Annual 2017 Racial Essay Contest Prompts Announced

Annual 2017 Racial Essay Contest Prompts Announced
Posted on 01/18/2017
Annual 2017 Racial Essay Contest Prompts AnnouncedPort Angeles, Wash. – The writing prompts for the annual 2017 Racial Equality Essay Contest, grades kindergarten through sixth, have been announced by essay coordinators.   Participation is voluntary except for fifth grade. 

Students in the Port Angeles School District can enter essays for the contest using the appropriate grade prompts. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to ask their teachers about entering an essay in the contest. Principals from each elementary school will be sending in their top five essays for judging from each grade level.

With Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of racial equality being a focal point for the contest, students are given various prompts which range in difficulty level according to grade level. The 2017 prompts are as follows: 

Kindergarten:  Draw a picture of yourself and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Write about what you do to make the world a fair place. (Brainstorm ideas of what you may do at home or in the classroom or the playground.)

Grade 1:  Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted everyone to be treated fairly.  Explain why it is important to treat others fairly and how it makes you feel.  Use examples from your own life, from books you have read, or from discussions to help you explain.

Grade 2:  Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted peace for everyone.  Explain what you could do to make your school more peaceful, and how being kind and thoughtful makes our school have less conflict.

Grade 3:  Martin Luther King, Jr. was someone who inspired others to be better people.  Explain what was amazing about Martin Luther King, Jr.   Use evidence from the text to support your opinion. (Brainstorm a list of traits with class, such as brave, inspiring, kind, etc.  Have students choose one of these traits and use evidence from the text to support their opinion.)

Grade 4:  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a special person who did great things to make our world a better place.  Write an opinion paper, using evidence from the text explain what Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished and why in your opinion those accomplishments make him a great man. (Use a video and an article and give students a graphic organizer to take notes.)
Trait  Evidence from Video  Evidence from Text
Grade 5 (Not Volunteer – Midyear Benchmark!)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was considered a hero.  Heroes share certain personality characteristics. Choose one or two characteristics that support why MLK is considered a hero. Use evidence from the sources (video, article and quotes) to support your choices. Be sure to cite your sources in your essay.
MLK Jr. Characteristic Characteristic Characteristic Evidence of that characteristic for person that you know
Grade 6:  Martin Luther King, Jr. was someone whose words inspired others and made a lasting impact on our country.  Choose one quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. and explain how that quote is important to you and how it could make a positive difference in your life.

Principals will submit essays by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017 to Central Services for final judging on March 1 by committee.  Essays are to have the student name, grade level, school and teacher noted on the essay. 

Winners will be honored in an award presentation ceremony at Port Angeles City Hall on Tuesday, March 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.  

Accompanying photo shows the 2016 essay winners after the City Hall ceremony.

For additional assistance, contact:

Tina Smith-O’Hara
Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
Port Angeles School District