Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reading Rainbow Book Contest

My kids have recently started watching "Reading Rainbow", which they love! And I am surprised all the time by what they learn on there! Today on RR, he advertised a book contest that ends sometime in March. The link is here. The contest is for K-3rd graders, each grade having 3 winners. The prizes are awesome - flat screen TV, digital camera, and a MP3 player! Anyway, you child must write an original story with at least 5 colorful illustrations. There are word minimums and maxes for each grade. Invented spelling is accepted! My kids were so excited! They wanted me to look it up right away. Princess dropped to the floor immediately and started her illustrations. Prince thought about it, and decided to write about Egyptians. He asked me for some books on Egypt and went to work. He came and showed me his book. I read it, and with a sinking heart, asked him, "Did you copy the words from the books you looked at?" He said yes. I had to explain that he couldn't do that, what plagiarism is, why you wouldn't want someone copying your words, etc. He immediately burst into tears. I totally understood - all that hard work! I convinced him that his pages could be his "research" on Egyptians, and he could write a new story using his research. That led to a discussion of research, fiction/non-fiction, beginning/middle/end to a story, etc. It was actually a good lesson. I just hope he doesn't get discouraged. This contest is right up his alley. He is always writing his own stories and books. I hope that having parameters won't stifle his creativity, you know?
I let all of this writing count towards our Language Arts today! :)


  1. What an awesome school day!!

    We did something similar earlier this week. We were at the library and DS wanted some books on war (revolution, civil, wwI & wwII...any war would do). So, we had a great opportunity to use the computer. We practiced searching, refining our search, fiction vs non fiction, dewey decimal system, alphabetizingm, locating books, etc.

    We even squeezed in a lesson on "work ethic" as in "take pride in your job because a poorly done job makes it difficult on others" More specific: poorly placed books on the library shelf make finding what you want a big hassle.

    All in all...a very productive afternoon!

  2. My daughters have been working on stories for our hs group, and when dictating them to me, one sounded suspiciously like a book that my daughter had just read to me with her own modifications, of course. The other daughter was inspired by "The Flintstones" which she has only seen a few times. Apparently it stuck with her.


Whatcha' think?