As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has announced the 50 States, 1 Nation Contest, a new essay competition for elementary school students in the 2019–2020 school year. The goal of this new contest is to help expand students’ understanding of how their families, towns, and states connect with one another and with American history. Students in grades 4 and 5 are encouraged to take part in the contest; students in grade 6 are also eligible to enter if they are currently enrolled in an elementary or K–8 school and are studying US history. By participating in the contest, students can hone their analytical and creative writing skills through one of three means of expression: essay (3–5 paragraphs), short story/historical fiction (3–5 paragraphs), or poem (not to exceed 12 lines). The institute will recognize selected entries with cash prizes and publications. The contest’s website provides additional information on the fourth- and fifth-/sixth-grade prompts, along with scoring rubrics. In future years, the institute expects to add grades 2 and 3 to contest eligibility.
Deadlines: Entries for the 2019–2020 program will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 30, 2020. Winners for 2019–2020 will be announced on April 21, 2020.
We’ve talked about the elements of story and creating conflict. Now we’re going to get into structuring the rising action of your classroom’s story. As your students work towards resolving the conflict you’ve introduced, they will traverse different paths that ultimately lead them to a climax and a resolution. These are seven strategies that can be used to guide your students’ stories:
Since 2009 the National Book Foundation has awarded the Innovations in Reading Prize to an individual or organization that inspires readers and engages new audiences with literature. From bicycle-powered libraries that serve a homeless community to empowering Harry Potter fans to build libraries around the world, the Innovations in Reading Prize recognizes literary activists who share the National Book Foundation’s aims to engage readers from all backgrounds.
We Read Too is a directory of hundreds of picture, chapter, middle grade, and young adult books written by authors of color featuring main characters of color. Teachers, students, librarians, or parents can freely download the directory on any iOS or Android device.