Mrs. P (aka actress Kathy Kinney) has a mission –to spark the imaginations of students. Her FREE storytelling website MrsP.com and the annual Be-a-Famous Writer Contest are celebrating their 10th anniversary. This year, the theme of the writing contest for kids is heroes. Today Mrs. P shares her own literary heroes and how she selected this theme.
How did you select the theme HEROES this year?
There are so many amazing stories in literature that have a hero. On the top of many lists, we usually find Harry Potter and Matilda. And, at some point in every child’s life they want to be a superhero like they see in the comic books. Imaging themselves, saving the day just like Superman or Black Panther.
We also have our community heroes. The real people in our lives or community that make a brave choice in a difficult situation. Our firefighters, teachers, police officers, and doctors. There are heroes who take a risk, and they may be a friend or a stranger, and the person that stands up for us, or for what is right. They can be our hero. There are the people that shape and change the world because of their courage like in the book Rosa by Nikki Giovanni.
Not to mention the many animal heroes. Who doesn’t love Pretzel by Margret Rey? or Black Beauty? Winnie-the-Pooh? Paddington Bear?
It’s just such a rich topic, I thought it would let students imaginations soar. Even the youngest readers can get in the spirit with the many great picture books that feature heroes.
How can teachers build the contest into their classroom curriculum?
They can have students explore different genres for example. Or let students explore different formats in reading such as graphic novels and audiobooks. Allowing students to explore in their reading can help build their vocabularies and comprehension skills. Many teachers create a research lesson around our theme, and heroes certainly helps them make many book selections.
Who are your heroes of literature?
Little Women’s Jo March and Anne of Green Gables’ Anne Shirley. I also love Pippi Longstocking.
Tell us more about the writing contest.
Here’s the important information!
DATES: The free contest opens on October 15 and closes on December 15th.
AGES: It’s for K-4 classrooms in the United States. Teachers can have their class either write the entry collaboratively or have students write individually and then have their class vote on which entry to submit. There’s only 1 entry allowed per class. Teachers can find the rules on the contest page.
Here’s a special trailer for students made by some extraordinary 5th graders in Atlanta. Teachers and parents can share this trailer with their K-4 writers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJdA6S6MLRE
Here is a trailer for teachers. The winning classrooms are filled with books in every format, as well as some other technology to help students be creative. Mackin Educational Resources, Tales2GO, Powells Books, Flipgrid, and Buncee.
PRIZES: Mrs. P wants everyone to know that she’s rounded up more prizes than ever this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the contest. Simon and Schuster is providing 10 copies of The Dictionary Caper. Past judges and authors Chris Grabenstein, Peter Reynolds, Josh Funk, Bonny Becker, and Shannon McClintock Miller are providing books, too.
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Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!