The Arrowhead

The student news site of Arrowhead Union High School

  • May 30WE WILL BE BACK FALL 2024! WE WILL BE BACK FALL 2024! WE WILL BE BACK FALL 2024! WE WILL BE BACK FALL 2024!
  • May 30LAST ARTICLES OF THE YEAR! LAST ARTICLES OF THE YEAR!! LAST ARTICLES OF THE YEAR!! LAST ARTICLES OF THE YEAR!!

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Two Arrowhead Students Place in the Listen to a Life Writing Contest

Juniors Jessica Becker and Jackson Clark both placed in the Legacy Project 2024 Listen to a Life writing contest. Becker’s piece won first place and Clark’s was chosen as runner up. 

 

According to the Legacy Project website, “the Legacy Project is an independent systems research, education, and innovation group [that] draws on multidisciplinary research in the natural and social sciences, as well as Indigenous worldviews and knowledge.” 

 

The first place winner receives a $100 price, according to the Legacy Project.

 

“I wrote about my Grandfather … because I was interested in his time that he served in Vietnam. I am happy that it was chosen as runner up because people will be able to see it and feel what he went through during the select time that I decided to write on,” says Clark. 

 

According to the Legacy Project, the Listen to a Life contest has been hosted for over 20 years, each year students 8 years old to 18 years old are encouraged to interview an older adult and write a 300 word maximum essay about an impactful story from the interview. 

 

“I wrote the story of a grandfriend of my family, the choice to write about this story was easy as it is unthinkable and really illustrates human compassion and selflessness,” says Becker. 

 

Becker and Clark wrote their pieces as an assignment in composition class with English teacher Becca McCann.

 

“I have students submit to this contest because I enjoy the theme and the requirements help us practice relevant writing skills. The importance of connecting with an elder, especially in an interview, gaining valuable knowledge about their life, and then telling their unique story in written form transcends classroom walls. It fosters intergenerational partnership, preserves history, and establishes the elder’s legacy,” says McCann.

 

According to the Arrowhead Course Guide, Composition class focuses on the writing process.

 

“The writing process started as brainstorming. I had to figure out who I wanted to interview and what it would be about. When I chose my grandfather, I interviewed him about a significant part of his life. From there I narrowed it down to the time in his life that interested me most. I then wrote the original draft and Mrs. McCann worked with me to revise and edit it to how I liked it and then I submitted it to the contest,” says Clark. 

 

According to McCann, composition students have been submitting to this contest for four years. 

 

“As a writing exercise, students get valuable practice crafting an engaging narrative, while also working under a difficult word limit—only 300 words—which forces them to narrow the focus of their narratives and be concise,” says McCann. 

 

In addition to the writing process, Composition also focused on important writing skills including brevity, clarity, word choice, and style, according to the Arrowhead Course Guide.

 

“Students’ writing processes differ, but I lead them all through the same lessons. Students begin by freewriting about the contest task and themes. Then, we pause as they finalize their interviewee and schedule the interview. After the interview, students revisit the data they collected and consider a theme or focus for their piece before drafting. After composing an initial draft, they seek feedback from myself and their peers, which they apply to their revisions,” says McCann. 

 

Although all composition students submitted to the contest, Becker and Clark were the only Arrowhead students recognized. 

 

“Jessica and Jackson both embraced writing as a process with this particular piece. They were patient, sought out feedback, and made substantial changes to their drafts. Jackson added a lot of stylistic elements in his revisions, which made his piece stand out, while Jessica rewrote her entire piece and redid her interview when she was unhappy with the initial data she collected. Their persistence paid off in high quality pieces, and I am happy they were recognized,” says McCann.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Arrowhead Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *