50 States, 1 Nation Elementary School Essay Contest Launched
Posted by Gilder Lehrman Staff on Tuesday, 01/14/2020
A New Writing Contest for Elementary School Students
After eight exciting years of the Dear George Washington Essay Contest, which has yielded creative and thoughtful responses from elementary school students across the country, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to announce a new contest for elementary school students for the 2019–2020 school year, the 50 States, 1 Nation Contest.
Elementary school students in fourth and fifth grade are encouraged to take part in a writing contest inspired by the work that most elementary school teachers do with students examining family, local, state, and US history. Our goal for this contest is to help expand students’ understanding of how their families, towns, and states connect with each other and with American history, while providing them with a critical opportunity to hone their analytical and creative writing skills through an essay, short story, or poem.
Sixth graders in elementary school (rather than middle school) who are studying US history are also eligible to participate.
In future years, the Institute expects to add second and third grades to contest eligibility.
All participants will receive a certificate of participation, delivered to their school. Winning entries will receive cash prizes and publications by the Gilder Lehrman Institute:
- 1st Prize for each category (essay, short story, poem) in each grade level: $100 and a set of three Gilder Lehrman Institute posters
- 2nd Prize for each category in each grade level: $75 and a set of three Gilder Lehrman Institute posters
- 3rd Prize for each category in each grade level: $50 and a set of three Gilder Lehrman Institute posters
- Two honorable mentions (in the form of a special certificate and a bundle of Gilder Lehrman Institute books) will be awarded to strong entries in each grade level.
- Teachers of each prize winner and honorable mention recipient will receive a copy of Teaching with Documents: Colonial America to Reconstruction, which includes seven elementary-school-level lesson plans.
Entries will be accepted on a rolling basis starting in mid-November. To be considered for the 2019–2020 program year, entries must be received by March 30, 2020. Winners for 2019–2020 will be announced on April 21, 2020.