Contest

By
Anna Starecheski

Cohenworks

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! While its always hard to pick, we choose one winning entry each month to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. We hope that sharing these entries with your students will encourage them to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet Scope's May 2018 Spotlight Winner: Claire A.!

In the May issue of Scope, we featured an original poem written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich inspired by the Scope play about the 1969 moon landing. For the You Write It contest, we asked students to write a poem inspired by any story in Scope from 2017-2018. We were blown away by the incredible poems that we received! This month’s spotlight winner is Claire, who wrote a poem in response to the May 2018 Paired Texts about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Claire’s poem uses a sophisticated structure and repeated words to create a sense of urgency and drive home the importance of clean water. We love the visual layout of the poem and are moved by the poem's message. Well done, Claire!

 

One of Your Students Could Be the Next Winner!
Dont forget to have your students enter next years contests. One of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover more about Scope contests and prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.

 

By
Anna Starecheski

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! While it's always hard to pick, we choose one winning entry each month to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. We hope that sharing these entries with your students will encourage them to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet Scope's April 2018 Spotlight Winner: Bianca M.!

Scope's April narrative nonfiction feature, "The Children Who Escaped the Nazis," told the story of the thousands of Jewish children who were rescued during World War II. For the writing contest, we asked students to explain the challenges faced by the children of the Kindertransport, supporting their ideas with text evidence. Bianca’s entry stood out to us immediately. She sent in an organized slideshow outlining her central ideas and citing text evidence. But Bianca did more than present facts; she asked her readers to put themselves into the shoes of the children of the Kindertransport. The result was incredibly powerful. Great job, Bianca!

 

One of Your Students Could Be the Next Winner!
Be sure to have your students enter next years contests. One of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover more about Scope contests and prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.

 

Cohenworks

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! As Scopes Contest Coordinator, I get to choose one winning contest entry each month to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. I hope that sharing these entries with your students will encourage them to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet Scope's March 2018 Spotlight Winner: Mia T.!

The March nonfiction feature “Blood, Smoke, and Freedom” tells the riveting true story of 15-year-old Joseph Plumb Martin who fought in the Revolutionary War. For this contest, students were asked to imagine that they are Joseph Plumb Martin, writing a letter to a cousin about whether the cousin should join the army. Mia did a great job creating a unique character voice in her letter, and she used lots of information from the article to give her cousin advice and an honest picture of life as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was a letter written in the 1700s! You can read Mia’s letter below.

 

One of Your Students Could Be the Next Winner!
Don’t forget to have your students enter next month’s contests. One of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover current Scope contests and great prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.

 

Cohenworks

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! As Scopes Contest Coordinator, I get to choose one winning contest entry each month to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. I hope that sharing these entries with your students will encourage them to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet Scope's February 2018 Spotlight Winner: Anna J.!

Scopes February nonfiction feature “Escape From Slavery” is the incredible story of Harriet Tubman. For this contest, students were asked to write an essay considering Harriet Tubman’s legacy. Anna’s essay pulled me in right away with a well-crafted introduction. The essay was well organized and I could easily follow Anna’s argument as she examined the ways Harriet Tubman’s legacy lives on today. Anna also did a great job explaining how Harriet Tubman’s work paved the way for the Black Lives Matter movement and even the Black Panther movie. Nice work Anna!

 

One of Your Students Could Be the Next Winner!
Don’t forget to have your students enter next month’s contests. One of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover current Scope contests and great prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.

 

By
Anna Starecheski

Shutterstock

 

When we teamed up with Gordon Korman for this year’s Write-a-Story fiction contest, we knew we were going to get some fantastic entries. But we were truly overwhelmed by the incredible talent and creativity of your students! We received more than 1,400 entries! And now we are thrilled to announce that the winner of Scope’s 2017/18 Write-a-Story Contest is:

Alexander S. from Zervas Elementary School in Waban, MA!

 

Here’s what Gordon had to say about Alexander’s story:

“This story is flat-out quality all around: a unique concept, a strong-voiced narrator, heart-pounding action, taut, believable dialogue, and plenty of surprises. Every time I thought I had this one figured out, Alexander would throw me another twist. It’s an awesome read, which is especially impressive coming from the youngest of the finalists. Congratulations, Alexander!”

You can read Alexander’s thrilling story “NXTGen Evolution” here.

Check out the Q&A that I did with Alexander here.

Congratulations to Alexander! And congratulations to all the finalists and honorable mentions! Make sure to look out for details in the fall about next year’s Write-a-Story Contest.

 

FINALISTS
Vivhab P., Rolling Meadows, IL
Vivian L., Hillsborough, CA
Sydney S., Loretta, TN

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Avyree S., Jacksonville, FL
Jordan R., Erath LA
Elizabeth K., Evansville, IN
Aiden A., Dublin, OH
Michael D., Folson, CA
Kathryn K., Pelham, NY

By
Anna Starecheski

Alexander S. wrote this year's winning story for our annual Write-A-Story Contest. The contest challenged students to choose one of three first lines written by beloved author Gordon Korman and use it to write an original work of fiction. Alexander's story "NXTGen Evolution" is a suspenseful adventure about a plot to save the world from a horrible human-made disease. I got the chance to talk with Alexander about his story and his writing process. I hope that you'll share this interview with your budding writers.

Alexander S. from Zervas Elementary School in Waban, MA

 

Anna: How did you come up with your story idea?
Alexander: I looked through the three different sentence starters. The one that I was inspired by the most was the one that I chose, which was “The haunted science lab was more than just a nickname." I came up with the story from there. I'm very interested by the entire science fiction, post-apocalyptic genre, so I created a story that fit within that genre.

