8th Grade ELA/History Teacher, Whitehall Middle School, Whitehall, MI
Project title: Adaptation Humanities Lab, Multiple Forms/ Media
Project Description: This lesson guides students through the process of adapting L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Students do not need access to the book, as there are excerpts available within the presentation. Students will be given the opportunity to create an adaptation that is a podcast, an piece of art, a piece of writing, or a piece of music. This is an early draft, and I welcome suggestions for improvement. This project was experienced for the first time in October 2018, and we ended up hosting what we called a Lit Mixer for other grades in our building to come see the work showcased.
Lake Oswego School District, Lake Oswego, Oregon,
English/Mindfulness Teacher (Sophomores and Juniors)
Project Description: The video project adapts Emerson’s essay “Nature” and Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men as short public service announcements. I used Wevideo.com and an iPhone to make them. Each would replace a traditional written assignment while still showing critical thinking and close reading and inference skills. The Emerson video serves as a summary and adaptation of “Nature” from the perspective of the main character (Chris McCandless) from another work students read, Into The Wild. The OMM video is more a parody-style adaptation, arguing whether George is heroic or not for shooting Lennie.
Director of Choral Activities, Sunset High School, Portland, Oregon
Project title: Taylor the Brave, Author/Composer: Christopher Rust
Form/Media: Children’s Musical
Project Description: This musical is an adaptation of the Brother’s Grimm fairytale, “The Valiant Tailor.” The story follows a young girl as she goes on a journey to save her father’s business. Along the way she makes some friends and learns that confidence sometimes the product of ACTING brave even when feeling fear and trepidation. Feel free to browse the printed script on read the online script; complete with audio links to the songs. And PLEASE keep in mind that this is the first draft! I welcome any and all suggestions. This musical will be performed by a group of thirty 2nd-8th grade students at a summer camp I run in early July 2018.
English Department Chair at Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High School (Florahome, FL)
Project Title: The Fork
Project Description: The Fork: A Podcast is a mock documentary that fuses the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a ghost story about an alleged Voodoo Priestess in the town of Ruddock, Louisiana. During the institute, I was inspired by the use of local stories and family history during Still on the Hill’s musical performance during the program. My mother’s family has deep roots in Louisiana, so this project was a way for me to tap into that tradition as I tried to reimagine the Frankenstein story in a completely different time and place.
Podcast Website: https://sites.google.com/view/the-fork-a-podcast/home?authuser=0
Project Description: This video is a creative process on “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe and the way that the house falls to discuss the need for that kind of society to fall in order for us to accept the ways the world is changing. There are so many viewpoints in the world today that we need to be able to stand up for one another and not sit by and allow things to happen that we know should not. Rather than locking people up and throwing away the key, leaving them in there alive and alone, we need to reach out and help others through their experiences. The concept started with the Black Lives Matter movement but I definitely wanted to expand to multiple populations that are oppressed and the ways we can reach out to them.
Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, English Teacher (Grade 12)
Project Description: “The Divine Lotus: A Podcast for Those on the Journey” represents my final project for the NEH Institute Remaking Monsters and Heroines. The podcast features host, Lizzie Lavenze, based on the character, Elizabeth Lavenza from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and featured guest, Valerie Wisener, based on the character, Vasilisa from the Russian fairy tale Vasilisa the Wise. I adapted both stories by making the issues and themes with which they deal more relevant, namely how women can successfully develop their intuition or inner fire and learn to trust themselves. I used the platform Garage Band to create the podcast and applied new understanding about adaptation theory and application. It was a challenging, but thoroughly engaging process that allowed me to explore, develop and apply my skills as a reader, writer, thinker, and artist.
Project Description: At the beginning of every school year, I share an adaption from from Youtube titled Don’t Let
the Pigeon Touch the Books (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems). My students
love the video and they always ask to watch it again. The video discusses how to take care of
library books. I wanted to create an adaptation of a favorite book that my students would enjoy.
Using Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back; I created a mashup of his book and Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein. I want it to be so much like one of their favorite books that want to view it again
Bilingual Elementary Teacher, San Antonio, TX
Project Description: In creating this project, I considered what I experienced as a student and I came to many stops as I wrote the text and put it together. I reflected on how I want to redesign the way I teach reading to my students. Before this NEH seminar, I had never considered using Mary Shelley’s novel as a text for my elementary students. However, in these last two weeks I have learned so much about the use of adaptations and how important it is that I consider the use of graphic novels, experiential theater, and arts-integrated lessons more frequently. I want to introduce my students to Frankenstein even if through an adaptation because there are themes embedded in Mary Shelley’s novel that can be used to teach students about character education. Though my adaptation is still a work in progress, I am enthusiastic how these ideas will develop over time.
