And this one, although I haven't read it, looks like it would serve really well!
As you read and activate language and ideas, chart them out! These are a couple sample charts.
One of my teachers built this chart with her kids to help them think of options.
Each teacher selected one piece to represent their class. I am not sure how they did this. I only had to choose between five or six for each grade level and it was excrutiating. How they chose between twenty or so kids is pretty impressive.
I mean, I know they used a rubric. I just think it's hard.
From there, we chose a grade level winner. This posed another challenge. I am working on it, but I am not yet a fluent Spanish speaker or reader, as many (over half) of our students are. Kids in grades K-4 wrote their pieces in Spanish if they were in a bilingual classroom setting. I had to call in for (bilingual) reinforcements to help me judge the pieces to make sure everybody had a fair shot!
Each grade level winner received a "First Place Winner" certificate and each class winner received a "Distinguished Writer Award".
This piece, albeit short and simple, was especially moving. The student who wrote this piece is not used to winning much of anything, really, and his smile stretched from ear to ear when he went up to receive his certificate.
Here's an adorable display that one of our teachers created out of their students' work!