This is one of my favorite projects to do with students because it allows them creativity while still ensuring they are being challenged to think differently. I use this with my seventh grade after reading Gary Soto's "Seventh Grade," but it would be a great mini-project for any middle school grade.
I created this after studying Common Core Standard 3 in Reading Literature, which asks students to analyze how story elements interact. When I read this standard, I immediately visualized a chain - with each link representing a different element. I use that inspiration to create this activity, which has students use textual evidence to identify story elements and then "link" them to one another.
This product includes not only a handout explaining the project and common-core aligned rubric for grading, but also two photos I took of my students' final projects that you can use as examples!
For more ideas and free downloads, follow my blog at www.creativeteachersclassroom.com