Bill of Rights Day

Student Contest – $500 Cash Prize! – DEADLINE OCT 30

The United States Courts within the Seventh and Eighth Circuits are hosting the Third Annual Bill of Rights Day Contest and we want YOU to be a part of it!

Students in Grades 5-12 from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are encouraged to submit art and essays on the importance of the Bill of Rights. See detailed prompts and guidelines below.  Be as creative as you like!

District semi-finalists from each grade level will receive a $50 prize and advance to the finals.  Grand prize winners will be awarded a $500 cash prize, be able to take part in a virtual award ceremony with a federal judge on Wednesday, December 7, and have their name and submission shared on the websites of the participating United States District Courts.

Semi-finalists will be notified before Thanksgiving and grand prize winners will be announced at the LIVE virtual event on December 7.  Must be present to win the grand prize.  Event registration information below.

TEACHERS: All teacher names submitted will be entered into a raffle. Randomly selected teachers will receive gift cards. The more students who list a teacher’s name on the form, the more chances the teacher has to win!

  • Click HERE to download a printable contest flyer.
  • See HERE for a list of educational resources to help you teach about the Bill of Rights.
  • There is a bulk-submit option for teachers submitting on behalf of a class. To inquire about bulk submissions, email EducationTeam@ca8.uscourts.gov

CONTEST PROMPTS AND GUIDELINES

  • Prompt for GRADES 5-8:

    Imagine that you are talking to a friend from another country or a visitor from outer space who has never heard of the Bill of Rights. Help them understand the importance of this document by crafting an essay, creative writing submission, video, multimedia presentation, or artwork such as a poem, song, drawing, or painting that answers ALL of the following questions:

    1. Why is the Bill of Rights an important part of our democracy?
    2. What part of the Bill of Rights is most important to you and why?
    3. How do the protections provided by the Bill of Rights impact your everyday life?

    Submission Guidelines for GRADES 5-8:

    • Essays and creative writing pieces must be between 250-500 words.
    • Videos and multimedia presentations must be less than 5 minutes.
    • Drawings and paintings must be accompanied by a 50–75-word artist’s statement that explains how the submission addresses the three questions above.

    Be as creative as you’d like! Check out our tips for winning submissions below.

  • Prompt for GRADES 9-12:

    The Supreme Court of the United States has issued many landmark rulings on the rights of citizens. Choose one of the following cases, and craft an essay, creative writing submission, video, multimedia presentation, or artwork such as a poem, song, drawing, or painting about your chosen court case:

    Case choices (choose 1):

    • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969)
    • New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)
    • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
    • Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
    • Schenck v. United States (1919)
    • New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)

    Your submission should address ALL of the following questions:

    1. Briefly describe the case and the decision of the Supreme Court.
    2. Does the case increase or challenge your understanding of the legal protections available to students in the Bill of Rights? Thoroughly explain.
    3. Explain how the decision in this case applies to your own rights.
    4. Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling? Why or why not?

    Be sure to cite specific passages from the Supreme Court opinion to support your argument.

    Submission Guidelines for GRADES 9-12:

    • Essays and creative writing pieces must be between 500-800 words.
    • Videos and multimedia presentations should be less than 5 minutes.
    • Drawings and paintings must be accompanied by a 200-word artist’s statement that explains how the submission addresses the four questions above.

    Be as creative as you’d like! Check out our tips for winning submissions below.


Rules and General Guidelines

Eligibility: Contest is open to all students in grades 5-12 within the Seventh and Eighth Circuits – Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Entry: Entries MUST be submitted using the online entry form.  If information is missing from the form, the entry will not be considered.

There is a bulk-submit option for teachers submitting on behalf of their classes.  To inquire about bulk submissions, email EducationTeam@ca8.uscourts.gov

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted during the fall semester, through 5:00 pm on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

General Guidelines:

  • All entries must be the original work of the student(s).
  • Group entries will be accepted only if all group members submit an individual entry form.  It is up to the contestants to fairly divide any prize amounts they may win.
  • Only one entry per student.
  • Entries with incomplete entry forms will not be considered.
  • No photography or computer-generated art will be accepted as artwork.

 

Tips for Winning SubmissionsClick HERE

Online Entry FormClick HERE to enter the contest and upload your entry. Do not complete the online entry form until you have your art or essay ready to attach. Entry forms without a file attachment will not be considered.

 


“The Bill of Rights and You” Virtual Event – Wed Dec 7

Even if you choose not to enter the contest, all are welcome for the virtual event on Wednesday, December 7 at 6 PM Central.

This event is designed for families but all are welcome.  Participants will hear from a federal judge and learn who won the student contest and the teacher raffle drawing.

Registration is required.  Click HERE to register in Zoom.

Click HERE to download a printable event flyer.

Valuable prizes will be awarded!  Be sure to register for the webinar with your correct name and email address – there will be a drawing for attendance prizes.  DO NOT REGISTER WITH A STUDENT’S SCHOOL EMAIL ADDRESS.