Hamilton). On the contrary, creativity and humor can be most poignant when dealing with heavy subjects.
- Deliverables include:
- Immigration Rap Video (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
- Planning Paper (at teacher’s discretion)
- Draft Rap (at teacher’s discretion)
Assumptions and Logistics
Time Frame – We recommend that this digital storytelling project takes place inside of a three to four-week time frame.
Length – All Meridian Stories submissions should be under 4 minutes in length, unless otherwise specified.
Slate – All digital storytelling projects must begin with a slate that provides:
- the title of the piece;
- the name of the school submitting;
- the wording ‘Permission Granted’ which gives Meridian Stories the right to a) publicly display the submission in question on, as linked from, related to or in support of Meridian Stories digital media; and b) use or reference it for educational purposes only, in any and all media; and
- We strongly recommend that students do not put their last names on the piece either at the start or finish, during the credits.
Submissions – Keep in mind that each school can only submit three submissions per Competition (so while the entire class can participate in the Challenge, only three can be submitted to Meridian Stories for Mentor review and scoring).
Teacher Reviews – All reviews by the teacher are at the discretion of the teacher and all suggested paper deliverables are due only to the teacher. The only deliverable to Meridian Stories is the digital storytelling project.
Teacher’s Role and Technology Integrator – While it is helpful to have a Technology Integrator involved, they are not usually necessary: the students already know how to produce the digital storytelling project. And if they don’t, part of their challenge is to figure it out. They will! The teacher’s primary function in these Challenges is to guide the students as they engage with the content. You don’t need to know editing, sound design, shooting or storyboarding: you just need to know your content area, while assisting them with time management issues.
Digital Rules/Literacy – We strongly recommend that all students follow the rules of Digital Citizenry in their proper usage and/or citation of images, music and text taken from other sources. This recommendation includes producing a citations page at the end of your entry, if applicable. See the Digital Rules area in the Meridian Resources Center section of the site for guidance.
Location – Try not to shoot in a classroom at your school. The classroom, no matter how you dress it up, looks like a classroom and can negatively impact the digital story you are trying to tell.
Collaboration – We strongly recommend that students work in teams of 3-4: part of the educational value is around building collaborative skill sets. But students may work individually.
Below is a suggested breakdown for the students’ work.
During Phase I, student teams will:
- The first step is to understand the overall context of the issue. This will involve researching topics related to immigration in the US, from historical immigration patterns and trends, to the current policy debate being waged in the United States. Teams should use primary and secondary sources in their research. A few specifics to consider:
- When politicians today talk about ‘immigration reform’, what, exactly, do they mean?
- How does a team discover the diversity of real immigrant experiences in the United States?
- Immigration is a highly ‘politicized’ issue. What is meant by ‘politicized’? Why is it politicized? And what damage does that do to solving the issue?
- Also, stay alert for how the media shapes public perceptions on immigration. This issue foments misinformation and disinformation, so be sure to check the validity and biases of your sources, before including that information and further spreading their ideas.
- Once your team feels that you have a handle on the broad historical context of immigration and the issues that are driving the current debate, write up a list of interview questions.
- Identify and contact the people in your community whose knowledge and stories your Immigration Rap may want to feature.
- Keep in mind that your team could decide to rap about one person’s story, if it is compelling, or rap about your team’s understanding or stance on the issue, as based on your cumulative sources. Either way, the rap must include clear references to all of the people that you have interviewed who are informing your final product, either as part of the rap or in the credits.
- Brainstorm about the visual look of your rap. Will it include footage of the interviews? Actual sound bites from the interviewees? Other sources from the library or Internet? As you prepare to start interviewing, know your visual game plan.
During Phase II, student teams will:
- Plan and record interview(s).
- If you are going to use the footage from the interviews themselves, be sure to get the interviewee’s written and signed permission.
- Assess and organize all of your gathered information. Choose the key points that you will want to communicate in your rap and order those points into a narrative.
- Teacher’s Option: Planning Paper – Teachers may require that their teams hand in a Planning Paper. The Planning Paper summarizes the key points from the secondary source research that they did, as well as the information that they received from their interviews. It is an outline of the content that they will cover in their rap.
- Write the rap, paying close attention to how you plan to create the rhythmic beat.
- Teacher’s Option: Draft Rap – Teachers may require that their teams hand in a Draft of the rap for review and feedback.
- Storyboard the visualization of the rap. This may involve breaking down the rap into lines and matching a proposed visual shot or location, action or image, for each line.
- Finalize the storyboard.
- Pre-produce the scene:
- Scout locations for shooting;
- Create costumes, props and other set pieces, as needed;
- Prepare the logistics for the actual shooting of the rap; and
- Rehearse the scene.
- Finalize the rap, as the rehearsing period concludes.
During Phase III, student teams will:
- Shoot the video.
- Edit the video, adding stills and graphics as desired.
- Post-produce the video, adding music and sound effects as desired.
Meridian Support Resources
|Meridian Stories provides two forms of support for the student teams:
1. Meridian Innovators and Artists – This is a series of three-to-four-minute videos featuring artists and innovative professionals who offer important advice, specifically for Meridian Stories, in the areas of creativity and production.
