Four students representing Divine Savior Academy recently won high national honors in this year’s WordWright Challenge, a competition for American high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.
In the year’s first meet, freshman Jaxson Landwehr made only a single mistake and placed among the 46 highest-scoring ninth graders in the entire country. Others at the school who also earned outstanding results in the meet were freshman Isabella Gutierrez, junior Rosalia Russoniello, and senior Genesis Henriquez. More than 64,000 high school students from 48 states entered the meet. The school’s participation was overseen by Ryan Kirchoff, Divine Savior’s High School English Chair.
“The WordWright Challenge perfectly supplements the rigorous, college-prep English curriculum here at Divine Savior Academy. Both the texts and analysis questions better prepare students for the English skills they will need to be successful college students,” comments Kirchoff.
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 for the Challenge can range from short fiction by Eudora Welty or John Updike to poetry as old as Shakespeare’s or as recent as Margaret Atwood’s, and to essays as classic as E.B. White’s or as current as James Parker’s cultural commentary in??The Atlantic.??Though the texts vary widely in voice, subject, tone, and length, they have one thing in common: style. All use language skillfully to convey layers and shades of meaning not always apparent to students on a first or casual reading. Like the questions on the verbal SAT I, the SAT II in English Literature, and the 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 meaning. Because the WordWright Challenge is a classroom activity and not a college-entrance exam, however, it can be a learning experience, not just a high hurdle. After completing a Challenge, classes are encouraged to talk about the texts and the answers to the multiple-choice questions, and are also given additional topics for open-ended discussion and/or written response.
About Divine Savior Academy
With campuses in Doral and Delray Beach, Divine Savior Academy serves students in PreK3-12th grade with college-prep education in a Christian environment. With over 165 years of academic experience, the Academy is a member of one of the largest private school systems in the country. To learn more or to schedule a private tour, please visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com.??