Here are some ways in which I have encouraged my students to challenge their writing skills outside of the classroom.
I often check our local news for opportunities to get the kids involved, whether its novel writing, poetry writing or essay writing. I share the contest information in my classes, sometimes offer extra credit, and help them edit their pieces. Working together keeps the enthusiasm going!
Students who I know are aspiring poets were encouraged to attend and participate in the annual Teen Domestic Violence Poetry Slam. This is a great way to get noticed, interact with other poets, and to express themselves creatively, all while helping to bring awareness to a very important issue.
Students have entered the local Veterans of Foreign Wars American Dream and Freedom Essay Contests. Three of my students won first, second, and third place respectively. They were given cash prizes at a ceremony held in their honor, and featured in our local newspaper.
Students are also gearing up to enter two more contests: The My Mom's Story contest hosted by our local newspaper, and the Fan Fiction contest hosted by our local library.
The My Mom's Story Contest is in honor of mother's day. Students will submit stories based on their mothers. It could be her biography, special moments spent with her, or reasons why they love her. The winning pieces will be featured in the newspaper on mother's day. What a great gift!
Ms. Ajoste from our local library, Joeten Kiyu, visited our class to promote their newest contest. Students learned about the popular genre, fan fiction and engaged in fun brainstorming activities. Some examples of fan fiction shown were combining Avatar with Twilight. One of the examples a student decided to base her story on is combining Finding Nemo with Dora the Explorer. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.