Orange Park Junior High School, FL
Project Title: “The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost: An Audio-Theatre Style Reading”
Project Description: Robert Frost’s 1914 poem in North of Boston sets a stage where a wife and husband
discuss the return of a former, dying worker to their farm. The juxtaposition of the Mary and
Warren on the porch to the dying man, Silas, provided an audible adaptation for the conversation
heard and unheard. Dialogue was the main focus and crafted in a way as to highlight brief
periods of silence between Mary and Warren. The sounds of an old rocking chair and footsteps
emphasize the position of each character and their lack of movement. A slow track of thunder
and birds were placed in an attempt to increase the tension of reflection of Silas’ return as well as
their position to the dying man. Upon further adaptation, a greater emphasis on space compared
to tension in subject matter can be taken into consideration.
Project Title: “Fortnight Show Interview”
Project Description: My project represents an adaptation of the Creature’s dramatic monologue in Frankenstein. It is also a parody of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. The host interviewed the Creature and the Creature responded
based on events from the original text concerning his mistreatment from society and his creator which leads to much sympathy from the audience. It also addresses confusion many people have between the original Creature character and those more common in the pop-culture realm. I used Audacity to create my project, and I learned a lot about recording special effects and methods of converting those files into the program.
Project Description: I worked with new mediums for my final project. I wanted to become more proficient at using sound editing software. I have often heard students express an interest in recording their own voices when writing reading responses. I have begun developing the format of an audio competition to pair with my current practice of a limerick writing competition. I forsee using the audio recordings of the students in lieu of having them stand at the front of the class to present their limericks. In my file I have also included assorted additional exercises that I am working on developing. I was inspired by the day at the Walton Arts Center practicing experiential theatre and have begun work on prompts to teach the practice to my students.
Beacon Day Treatment, Southgate, MI
Project Description: My final project consists of two parts. I created an Adobe Spark page (linked below) for a Frankenstein unit. I added the resources (comprehension questions, activities, etc.) that I used prior to the institute in my Frankenstein lessons, as well as links and presentations that were shared throughout this institute. I also created a Frankenstein themed Breakout EDU/ Escape Room style game. The name of the game is Victor Frankenstein: Guilty or Innocent. The premise is that the ghost of Justine is currently haunting the town and cannot be put to rest until it is determined whether Victor was an accessory to the murders. The students will receive a case file that contains clues for each of the four locks (numerical, alphabetical, directional, and key) and will work to solve the crime. The clues in the case file are all related to Frankenstein and include text analysis, comprehension questions, and solving picture clues. The crime is solved when the students are able to unlock the final box and read the verdict placed inside.
Digital Arts and Technology Academy at John Adams Middle School
Project Title: “A Dateline Interview with Victor Frankenstein: An Animated Adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein“
Project Description: In this animated short, I used Adobe Character Animator to place Victor Frankenstein into the 21st century. “Shelly Wollstonecraft” interviews Frankenstein for the popular NBC TV show, Dateline, to find out the facts behind Victor’s viral Instagram post asking for help finding the subject of his experiment. During the interview, we also see an entry from Victor’s scientific VLog which he filmed just hours before he was supposedly able to create/reanimate life. The audience is able to see Victor’s decline in both health and stature, and by the end of the segment, it becomes difficult to determine who the real monster is.
Credits: (Rendering of Victor Frankenstein—Abigail Hogue; Voice of Shelly Wollstonecraft—Abigail Hogue; Voice of Victor Frankenstein—Sam Berbel)
Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, Maine High School English
Project Description: My project creates a sampler of different genres of adaptation to a central text, in this case Orwell’s 1984. My AP Lit students are reading this novel over the summer; I will use my own responses to begin conversations about content I emphasized, genres I explored and recent current events I highlighted. Following this modeling, students will complete multigenre assignments on later texts, providing them agency over entering into and commenting upon multiple hinge moments (forcing a sense of perspective) as well as practicing writing skills outside the traditional literary essay format.
Project Description: Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech is a novel that I study with my 6th grade students every year. When told we were to create a project to bring home to our students, I knew that my project had to be an adaptation of this novel. Sal is the main character in the novel and she goes on two journeys. One is an emotional journey and the other is a physical journey through several states. What I created was a movie based on her journey. Ten years after her physical journey, Sal finds a shoebox filled with pictures she had taken on her journey. So, she made a movie using those pictures. I “adapted” powerpoint slides to jpegs, iMovie, and audacity to mix the audio. All of these media platforms were foreign to me prior to this experience, so my time spent creating Sal’s movie was so worthwhile. I am looking forward to using these different pieces of software in my classroom.
