Category Archives: Student Opportunities

Celebrate National Day on Writing on October 19

National Day on WritingOctober 20, 2012, will mark NCTE‘s fourth annual National Day on Writing (U. S. Senate Resolution 565). Because October 20 falls on Saturday this year, NCTE and collaborating organizations are inviting us to celebrate on October 19. This year NCTE is partnering with  The New York Times Learning NetworkNational Writing ProjectMozilla Hive Learning Network NYCEdutopiaNational Novel Writing MonthDigital Learning DayCommon Sense MediaThe College of Saint RosePulitzer Center on Crisis ReportingCreative CommonsSchool Library Journal, and FridayReads to encourage you and your students to take part in a global conversation on Twitter about writing and the role it plays in your life. For ideas about what to post, just click on the links for any of the collaborating sponsors.

If you decide to participate and/or if you decide to invite your students to participate, please post using the hashtag #WhatIWrite (and if space permits, #dayonwriting). The goal is to call attention to the remarkable variety of writing that people from all walks of life engage in across the nation and to recognize the important role writing has in all our lives.

Let’s get #WhatIWrite to be a trending topic on Twitter on Friday!

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Filed under Creative Writing, Nonfiction Writing, Student Opportunities, Teacher Opportunities

First Freedom Student Competition

The First Freedom Center, a non-profit, non-political, non-denominational organization based in Richmond, Virginia, and dedicated to advancing the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, is announcing its 20th annual First Freedom Student Competition. This national essay and video contest offers students in grades 9 through 12 with an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the First Amendment and the history and implementation of freedom of religion and conscience in American democracy and the world today. Students then present their evaluation in written essay or video format.

This year’s topic introduces students to George Washington’s famous Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island of 1790, where he addresses a new standard for religious freedom and religious equality for citizens of the young nation. Students will identify the basic principles of religious liberty espoused in this primary document and will research and assess how well the United States has lived up to Washington’s ideal. For the complete topic, essay and video guidelines, registration, classroom poster, student flyer and other details, visit First Freedom Student Competition 2012/2013.

Students must register online on or before Monday, November 12, 2012, and the postmark deadline for mailing the essay or video with its accompanying entry materials is Monday, November 26, 2012. Winners will be announced on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, 2013.

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Seventh Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

On Saturday, May 19, 2012, Nazareth College will again be hosting this annual celebration to promote reading and to connect teens with authors. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free. The schedule provides participants with the opportunity to attend three author presentation sessions over the course of the day. Festival-goers will also be able to purchase books throughout the day from one of the sponsors, Barnes and Noble, and to have their newly purchased or previously purchased books signed by the authors at the end of the festival. Thirty authors plan to participate. More information is available on the Teen Book Festival website and on the official festival brochure. The festival organizers have also assembled a TBF Frequently Asked Questions document.

Please encourage your students to attend, and please consider attending yourself. The festival is open to everyone, especially teachers and librarians, but seating preference will be given to teens at all sessions. And the Greece Marching Band will be leading the parade of authors down North Campus Drive at 8:45 a.m.!

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National Poetry Month

As you probably already know, April is National Poetry Month. Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, it is now an annual event to celebrate poetry and its vital role in American culture.

Poems are some of the richest and most complex texts we can read for they often convey universal truths–or some of the most nuanced ideas–through striking, moving, and innovative uses of language. Repeated close readings of poems help us to discover their richness and nuances, lead us to appreciate the poems as works of art, and guide us to insights about life and our humanity.

If you are planning to read poetry with your students this month and participate in the celebration, here are some resources you might want to tap:

The Academy of American Poets National Poetry Month Webpage presents ideas for celebrating poetry in April and throughout the school year.

By following 30 Days 30 Poets on Twitter, you and your students will be able to enjoy the insights of 30 different contemporary American poets throughout the month of April.

At http://poem-a-day.knopfdoubleday.com/, you can sign up to receive a poem each day free of charge from Knopf Doubleday, or you can follow their Tumblr site at http://celebratepoetry.tumblr.com/.

Scholastic has assembled teaching resources and lesson plans at http://teacher.scholastic.com/poetry/.

For more ideas and lesson plans, you may want to consult ReadWriteThink at http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/april-national-poetry-month-20478.html.

The Favorite Poem Project, initiated by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, also shares lesson plans–frequently with tie-ins to videos of everyday Americans reciting their favorite poems.

Another former poet laureate, Billy Collins, launched Poetry 180, which provides a poem appropriate for high school students for each day of the school year.

American Life in Poetry, a project of former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, provides a poem with a brief introduction by Kooser on a weekly basis.

For poems, podcasts, videos, and literary nonfiction about poetry,  the Poetry Foundation is an excellent resource.

In addition, Poetry Out Loud, which sponsors a national poetry recitation contest for high school students, has lesson plans and handouts to support close readings of poems.

Please share other resources you use to celebrate National Poetry Month or to teach poetry throughout the year.

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Filed under Common Core Standards, Student Opportunities, Teacher Opportunities

Live Deliberately Essay Contest

World Wide Waldens

World Wide Waldens, an education initiative of the Walden Woods Project that promotes environmental reflection and action activities for middle school, high school, and college students, is sponsoring its annual Live Deliberately Essay Contest for students. There are three age categories: 13-15 years old, 16-18 years old, and 19-21 years old. To enter the contest, students should submit a 500-word personal essay in response to the following passage from “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” in Thoreau’s Walden:

“The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.”

Submissions are due by May 15, 2012.

Writing in Walden Woods

For more information, tips and suggestions, access to the online submission form and winning essays from previous contests, please consult essay contest website.

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Figment — Award-Winning Digital Writing Community for Teens

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
From the Los Angeles Times:
2011 Innovator’s Award
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“The Innovator’s Award recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, whether in terms of new business models, new technologies or new applications of narrative art.

figment™ LOGOTYPE - RGB - 300 dpi

Figment is a digital writing community with connections to – and roots in – traditional publishing, a space where young writers and readers are encouraged to share and comment on each other’s creativity, an early adaptor of the digital landscape as a publishing and literary territory, and a site in constant evolution, developing and expanding to meet both the needs of its users and its own digital imperatives. Figment is the third winner of the Innovator’s Award whose previous winners include Dave Eggers and Powell’s Books.”

Have you heard about Figment? Are any of your students Figs (members)?

This site offers students the opportunity to share and receive feedback on their writing, receive advice about writing from published authors, participate in challenges and contests, and publish their work.

I hope you’ll take a look at this site and think about how it might be used to promote student writing.

 

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New York State Archives Student Research Awards

New York State Archives: Where History Goes on Record

The New York State Archives has announced its twenty-second annual Student Research Awards program to promote and recognize excellence in student research. The main purpose of the awards program is to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State.

Three awards will be presented: one each for grades 4-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.

Individual and group entries are welcome and must be submitted by July 1, 2012.

Entries may be in the following formats:

  • Website, PowerPoint presentation, or other computer-based format
  • Exhibit
  • Documentary
  • Performance
  • Proposal for historic marker
  • Research paper

All nominations must be made by teachers, library media specialists, or administrators in the school attended by the student or groups of students.

For official guidelines and entry forms:

http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/grants/grants_student_sraguidelines.shtml

New York State Archives

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