English Language Arts is a very important subject in K-12 schools. To help support teachers in this venture, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is hosting a new writing competition called A Bushel of Stories.
The objective is simple: students in grades 3-8 are invited to write a story about food or agriculture with a chance at becoming a real, published author!
The new contest comes with a series of lesson plans. There are six total lessons, three for grades 3-5 and three for grades 6-8, that help teach key ideas about parts of a story, book vocabulary, and how to write a story. Each of the six lessons have also been written as virtual lesson plan format.
What are the rules?
All Iowa students in grades 3-8 are welcome to participate. Students should write a story about food or agriculture that include accurate depictions of agriculture (though fiction stories are allowed). Final projects must be submitted by March 1 to be eligible to win the contest.
For the full rules and guidelines, please read this document.
What are the prizes?
There will be six students awarded. First, second, and third place for the elementary division (grades 3-5), and the same for the middle school division (grades 6-8).
First place students in each division will become a real, published author, and their story will be semi-professionally illustrated, printed, and made available to Iowa educators free of charge. First place students will also receive a $100 cash prize, a plaque, and a certificate for the teacher.
Second place students will have their name and book title noted on the first place winner’s book. They will also receive $75, a plaque, and a certificate for their teacher. Third place students will also have their name and book title noted on the first place winner’s book, will receive $50, a plaque, and a certificate.
How do I get started?
No registration is necessary for this competition, but several resources are available to you!
Begin the program by reviewing the full rules and guidelines. Each division has slightly different requirements, and you will want to make sure your students’ work is eligible.
Next, consider working through the lesson plans available to you. Each lesson plan is aligned to Iowa’s English Language Arts standards and the National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes. These lesson plans will help your students understand concepts like elements of a plot, how to edit and revise writing, how to write a summary, how to research, and much, much more!
These lesson plan resources paired with IALF’s Lending Library give educators everything they need to be able to execute this program. The skills students will learn by participating will help them be more effective writers, readers, and communicators overall.
Don’t miss out! We’d love to read your students’ stories in just a few short months.