Monday, April 18, 2011

Ten Contests Inspire Student Learning

With National Poetry Month winding down and National Pet Week (May 1-5, 2011) just around the corner, what better time could there be to get kids writing poems about the animals that are so near and dear to them? Post some of those poems in your next newsletter or on your school’s website. Or, better yet, watch the American Pet Products Association’s Pets Add Life Poetry Contest page and enter your students’ poems in next year’s contest. Who knows, one of your students’ poems could be a winning entry, like this poem by a fifth grader from Newton, North Carolina.
Where do I go to feel joy all around?
I always go play with my trusty hound.
What do I do when something troubles me?
I always go see my sweet dog, Jolly.
Who do I tell all my secrets to?
I always tell my dog, there, now I've told you.
If ever I'm feeling a little blue,
I always know just who to go to.
She's my best friend,
Always loyal to the very end.
Everyone I know has been told,
She always has a gentle heart, pure as gold.
She's such a treasure,
I will always love her forever and ever.


Contests are a fun way for students to earn recognition as they learn. Here are ten additional contests in which your students might participate.

Doodle for Google
You’ve missed this school year’s deadline (March 16), but your K-12 students will be invited again next year to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see.

‘Kids Are Authors’ Contest
Scholastic offers this annual contest designed to encourage students to use their reading, writing, and artistic skills to create their own books. Open to students in Grades K-8. This year’s deadline (March 15) has passed, but watch this site for information about next year’s competition.

Bridgestone America’s Safety Scholars Video Contest
A great way for student ages 16-21 to have fun, be creative, and win money for college. Videos must be 25 or 55 seconds in length. Contest deadline is May 13.

‘Together We Play’ Essay Contest
Do you dream about creating a playground where children of all abilities can play together? Your essay could win $100,000 in inclusive playground equipment and $50,000 in project development, design services and comprehensive educational programming. Contest deadline is August 1, 2011.

National Handwriting Contest
Click the link above to sign up for an email notification about next year’s contest. Open to students in Grades 1-8 in schools that use the Zaner-Bloser program.

‘Listen to Life’ Essay Contest
This contest is an opportunity to develop important skills in areas that include interviewing, listening, writing, and technology as it fosters connections between young and old. Open to students ages 8-18. New contest cycle begins in September.

SchoolTube Video Contests
SchoolTube offers a variety of contest opportunities that provide great ways to integrate media into your school’s classrooms. The site offers many tips and tools for producing effective videos, too.

Emerging Writers Short Story Contest
The Young Voices Foundation offers this contest for students in Grades 3-12. Submissions accepted through May 31, 2011.

‘Save the Frogs’ Art Contest
Maybe you missed the opportunity to recognize Save the Frogs Day (April 29), but your students can submit their art to this contest through October 15, 2011.

EdSteps Creativity/Problem Solving Contest
This contest from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is open to students across the globe. Contest ends May 14.


Pet Week Lessons from Education World
Pet Week Lessons from Crayola

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