PBS KIDS Writers Contest 2014

Expand/Collapse PBS KIDS Writers Contest 2014


The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is open to any K-3 student that wants to write and illustrate their own story. This special resource collection is designed to support educators as they work with students to brainstorm story ideas, hone their writing skills, and prepare their Contest entries.

• To access worksheets, a writing guide, and related worksheets, visit the PBS KIDS Writers Contest resource page and select “student handout."
• To learn about more about the PBS KIDS Writers Contest, submit a story, read winning entries, and try out the story mash-up tool, visit pbskids.org/writerscontest.

  • PBS KIDS Writers Contest: Read & Create Stories

    The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is open to any child in grades K-3 who wants to write and illustrate their own story. You can help children prepare for the contest by encouraging them to:

    • Read stories by other students and create new stories using the story creation tool on the PBS KIDS Writers Contest site at PBS KIDS.
    • Use the support materials that teach students the elements of story writing found under the "Student Handout" tab below.
    • Take a look at additional materials on our classroom resource collection page.

    Student Handouts include:
    • Writing Guide
    • Caption Writing
    • Get Ready to Write Worksheet
    • Illustrations Worksheet
    • Brainstorming Worksheet
    • Revising Checklist

    For more information, including details on entering the contest, visit the PBS KIDS Writers Contest website!

    Grades: K-3
  • Comic Cam: Expressive Reading

    Jennifer Barber introduces the different characters she created for her stories when she was seven years old. She reads one of her stories using different voices to differentiate between the three characters. This resource teaches students the basics of character creation, narrative structure, and presentational reading.

    Grades: K-3
  • Rosemary Wells

    Rosemary Wells is the author and illustrator of delightful books for youngsters. In this interview, Wells talks about creating books for children and their adult readers that will stand up to being read over and over again. Watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Rosemary Wells, or see a selected list of her children's books.

    Grades: 2-7
  • Storybook Creator

    Encourage students to play this Super WHY! game, Storybook Creator, to practice reading and writing and discover that they have the power to change the story! Students first pick a story that they would like to work with and then have the opportunity to change the story as they go along to make it their own!

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Mungu's Revenge

    Listen in as the Kratt brothers and Allison tell each other creature stories which are a magical mixture of wildlife facts, African myths, and Australian aboriginal legends. Chris tells viewers how the rhino got its horn from Mungu, lord of all living things. Allison tells how the duckbilled platypus was asked by mammals, fish, and birds to join their groups but decided to remain true to itself, as one of the world's only egg-laying mammals. And Martin tells how the ostrich, unable to fly, was given fast, powerful legs to run away from danger.
    Grades: 1-4
  • Interactive Writing

    This resource group includes two videos highlighting the efforts of students in a kindergarten class to work on their writing skills. The videos show students writing a caption for a picture and writing a difficult sentence.

    Grades: K-2,13+
  • Elements of a Story

    A good story is like a tasty soup. In this interactive from Annenberg Learner, watch and listen to an interactive version of "Cinderella," and explore the different ingredients and elements that make the story interesting.

    Grades: 2-5,13+
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: The Visualizing Game

    The Visualizing Game is part of WPSU’s Blue Ribbon Readers, a collection of seven interactive games designed to help elementary school students gain reading comprehension competences. Throughout the game students may practice creating and recalling mental images of the text. Some of the challenges involve static images and others use serial images—or "movies in the head."

