Language Arts

Scene from Days in the Sun from Shakespearean Soliloquy Shake Up Challenge

Language Arts Digital Storytelling Projects

Welcome to the Meridian Stories Language Arts universe of creative digital storytelling projects. Here you will find activities that challenge students to reinvent a Shakespearean soliloquy; create a sketch that investigates poetic forms …in a comic way; formulate a new dystopian culture; and imagine the next chapter in a book you are studying. That’s all just for starters.

There are two ways to integrate these projects into your classroom. You can choose from our collection of over 50 different digital storytelling projects and/or register for our annual Competition which features five Language Arts Challenges. In every case, the projects — Challenges, we call them — demand that your students collaborate to:

  • Research the content deeply;
  • Create a story around that content, be it a comedy, newscast, podcast, vlog, radio drama, live Moth, … the list goes on;
  • Develop that story for digital production, which includes script writing, storyboarding, location scouting, casting, rehearsing, and planning, planning, and more planning; and
  • Produce the digital story – always targeting a running time of under 4 minutes – adding music and sound effects to the final edited piece.

Digital Storytelling is the WRITING half of the evolving literacy that is Digital Literacy. The passionate soul of this form of storytelling, for the classroom, resides right here. On this page. Explore and …take off!

Two Free Language Arts Projects

Every Meridian Stories project follows the same curricular template. From detailed processes to evaluation rubrics to Standards correlations, take a look at how this all works with these two free projects.

Gothic Gristle

Unlike lots of literary genres, like satire, tragicomedy, myth, or graphic novel, all of which tide in and out of popularity depending on the decade, the Gothic novel has seen publication in nearly every year since the mid-1750’s! You’re probably familiar with Gothic horror pieces like Frankenstein and Dracula: but have you ever thought about Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a Gothic novel, or even the adolescent series, Goosebumps? The Gothic genre relies above all on mood and feeling: a combination of foreboding and drama. Gothic works from Dracula to Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find do not centralize upon fantastical characters (i.e., figures whizzing about on brooms) but instead upon the darkness of humanity: the murky struggles that people face daily, within themselves, and within their communities. Whether it be the unexpected challenges of falling in love with a vampire or the deeply-rooted, sorrowful twistedness of a dysfunctional family, the Gothic pulls from the everyday and makes it somber, dramatic, …and monstrous. In this Challenge, your team is asked to create the basic parameters of a Gothic novel – you will write and present the opening paragraphs of your proposed Gothic story – then write and shoot a scene, as based on three tenets of the genre, set in your fictionalized Gothic universe.

The Odyssey Photographic Storyboard

Odysseus and his men will have one more adventure to overcome – an adventure that your team will imagine, write up and storyboard. It’s as if a lost chapter has been discovered…except that you are creating it! In the style of Homer’s The Odyssey, invent a new island that harbors a new creature — or God or Goddess — that tries Odysseus’s patience, knowledge and courage just as Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, Circe and a host of others do throughout his journey. Then, re-tell this chapter in a fully–produced, ten to twelve-panel, photographic storyboard. The accompanying text must be written in the style of Homer (or whatever your translation is): two to eight lines per panel.