Elk Grove Unified School District, California 6th Grade
Project Description: For my adaptation, I created a storyboard in the spirit of a graphic novel adaptation. I created a script adapting the scene in Frankenstein where the creature asks Victor to make him a companion. I made the setting modern day and substituted the mother for Victor and the teenage child for the creature. I used the program, storyboardthat.com. This was the first time I had used this program, I got the idea when we were using the comic book program, one of the students in our class suggested the program. I was able to construct my story by manipulating the characters’ facial expressions, postures and positions within the frames. This is definitely a program I plan to bring back to my own classroom and share my experience with my teammates.
Associate Librarian grades 3-8 at Convent & Stuart Hall
Project Description: I realized that combining the Rapunzel fairy tale (one of my favorites) with Welcome to Night Vale (a disturbing fictional radio show) would give me the opportunity to adapt Rapunzel while exploring podcast creation, although my podcast consists of a single episode. A great deal of Night Vale’s storytelling is conveyed through the music the creators select for each installment. It was exciting to challenge myself to find noises that were “right” for a Night Vale-style Rapunzel, and it was doubly exciting to realize that I could really take the story anywhere: should she leave with the prince? Is Mother Gothel evil? Is there a happily ever after? Please enjoy my fairy tale adaptation, and welcome to Gothel Tower.
Howe High School, English IV, Theater, Leadership
Project Description: I took a one act play called “Monster”, written by Don Zolidis and adapted it into a radio play.
This play tells the story of how Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, during the Summer of 1816 when Mary, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori, and others came up with the idea of writing their own ghost stories. The play is approximately 45 minutes long, and I have shortened it to approximately 11 minutes, so there is quite a bit of story left out. I chose to do this because I have never used Audacity before and I can use this is both my English classes and my theater classes for assessment. Its not quite finished as it is here, but I am excited to take this back to my students and see what they come up with.
Rosemary Been (6-12 grades ELA at Cherry Creek Options School – Denver, Colorado) and
Kris Langton (6th Grade ELA at Mill Creek Middle School – Shawnee, Kansas)
Project Title: “Making Friends; A Cautionary Tale About Taking Things Too Literally”
Project Description: Our inspiration for this adaptation came via Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, which begins with a twisted version of the Cinderella tale. Since Rosemary and I teach the process of writing, using mentor texts, we decided to fracture the story of Frankenstein to add to Dahl’s collection as a model for our students. Using the same format as Dahl (rhyming couplets), we wrote the “real” story of Victor’s creation, resulting in what we hope is a humorous tale of teens taking their parents’ words too literally. We hope to use this video to entice students to have fun with adaptation through reading, writing and publishing their own adapted digital tales.
Lauren Kluck and Tracy Clavin
Project Title: “Margaret and the Creature”
Project Description: We made a PowerPoint video in stop motion, learning that 250+ slides roughly equals a 2 minute video. The goal of the project was to combine several allusions to other works within the combined narrative of Frankenstein and Cinderella, using the outermost frame of the Frankenstein story, Margaret, as the central character. The primary question was: what if, when fed up with maltreatment, Margaret absconds with Victor Frankenstein’s creature as an instrument of revenge? The title and the ending allow for concern that Margaret herself might be turning into a creature. We recorded the audio in Audacity, used creative commons music and sound effects, and mixed it all together in Shotcut. We had to export it as a WMV (Windows Media File) for it to run smoothly. An MP4 file would not save properly.
Literature Teacher (Grades 9 and 12), International Academy, Michigan
Project Description: Senior Students in my IB Literature and Performance class are required to transform a piece of prose into a piece of drama and to perform it to a live audience as part of their assessment. I have chosen the dystopian novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel for next year’s class (in addition to Frankenstein for their Paper 1 exam), so I decided to script the opening chapter of the novel as an example for them. I then created a storyboard to help my students think visually as well as verbally, and to introduce staging techniques such as cross-cutting and marking the moment. I also wrote an experiential theater script adaptation as a way of illustrating one of the several dramatic forms that students can choose to use in their transformations.
- Traditional script
- Storyboard outline
- Storyboard – scene 1
- Storyboard – scene 2
- Experiential Theater script
English Teacher at Dominion High School, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia
Project Description: “Ideal Bounds” combines two classic stories, both with elements of horror and fantasy: Frankenstein meets Cinderella in a story about a young woman who, when faced with a hostile and abusive stepmother, wishes fervently for a return to her previous happiness. She receives a visit (hallucination) in the form of Mary Shelley (or, the Mary Godmother). The young woman wishes to bring her mother, a famed literary scholar, back to life, so she can return to the normalcy of her childhood. However, this wish turns out to be more of a curse when her mother returns slightly different than before.