    Grades: K-5
  • Ruby Sings the Blues

    This video segment from Between the Lions features an animated story about a little girl who is always very loud but learns how to control the volume of her voice through singing. Ruby has a very loud voice. Her parents and teacher try to teach her how to speak more softly. Out on the playground, Ruby is loud again, and her schoolmates complain about how loud she talks. Nobody wants to play with Ruby because she is so loud. Ruby gets sad, and doesn't speak at all on her way home from school. A saxophone player and a jazz singer visit Ruby and ask if they can teach her how to use her voice to sing. Ruby takes singing lessons after school every day. The neighborhood now loves to hear Ruby sing. All words are seen on screen. Featured vocabulary include: loud, quiet, volume, singing, yell, and holler. This video segment provides a resource for Fluency, Vocabulary, and Language and Vocabulary Development.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Jamaica Louise James

    In this story from Between the Lions, Jamaica Louise James is an eight-year-old girl who loves to draw and paint but doesn’t like subway stations. She decides to surprise her grandmother, who works at the subway station, by painting beautiful pictures and hanging them on the station walls.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: The Detective's Notebook Game

    This WPSU interactive The Detective’s Notebook Game is designed to get students to think about what they are reading and to answer questions that require inferencing. In the game the student has access to an amateur detective's notebook in which several clues or events have been observed. From these clues, some inference or prediction can be made. The game is part of Blue Ribbon Readers, a collection of games designed to help elementary school students learn to read.

    Grades: K-5
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: Making Connections

    In this <strong>WPSU</strong> lesson <strong>Making Connections</strong>,elementary students will move toward understanding and comprehending text more effectively by making connections with their own background knowledge. The lesson is part of the <em>Blue Ribbon Readers</em> collection. 

     

    Grades: K-5
  • Martha to the Rescue

    You can use this video for Session 2 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha yearns to be a hero just like her favorite TV star. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, make a SuperPup puppet, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

    Key vocabulary: hero, rescue, brave, courageous

    Grades: K-1,4-5
  • Black Ear, Blond Ear

    In this online book from the International Children's Digital Library, two groups of cats, the blonde cats and the black cats, live on different sides of the river. They agree that a black cat will lead all the cats half the year, and a blond cat the other half of the year, but fights still break out between the two groups. Suddenly a gray cat is born, he is wise, and all the cats like him. They decide to make him the leader all year long. The situation is calm for a while and then fights break out. The gray cat orders all cats to take off their ears and give them to him. When the cats are given back their ears, the black cats are given the blond cats' ears, and vice versa. Suddenly each group hears voices they never heard before, the voices of the other group. They needed to exchange ears to be able to hear each other.

    Author—Khaled Jumm'a; Illustrator—Foutinie Dedwase. Also available to read in Arabic.

    Grades: PreK-4
  • Red Shoes

    This video segment from Weston Woods is a contemporary or modern version of an old tale called “The Red Shoes.” The original tale was written in 1845 by Hans Christian Anderson, a famous children’s author, and is about a young girl's obsession with a pair of magical red shoes. In this portion of the modern story, a shoemaker introduces the story of Lisa, her best friend and how they did everything together.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: The Questioning Cube Game

    The Questioning Cube Game is part of WPSU’s Blue Ribbon Readers, a collection of seven interactive games designed to help elementary school students gain reading comprehension competences. In the game students practice asking questions about short stories or passages of expository prose. The practice of generating and answering their own questions before, during and after reading, helps students actively create solid mental connections.

    Grades: K-5
  • Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash

    In this segment from Between the Lions, Cleo reads the story Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash. This read-aloud illustrates how children learn through their interactions with books: making predictions, talking about the story as it is being read, playing with its rhyming words, and learning about new word meanings.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Identifying Supporting Evidence from a Text - What is a Hero?

    Using evidence found in a story, students identify what characteristics make a hero.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: Determining Important Ideas

    In this <strong>WPSU</strong> lesson <strong>Determining Important Ideas</strong>, elementary students explore how to become better readers through the identification of main ideas, supporting details, and author&rsquo;s message. The lesson is part of the <em>Blue Ribbon Readers</em> collection.

    Grades: K-5
  • Grace Lin

    Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books — from picture books to young adult novels — for kids. Most of Grace's books are about the Asian-American experience, she believes, "Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal." You can watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Grace Lin, or see a selected list of her children's books.

    Grades: PreK-7

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