I think that using the badges for motivation is a great idea! The students can always use something to be stimulated. I think that you could create your own web site. Put the assignments on line and give the students a certain amount of time to complete each assignment. Some badge work could run the course of the semester. My choice would not be as a discipline approach, but as a positive learning expericne. The first badge should be easy to earn. It should be made to seem as though it is a big deal with a badge and a sucker attached or whatever. Then they will be motivated to continue the program.
I see these as possibilities:
Poetry memorization=Robert Frost; (Actually have them say the poem in class) Give them a list of famous rather short poems and them memorize it. We do not ask students to use this part of their brains enough. Also, it would give you the chance to show them how to perform in front of a group... a double whammy. Name the day for recitation...Pop the poems Day or something catchy. Have everyone dress up for the day and have snacks. Make it fun! You should also recite one on that day. You might dress like Edna St. Vincent (Did you know that she was called Vincent?) Millay. She was rather dramatic. Recite "Whose Lips These Lips Have Kissed?" That should get their attention.
Writing poetry=Edna St.Vincent Millay; ( Give them a subject and have them write the poem. You grade it and then make a copy and share with the class.)
Entering Poetry Contests=Langston Hughes; (Have them write poems and enter in the many poetry contests that are on line. If they win something, that is extra credit.)
Reading Short Stories and writing a synopsis=Mark Twain; This would have to be given specific instructions. Give them a list of the short stories to read. How many words or paragraphs for the synopsis and what should be included in the summary. Of course, they would have to have an example.
Writing a good summary demonstrates that you clearly understand a text.
Reading books from your classic list=Harper Lee; Make a list of books that you would like for them to read outside of class literature. When they have read it, they must produce something to prove that they had actually read the book.
Making an A on a test=Albert Einstein;
Making an A on an Essay=Francis Bacon;
Extra Credit Work=Edgar Allan Poe; Anything that you read in class, if they produce worthwhile bonus: a poster, a fact sheet, a biography of the writer, a poem about a character, a different ending for the story, an allusion to the story in a magazine (Mythology)
Writing an A Contrast/Comparison Essay=Thomas Paine;
You could actually produce the badges to put on their notebooks. Paper badges or actually get a badge/pen maker and produce them.
It sounds like fun to me. Of course, I am not sixteen, and only, motivated by my hormones.
Let us know.