Seven years ago, I worked with then-Community Press Editor Theresa Herron to introduce a unique way to help teach persuasive writing to Milford sixth grade classes. To get students invested in the process and expose them to writing for a broader audience than just themselves and their teacher, we created a “persuasive column writing contest” where students compete and are judged by the community for how persuasively they can address a topic.
The class and teacher work together to choose a topic, and all students write on that topic. The teacher than chooses the top 10 papers. These go to three “community judges,” people just like you & me, who read the papers and decide which five of the ten are most persuasive – not necessarily based on how the papers are written, but on how the students use arguments and data to communicate their point of view.
These top five papers then go to the “final judges,” who are always three prominent community members. This year, our final judges were Mary Wolff, Miami Township Trustee; Amy Brewer, Milford City Councilperson; and Robin Coleman, Milford Librarian. These judges choose the winning paper plus two runners-up.
Then comes the fun part: the winning paper, plus a photo of the top three students, is published in the paper. This year, due to changes at the Community Press, the papers were published online only – and you can read them here!
Below are the photos of the top three students from each school, with a link to the winning paper from that school. I hope you’ll take the time to read these papers – not only are the topics very interesting, but you’ll see just how talented our Milford students are, and how well our sixth grade teachers prepare them for writing more complicated papers starting in Junior High.
Congratulations to these and all our students!
Boyd E. Smith: The most important ways to develop strong character
Charles E. Seipelt: School uniforms: good or gad?
Meadowview: Homework: prepares, teaches and brightens