Templeton Essay and Playwriting Contest



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Templeton Essay and Playwriting Contest

  • Launch of Contest in December 2014

  • Submissions due by January 31, 2015

  • Winners announced by mid-March, 2015

  • Performance of play on July 2, 2014

6th, 8th, and 12th grades

6th, 8th, and 12th grades will answer a question about America’s founding documents and protecting individual freedom. Example: “What do people misunderstand or not know that is critical to protecting fundamental freedoms?”

Year 1 Delaware Valley Region

Year 2 Mid-Atlantic Region

Year 3 National

Website Copy (BELOW)


Founding Freedoms Essay and Playwriting Contest


The National Constitution Center is proud to host the Founding Freedoms Essay and Playwriting Contest, a new program designed to increase awareness of the rights set forth in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independenceand to engage students to think creatively about our nation's great history, the Constitution and protecting individual freedom.

Students in each of the 6th, 8th, and 12th grades are encouraged to participate by submitting an essay that responds to a grade-specific prompt. 12th-grade students also have the option of writing a play that, if chosen as the winning submission, will be performed live at the Constitution Center by professional actors. This contest is currently open to students from the Delaware Valley region in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as registered home-study programs. The Center will expand the contest to the Mid-Atlantic region in 2015 and to the entire country in 2016. Essays and plays will be judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, creativity, organization of materials, citations, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness. Essays should have an introduction, body and conclusion with arguments clearly supported.



Essay and Playwriting Contest Timeline:

  • December 2014 – January 2015: Essay and playwriting Contest will open and submissions will be accepted through our online submission platform.

  • January 31, 2015 at 11:59pm: Last day for submissions.

  • March 14, 2015: On the eve of James Madison’s Birthday, Essay and Playwriting contest winners will be announced in a formal award ceremony with all winners and their teachers present.

  • July 2, 2015: The winner of the Playwriting contest will be in attendance for the first performance of their production.

PRIZES AND AWARD CEREMONY

First- and second-place prizes will be awarded to the top two essay submissions in each of the grade level competitions – 6th grade, 8th grade, and 12thgrade. First and second place prizes will also be awarded to the top two play submissions (playwriting is only open to 12th grade students). Aside from the monetary prizes below, the winning submissions will also be incorporated into town hall debates the following year. Every student participant will receive a certificate of participation from the National Constitution Center.

 

Essay Contest Prizes:

12th Grade Essay Contest Winner



  • First Place: $2,500 to the student and $250 to the teacher. Travel and accommodations to student, teacher and parent/guardian to the March 14th, 2015 awards ceremony. Second Place: $1,000 to the student.

8th Grade Essay Contest Winner

  • First Place: $1,000 to the student and $250 to the teacher. Travel and accommodations to student, teacher and parent/guardian to the March 14th, 2015 awards ceremony. Second Place: $500 to the student.

6th Grade Essay Contest Winner

  • First Place: $500 to the student and $100 to the teacher. Travel and accommodations to student, teacher and parent/guardian to the March 14th, 2015 awards ceremony. Second Place: $100 to the student.

Playwriting Contest Prizes:

12th Grade Playwriting Contest Winner



  • First Place: $2,500 to the student and $250 to the teacher. Travel and accommodations to student, teacher and parent/guardian to the March 14th, 2015 awards ceremony and the July 2nd public performance.

  • Second Place: $1000 to the student.

ENTRY RULES

Essays or plays not satisfying the minimum requirements of the prompts will be rejected and not considered for a prize.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 31st at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be notified by email by Monday, March 1st.

The 2014–2015 Founding Documents Essay Contest is open. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2015 at 11:59pm.. Additional information can be found HERE. (Contest info and rubric)



Essays will be judged by the Scoring Rubric found on the above.

Please complete the following form and attach to your entry. If you have any questions about the contest, please contact education@constitutioncenter.org

Contestant Name

Contestant Grade (can only pick 6th, 8th or 12th)

Entry Type (Essay or Play)

Essay Title, School Name

School Phone Number

Teacher Name

Teacher email

Contestant Home Address

Address 2, City, State and Zip

Parent/Guardian Name

Parent/Guardian Phone

Parent/Guardian email:



Essay Submission-please attach your essay here. Files can be loaded in X,X, or X format. (Scott what types of formats are best?)

I certify that this is an original research project constituting only my work and that I am the sole author. If so, please select. “yes”. I also grant the National Constitution Center permission to reproduce my essay or play for non-commercial use on the internet, in live production, and/or in print publications.



Essay and Playwriting Prompts:

6th Grade Essay Prompt:

How are the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights relevant to your life? {Minimum of 300 words}



8th Grade Essay Prompt:

What is the relationship between the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights? {Minimum of 500 words}


12th Grade Students have to option of completing the essay contest OR the playwriting contest.
12th Grade Essay Prompt:

The National Constitution Center displays the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Why do people consider these the documents of freedom? How do these documents work together to define and protect our rights? {Minimum of 1,000 words}


12th Grade Playwriting Prompt-

Write a play imagining how Mrs. Powel might have reacted to Dr. Franklin’s advice that “You,” the citizen, is ultimately responsible for upholding the principles of the new government while exploring the significance of Franklin’s statement and the advice he was giving the new nation."




Write a play depicting the conversation that ensued, exploring the significance of Franklin’s statement and the advice he was giving the new nation. A detailed playwriting prompt can be downloaded HERE.


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