Project Description: My final project is a podcast adaptation of Snow White & The Seven Dwarves. The story is set in the current year, “early in the 21st century”, and seeks to draw attention to the ways in which our vanity is fed and exacerbated by the social media technology with which our lives are so often profused. It sets up the “evil stepmother” as someone obsessed by modern conceptions of beauty and body image, and then explores the ways in which such obsession with appearance can motivate a character to do the unthinkable. The story also makes use of the current epidemic of opiate abuse as a path to mayhem and murder. There is, intentionally, no prince, and no magic.
Project Description: This project models intertextuality through the use of digital platforms and multimedia. My source of inspiration is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; more specifically, I’m interested in the moments where Shelley allows the reader to see the “stitches” that bind together and animate her work as a whole. My work draws upon a variety of Shelley’s themes and her character, Elizabeth as the “angel in the house” (i.e. the perfect woman or damsel in distress). I’m also interested in exploring the cultural anxieties that surround the protection and preservation of the angel. The project serves as a model for students to create their own websites featuring intertextual adaptations of their own creations.
Project Description: I have chosen to adapt Lord of the Flies into experiential theater. I wrote the script for chapter 1, in which the boys determine that their plane crashed and they are alone on the island. Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell and use it to gather all of the boys together, and then they hold their election for leader of the island. I did this as my adaptation project because I cover Lord of the Flies and I plan to use this as an introduction to that novel. This will be how I get students excited about what’s going to happen to the characters and help them build up a relationship and a bit of empathy with those kids on the island.
K-12 Gifted and Talented Teacher Coordinator, Saydel Community School District, Des Moines, IA
Project Description: The intention of this project was to use the principles of adaptation (shown here in the blended adaptations of Frankenstein and Cinderella) but additionally to showcase the idea of adaptation through multiple literacy modes. This project showcases various forms of digital media processes (photos, videos, Word Art, WeVideo, Storyboard That, My Simple Show, Adobe Spark, and Screen-Cast-O-Matic) that students can use to demonstrate their learning. The project, therefore, is its own version of Frankenstein’s monster as it weaves multiple platforms to tell the story of Isabel the Dreamer.
Lisa Sragovicz and Elise Weisenbach
Project Description: This 4 minute video was created to introduce Spanish students to Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quijote de la Mancha. They will view the movie before reading the Don Quijote story in Spanish. This mock interview with Oprah Winfrey and Miguel de Cervantes draws attention to Cervantes’ life as well as the many adaptations of his famous work. Students will see famous artwork by Fernando Botero, Salvador Dalí, Honoré Daumier, Gustav Doré, Pablo Picasso, and listen to the music of the musical Man of La Mancha. Our goal is to generate curiosity and excitement about Don Quijote de la Mancha.
Pandora Gilboa Local Schools, Elementary Special Education, K-4, McComb, Ohio
Project Description: My project is a form of digital story telling. I took Mary Shelley’s original text where the creature is begging for Victor’s acceptance and compassion. I set those words to pictures of a grown man dealing with issues of isolation when coming back from serving in the military. I then translated those words to come from the perspective of a child. Many children deal with issues of abandonment. The nationwide opioid epidemic is causing
many children to be raised by grandparents and others are emotionally abandoned as parents deal with their own issues. I see this project translating into my classroom allowing students to tell their own stories through images and audio. This is an amazing way for students to express themselves and tell a story and not get bogged down in their difficulty with writing.
Adaptation Poetry and iMovie
Project Description: For the centerpiece of this project, I have combined my poetry adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone with coinciding images in the form of a one-minute iMovie. “I am Ismene” shares the perspective of the weaker sister in Sophocles’ Antigone. If it has been awhile since you’ve read this tragedy, I will offer a brief summary. As prophesied, Oedipus the King killed his father (Laius, King of Thebes) and married his mother (Jocasta, queen of Thebes). When they discover their horrible fate, Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus blinds himself and is cast from the city. The incestuous couple had four children: two sons and two daughters. After Oedipus’ exile, while one son, Eteocles, is ruling Thebes, the other, Polyneices, attacks the city attempting a coup. Both are killed, but the new king refuses to allow Polyneices a burial. The remaining daughters, Antigone and Ismene, both recognize the horror of this proclamation. Antigone famously buries her brother, is arrested, and hangs herself in a cave. Ismene, too frightened to assist her sister, remains at the end of the play, the only child of the house of Cadmus. I have always wondered what happened to Ismene, as Sophocles does not share this information, and this poem is attempt to give her a voice. I have also included two more adaptations—a poem from the perspective of Mary Shelley’s creature, and another from the perspective of the complicated protagonist of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov. This is my first attempt at using iMovie.