Anna: How did you develop the character of Dr. Kyle Wagner?
Alexander: The way I developed the character of Dr. Kyle Wagner was by adding other people in the environment around him. So with his brother Carlos, for example, the fact that Kyle hadn’t been in the daylight for so long, added to the fact that he hadn't seen anyone from his family for so long, really added another layer to his character.

Anna: How did you come up with your plot?
Alexander: I wanted to keep it interesting and engaging, so I started at the beginning and I moved from there in a way that felt logical, like going into the haunted science lab and then finding out what haunted it and then adding to the story off of that.

Anna: How did you know when to end the story?
Alexander: Besides the fact I was kind of running out of words towards the end, I felt the story was going on a bit too long and it was kind of losing its point. It might have lost a bit of its authenticity if I kept it going for too much longer.

Anna: How did you come up with the cool ending?
Alexander: So I came up with the ending by brainstorming possible endings and choosing the one I liked the most. The ending I chose was the one I thought I could do the easiest, be the best ending possible, and tie up all of the loose ends I had in the story while leaving the reader something to think about by creating some suspense.

Anna: How many drafts of the story did you write?
Alexander: I was constantly revising and scrutinizing my story as I wrote the first draft, constantly making changes and tweaking. Once I was done with that, I looked at my story as a whole and changed all the parts I felt needed changing.

Anna: Was there ever a point in the writing process where you got stuck? How did you get unstuck?
Alexander: There were some parts where I was like, "What do I do next? How do I keep it interesting?" But I managed to fill the in-between space where I got stuck.

Anna: Do you have any tips for other writers?
Alexander: So my advice for aspiring writers is to read a lot and write a lot, and find the story in everything, like books, movies, video games, board games, songs, etc. I think that can help you come up with your own stories.

Cohenworks

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! As Scope’s Contest Coordinator, I get to choose one winning contest entry to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. I hope that sharing these entries with your students will encourage them to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet Scope's December/Janurary Spotlight Winner: Nathaniel H.!

The December/January 2018 issue of Scope featured an original poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich called "What I'm Made of." For this contest we asked Scope readers to use Rebecca's poem as a model for writing their own personal “What I’m Made Of” poem. We were thrilled when so many amazing poems came pouring in! I have to confess that choosing a winner was especially hard this month. But Nathaniel's poem stood out for its originality and for his great use of imagery and wonderful detail. He wrote about his hobbies, friends, and favorite foods, and all within the confines of a baseball. That's right: Nathaniel's poem was structured and colored to look like a baseball!

 

And don't forget to have your students enter next month’s contests. One of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover current Scope contests and great prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.

 

Read Nathaniel's winning poem:

 

 

 

Cohenworks

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! As Scopes Contest Coordinator, I get to choose one winning contest entry to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. I hope that sharing these entries will encourage your students to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet November's Spotlight Winners: Amy Steadman’s class!

The contest asked students to consider what life would be like if they fell asleep and woke up 20 years later, just as Rip Van Winkle did in the Scope play Beware the Thunder. This group worked together to create a funny and creative video that imaged an entire future world using details from the informational text pairing "What If You Fell Asleep for 20 Years", including drones, telepathic communication, and 3D printers, and adding their own futuristic creations like a faithful robot assistant named iBob. Check out the entire video below!

 

 

It's not too late to enter the March 2018 contests and win great prizes!
Check out the list of current contests here.

Cohenworks

 

We get so many wonderful entries to our student writing contests! As Scopes Contest Coordinator, I get to choose one winning contest entry to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. We hope that sharing these entries will encourage your students to enter future contests and provide them with some helpful examples of successful entries.

 

Meet October's Spotlight Winner: Adrian C!

For the Life Story Contest (October 2017) students were asked to create a timeline displaying the life of someone or something they found interesting. Adrian’s slideshow timeline caught my eye right away. The subject was unique: the life of a human-like robot named Asimo. Each slide detailed an important milestone in Asimo's "life," as engineers created versions of Aimso with more and more human-like features, such as the ability to walk up stairs, the addition of an upper body, and the capacity to carry objects. Adrian even considered what the Asimo of the future might be able to do—greet aliens and show them around Earth!

Adrian's winning entry was creative, clearly presented, and well-researched. I had never heard of Asimo before, and by the end of Adrian’s slideshow, I felt like I really understood Asimo’s life and was excited for his future!

 

 

It's not too late to enter the December/January contests and win great prizes!
Check out the list of current contests here.

By
Anna Starecheski

Cohenworks

One of my favorite parts of my job is managing student writing contests. We get so many fantastic entries, and it's truly a joy to read them! We love to recognize our winners and their hard work, and thus the Student Writer Spotlight was born. For each issue of the magazine, Scope's Contest Coordinator McKenzie Schwark and I choose one winner to celebrate here on the Scope Ideabook. We hope that this will both encourage your students to enter future contests and provide you with some great examples of successful entries.

 

Without further ado, meet our Spotlight winner: Lucia T!

Lucia submitted a great entry to Scope's Tucker contest for the September 2017 fiction story "Into the Storm." Students were asked to answer the following question: What does Tucker have in common with Richard Etheridge? Lucia answered in a very well-organized and beautifully written essay. Great job, Lucia! Click on the image below to read it.

 

 

Have your students enter next month's contest and one of them could be our next Spotlight Winner! To discover current Scope contests and great prizes, click here. And go here for a list of helpful contest tips.