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Presentation on theme: "VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS AND NORTHWOOD 7 TH GRADE Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest."— Presentation transcript:


2 WHAT IS IT? Every year the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) sponsors a nationwide essay contest for middle school students. They offer prizes at the local level, the state level, the regional level, and the national level. Prizes range from $50 to $5,000. For many years Northwood 7 th graders have participated in this essay contest. We have had several local and state winners from our school.

3 WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? The contest is open to any 6 th, 7 th or 8 th grader in public, private, or home school. There is no charge to enter.

4 WHERE SHOULD I TURN IN MY ESSAY? Language Arts teachers at Northwood will collect essays from their students. We will then pass the essays on to the representatives of the local VFW Post who will judge them.

5 WHEN DOES THE CONTEST TAKE PLACE? Your essay is due to Mr. T on Friday, October 25, 2013. We will print them in class that day, so you don’t have to print your final copy at home.

6 HOW LONG SHOULD MY ESSAY BE? It cannot be less than 300 words or more than 400 words. The essays MUST be typed with no color and no graphics. Every word counts regardless of length. Your title words are not included in the word count. Do not put your name directly on your essay. You will attach a separate entry form with your name on it.

7 CAN I GET HELP WITH MY ESSAY? Your teacher, parent, or other adult can check your essay for punctuation, grammar, and spelling… …but they cannot help you with the content of your essay. All the ideas in your essay must be your own.

8 WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? You are expected to learn to produce “clear and coherent writing” and to “strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying new approaches.” You will know you are successful when you have a finished essay that you are proud of as well as one that you have carried through the writing process of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

9 WHAT IS THE ESSAY ABOUT? Every year the essay prompt is set by the national level of the VFW. In 2013-14 the prompt is: “ What Patriotism Means to Me ”


11 NUMBER YOUR PAGE FROM 1-10. SKIP LINES. 1-2 Memories of times when you were proud to be an American 3-4 Memories of times when you were not so proud to be an American 5-6 Memories of special patriotic holidays—4 th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King Day, Thanksgiving 7-8 People you consider patriots 9-10 Symbols of patriotism

12 WRITE A KERNEL ESSAY: A PATRIOTIC MEMORY Choose one memory from your quick list. Number your paper 1-5, skipping lines. I’m going to ask you questions about your memory. Write your answer as simply as you can, using complete sentences. Before we begin, take a few minutes to think about your memory. Let it replay in your mind like a little movie.

13 1.Where were you? 2.What happened first? 3.What happened next? 4.What happened last? 5.What lesson about patriotism did you learn?

14 PREWRITING Here are some basic values, rights, and freedoms we enjoy in American that you might want to consider: Courage Service Honor Liberty Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of the Press Freedom of Assembly Freedom of Petition Right to bear arms Rights if you are accused of a crime Choose two or three that connect with you and write them in your journal.

15 WRITE ANOTHER KERNEL ESSAY: PATRIOTISM Review your quick list of patriotic ideas. Keep them in mind as you complete each of these sentence starters: 1.Some people think… 2.And other people think… 3.But I think… 4.What that tells me…

16 KERNEL ESSAY #3 Patriotism: 1.A dictionary-like definition 2.My personal definition 3.The feeling I get from it 4.What others make me think about it 5.An example in society today 6.Another example TRY TO GET A SECOND as it will ultimately help with length essay when you revisit this.

17 KERNEL ESSAY #4 1.What it means to me now. 2.What patriotism will mean to me when I am grown up.

18 PREWRITING What values are explained in “The Pledge of Allegiance” that we say everyday? Listen to this comedian’s serious presentation:

19 PREWRITING You may discuss all of these ideas from your kernel essay writings with other students or adults (such as your parents), but they cannot tell you exactly what to write or how to write about them.

20 DRAFTING Look over the kernel essays you have written. Choose the one that interests you the most. Think about ways that you can expand it into a full essay for the contest: Can you add… …talking…physical feelings…descriptive …action…emotions details …information…comparisonsDO IT!

21 REVISIONS RADaR Revision What are words you can REPLACE with more interesting ones? What are ideas you can ADD to make it more complete? What are things you can DELETE because they are unnecessary or unhelpful? How can you REORDER your ideas to make them have more flow and be more clear?

22 FEEDBACK Print a copy of your essay. Take it home and ask a parent or other adult to read it. Ask for their suggestions and feedback. Ask them to sign it. Bring it back the next day (Thursday, 10-24).

23 PROOFREADING Use the tools in Word to help you make your punctuation and spelling more accurate. --spell check --grammar check --word count --readability statistics

24 YOUR RADaR TASK TODAY You will share out your rough draft with two different partners today. You will read aloud your draft in a way which allows your partner to follow along visually. Your partner will stop you throughout to offer RADaR feedback. You do not HAVE to do anything with the input if you choose not to. You must keep track of any changes you make through “track changes”. Before you get with your second partner, BE SURE YOU SAVE YOUR CHANGES. At the end of class your goal is to have three versions of your draft- your original, the first partner’s, and the second partner’s. Name them accordingly: DRAFT #1, PARTNER DRAFT #2, PARTNER DRAFT #3.

25 FINAL DRAFT Check over your work one more time to make sure it is exactly the way you want it to be. Print a copy WITH YOUR NAME ON IT for me. Print a copy WITH NO NAME ON IT for the contest. Fill out an entry form and attach it to your essay. Give it all to me and I will pass it along to the VFW.

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