Last year, I was inspired by this pin I saw on Pinterest of 2 sentence horror stories. I pinned it away on my "Marian the Librarian" board, thinking eventually it might morph into some sort of interesting contest. This year, the at the beginning of the year, I was trying to put together an outline of my library programming for the year when I stumbled along this pin again. I decided to throw it into my October library programs and create a 2 Sentence Scary Story Contest. In addition to this, on Prime Day I managed to snag a $40 Kindle Fire, so I was able to offer that as a prize!
Here's how the whole contest was run and put together to make it a manageable feat!
Now what are the nuts and bolts for how exactly all of that got accomplished?!
First, I met with all the English teachers at a department meeting and told them about my idea, encouraging them to use it in their classes as a warm-up or an extra credit opportunity. The teachers were great, and even some of them thought of it as an opportunity to re-teach the use of semicolons!
Then I created a few things to get students start. I created a Google Form for students to submit their 2 Sentence Scary Story, I created a short 2 minute video through Animoto of some examples to get them inspired, and then I compiled all of that into the following presentation that I pushed out to the English teachers.
As you can see in the above presentation that I shared with all of the English teachers, I have the timeline for the contest, an embedded You Tube video of the examples I created in Animoto, and a shortened URL for students to enter on Chromebooks or a phone. to enter into the contest.
We set up a a display in our main display area with a few book spine pumpkins, ghosts, and monsters to give it a festive edge! At first, the cards on the display had examples to inspire the students, but eventually we started getting enough entries in to display some good 2 Sentence Scary Stories in the library. This is when I started going through the Google Sheet created by the Google Form and put the qualifying stories in blue text so they stood out. Then I created a template in Google Slides for the good 2 sentence scary stories, and my assistant went through the Google Sheet and copied and pasted the stories into the template. Eventually, we ended up with around 30 good stories to display in the library as contenders for the top 10.
Right now, we are in the midst of voting. I will update this blog post when we crown a winner on Halloween! This has been an amazing contest so far, and I'm so glad I went through all the trouble of putting it together!
UPDATE: We crowned out winner! Here is the winning 2 Sentence Scary Story! The young lady who wrote it was THRILLED with her Kindle Fire!
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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