2. Media Resource Collection – These are short documents that offer student teams key tips in the areas of creativity, production, game design and digital citizenry.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include:
|Meridian Innovators and Artists||Media Resource Collection|
|On Scriptwriting and Comedy – Kent Pierce
On Nonfiction Writing – Margaret Heffernan
On Interviewing Techniques –tom Pierce
On Producing – Tom Pierce
|“Creative Brainstorming Techniques”
“Sound Recording Basics”
“Creating Storyboards, Framing a Shot”
“Conducting an Interview”
Presentation of Learning
Meridian Stories is a proud partner of the non-profit Share Your Learning, which is spearheading the movement of over five million students to publicly share their work as a meaningful part of their educational experience.
The workforce considers Presentational Skills to be a key asset and we encourage you to allow students to practice this skill set as often as possible. These short digital stories provide a great opportunity for kids to practice their public presentational skills.
According to Share Your Learning, Presentations of Learning (POL) promote…
- Student Ownership, Responsibility & Engagement. POLs can serve as a powerful rite of passage at the end of [a project]. By reflecting on their growth over time in relation to academic and character goals, grounded in evidence from their work, students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Just as an artist wants their portfolio to represent their best work, POLs encourage students to care deeply about the work they will share.
- Community Pride & Involvement. When peers, teachers and community members come together to engage with student work and provide authentic feedback, they become invested in students’ growth and serve as active contributors to the school community.
- Equity. POLs ensure that all students are seen and provide insight into what learning experiences students find most meaningful and relevant to their lives.
Meridian Stories’ own research indicates this to be a really useful exercise for one additional reason: Students actually learn from their peers’ presentations – it is useful to hear a perspective that is not just the teacher’s.
It is with this in mind that we you encourage you to plan an event – it could be just an end-of-the-week class or an event where parents, teachers and student peers are invited – to allow the students to showcase their Meridian Stories projects. For more free resources that will support this planning, visit Share Your Learning.
Evaluation Rubric – Immigration Rap
|Criteria||1 – 10|
|Immigration – Past||The video demonstrates critical thinking on the role of immigration in the US|
|Immigration – Present||The video demonstrates critical thinking on the current debate around immigration in the US|
|Community Research||The research from the community is substantive and persuasive|
|Criteria||1 – 10|
|Story||The narrative is clear, engaging and presented in a compelling way|
|Rap||The rap demonstrates exceptional skill and aptitude for the genre, revealing a creative command of language|
|Acting / Voice||The acting is entertaining and engaging, and enhances the narrative’s success. The voice is clear and strong.|
|Criteria||1 – 10|
|Visualization||The choice of how to present the story and the quality of the visual mode reflect a thoughtful professionalism|
|Editing||The digital story is edited cleanly and effectively, resulting in an engaging viewing experience|
|Sound and Music||The sound design choices enhance the audience’s engagement with the vlog|
HUMAN SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only)
|Criteria||1 – 10|
|Collaborative Thinking||The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member|
|Creativity and Innovation||The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively|
|Initiative and Self-Direction||The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project|
- What are some of the current and historical cultural dynamics that set the US on the path to becoming a multicultural society?
- What are some of the problems that the US policy on immigration faces today?
- What is meant by ‘immigration reform’ and where do you stand on the current debate?
- How is learning the story of an individual or individuals’ immigration experience different from studying secondary resource materials? Has it changed your understanding of immigration?
- How does one research and organize information from a variety of sources to synthesize an accurate, cohesive, and engaging narrative?
- How has immersion in the creation of original content and the production of digital media – exercising one’s creativity, critical thinking and digital literacy skills – deepened the overall educational experience?
- How has working on a team – practicing one’s collaborative skills – changed the learning experience?
- The student will have a substantive understanding of how individuals and societal politics have shaped the evolution of US immigration policy.
- The student will gain a better understanding of the complexities of integrating immigrants into US culture.
- The student will have a greater awareness of the issues that are shaping today’s debate on immigration reform.
- The student will gain a visceral understanding of a key historical and ongoing event through research and direct contact with primary sources.
- The student will understand the processes involved in researching content from a variety of primary and secondary sources; selecting relevant information from those sources; and organizing this information in a way that yields narrative cohesion and historical accuracy.
- The student will utilize key Human Skills, with a focus on creativity, critical thinking and digital literacy, in their process of translating historical content into a new narrative format.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration. Collaboration – the ability to work with others – is considered one of the most important Human Skills to develop in students as they prepare for life after secondary school.
The Immigration Rap Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by two nationally recognized sources:
- The C3 Framework published by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS); and
- Common Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts
Below please find the standards that are being addressed, either wholly or in part.
C3 Framework – NCSS
|D2.Civ.1.6-8. Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongov- ernmental contexts.||D2.Civ.1.9-12. Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions.|
|D2.Civ.3.6-8. Examine the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.||D2.Civ.3.9-12. Analyze the impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and interna- tional agreements on the maintenance of national and international order.|
the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people ad- dress issues and problems in government and civil society.
|D2.Civ.10.9-12. Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the applica- tion of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.|
|D2.Civ.13.6-8. Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
|D2.Civ.13.9-12. Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.|
|D2.Civ.14.6-8. Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.||D2.Civ.14.9-12. Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.|
|D2.Geo.6.6-8. Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to hu- man identities and cultures.
|D2.Geo.6.9-12. Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.|
|D2.His.3.6-8. Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.||D2.His.3.9-12. Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.|
Common Core Curricular Standards
English Language Arts Standards
English Language Arts Standards – History/Social
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.|
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.||Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.||Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.|
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.|
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|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.|
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
|Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.||Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.||Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.|
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.|
Key Ideas and Details
|Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.|
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
|Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.||Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.||Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.|
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
|Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.||Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.||Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.|