Thursday, April 3, 2014

Finding The Right Words

Abby Hudock
A team of twelfth graders representing Pottsgrove High School won highest honors in this year's WordWright Challenge, tying for 15th place out of 596 school teams from across the country.

Senior Abby Hudock was one of only four twelfth graders in the entire country to earn a perfect score.

Seniors Chris Haslam, Anthony Pond and Jay Young, along with sophomore Janine Faust, rounded out Pottsgrove's high scoring team, which was supervised by longtime Pottsgrove teacher Todd Kelly.

The WordWright Challenge is a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.

The score was earned in the Challenge's third meet, held in February and involved more than 69,000 students from across the country.

The premise behind the WordWright Challenge is that attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students acquire in school.

The texts students must analyze can range from short fiction by Eudora Welty or John Steinbeck to poety as old as Shakespeare's or as recent as Margaret Atwood's.

Like the questions on the verbal SAT and advanced placement exams in both English language and English literature, the questions posed by the WordWright Challenge ask students both to recognize the emotional and/or rational logic of a piece of writing, and to notice the ways in which a writer's style shapes and shades his or her meaning.

The texts for the third meet this year were a poem by Alistair Reid for ninth and 10th graders and a sonnet by Robert Frost for 11th and 12th graders.

The students will compete in one more WordWright meet during the coming months and medals and certificates will be awarded in June to those who have achieved or progressed the most in the course of the year.

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