Vocabulary challenge for English learners: write a story using our words of the day


Note: November Vocabulary Challenge winners are announced at the bottom of this article.

When you hear the words scramble, to fill and debris, does a story come to mind?

We want to read 50 word stories in which students incorporate some of the words of the day that we posted in December. We’ll be posting our favorite submissions as examples for the March challenge.

While English language learners are encouraged to participate in all of our vocabulary challenges, this month’s is a special opportunity open only to high school and high school students who are writers, readers and speakers of English. emerging.

Any student who is currently working towards English proficiency is eligible, including students in ELL and ESL courses or programs. Find more eligibility information below and email LNFeedback@nytimes.com if you have any questions.

All other students are still eligible to participate in our Video Vocabulary Challenge, which is open until January 12, as well as one of our other monthly Vocabulary Challenges.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary words published in December. Then create a 50 word text in which you use some of the vocabulary words. You can write a whole story around one word or include a few.

Submit your story by commenting on this article by January 31. Here is what we are looking for:

  • It is very important that you use each vocabulary word correctly according to its definition.

  • We are looking for entries that demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary word (s) you choose.

  • We are looking for creative and original writing.

Your text should be inspired by the words below. Each is linked to a Word of the Day article that includes the definition of the word and an example of how it was used in The New York Times. To find more usage examples, see the Vocabulary.com online dictionary.

to fill
to calm down
to avoid
clean slate

  • Your story should be 50 words or less and uses at least one of the vocabulary words listed.

  • Identify your vocabulary words by writing them in ALL IN CAPITALS. (See the bottom of this article for examples.)

  • Submit your entry as comment this post through 11:59 p.m. PT to January 31.

  • It is acceptable to use a word at a different tense or to use the plural of a word entered in the singular.

  • Eligibility: Students in ELL, ESL, ESOL, EAL, and EFL courses or programs are eligible, as well as any student who is currently working to become proficient in English. Email LNFeedback@nytimes.com if you have any questions.

  • Minimum age required: Middle school and high school students aged 13 and over in the US and Britain, and 16 and over elsewhere, can submit by commenting on this article. Teachers and parents can submit on behalf of middle school or high school students who do not meet these age requirements. If you are submitting on behalf of a student, please include the student’s name at the bottom of the comment.

  • Please submit only one story per student. You cannot edit your comment once it has been submitted.

Congratulations to the winners of our November challenge, who excelled in the precise use of each vocabulary word according to its definition. In addition to the winners below, we want to give honorable mentions to Sofía from Kuwait, who wrote a memorable tribute to Freddie Mercury, and Nissan from Dallas, whose story was a thriller.

Lincoln gonzález, 14, South Miami Middle Community School, South Miami, Florida.

Some time ago, at my ALMA MATER, I was in a heated debate with a friend of mine. It was for something stupid; I don’t remember VERBATIM. He was so FERVID about it; he almost exploded with passion. I finally IMPROVED the situation, and we apologized profusely. We are still friends today!

Kate rowberry, 17, Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay, Calif.

As I meandered through the vegetable aisle, I met my DOPPELGÄNGER looking at the peppers. To ALIGN the embarrassment, I hurried past her, but we inadvertently found ourselves in the same checkout line. My LUGUBRIOUS lookalike turned to me and told me VERBATIM: “You look like my twin sister who recently passed away.

Sarah pierson, 15, Hoggard High School, Wilmington, North Carolina

I had my head bowed as I meandered through the streets. Bonk! I inadvertently met someone! I STEADY my step. Don’t look back, don’t look back. I turned around. I met the FERVID look of an old man. I curled up before running away, never looking back.


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