NIE Geography Connections Writing Contest

You are invited to contribute an article for the Newspapers/Media in Education Geography Connections Program. Articles will be selected by representatives of the Connecticut Geographic Alliance and the Hartford Courant for publication during the 2017-2018 school year.  You may see examples of articles published during the 2015-2017 school years on the Hartford Courant

Winners will be awarded:

Deadline:   August 15, 2017

Requirements:  The Geography Connections NIE program articles 


City/Country/Place View (Introduction):   250-350 words:  The introduction should let the reader know WHAT the article is about and should grab the reader. This section will set the stage for your article and should contain some background information and/or a “did you know….” hook. If you have experience in the location you chose, please feel free to share photos that you don’t mind being published with the article.  Close-up photos with high contrast work the best, but some landscapes may be used.  Keep in mind that you must have the rights on the photographs before they may be published.  Also consider that the paper may not be able to use the photographs due to page layout and spacing.

Did You Know? 100 - 150 words. This section should include interesting trivia about the place you are describing. It may include information about the national animal or flower, a unique festival, a tourist site or geographic feature, or other thing that would be interesting to a middle-school student.  Include at least three facts.

Mapping Activity:  75-100 words.  What geographic activity can be created with information from your article? Keep in mind, you may include more than one activity than the word count will allow, since once the text is placed on the page by the graphic artist, we can get a better idea of how much we can include on the page. Just know we may need to edit this section for space.  We also can direct students/teachers to the website for more interaction and extra activities. So though it may appear to be cut from your article, it may appear as a link to the Hartford Courant website.   For example: Romans built aqueducts to supply water to cities, especially necessary during times of drought. Why were arches used to support the structure? Why was gravity needed?  Try building your own aqueduct in the classroom!   To find out how, please check out

Curricular Connections:  Indicate the Common Core literacy standard(s) covered in your article (  Please use the Common Core strands as it will cover language arts, science and social studies. You may choose one standard, but please include one from grades 4, 5, 6, 7 AND 8.

Take Five:  75-100 words. Word count is for this entire section, not just each theme. This is the section to connect the place to the five themes of geography: LOCATION, PLACE, HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION, MOVEMENT, and REGION.

Online Resources:   Include all of your resources, and be sure to include the actual URL of website sources.  If you know of others that would be helpful to teachers/students, please compile a list, and describe why the link is helpful.   For example:  Geographically, Pearl Harbor was a strategic location to involve the United States into World War II.  For more information about the Pearl Harbor Memorial, please visit the National Parks website:

Using the News or Community Connections:  50 -100 words.  If possible, connect your piece to current events.  Knowing that news changes moment-by-moment, the newspaper may make a connection for you.  However, knowing that this piece is running in the newspaper, try to find a way to connect to recent events.    i.e.  In today’s Hartford Courant, there is an article about the vice-President of BP promising payment to victims of the oil spill. Do you think paying people for the environment is enough? You may also wish to connect it to local communities, a topic less time- or event-sensitive.  i.e. Although the author known as Mark Twain lived in Hartford, he traveled around the country with many places claiming him as their own. Research through to see where Mark Twain traveled.


Submission Information:

Please use the above description as your checklist/rubric for article submission. Check that all of your information is absolutely accurate and factual. Once you are confident the requirements have been met, the piece may be submitted digitally to CGA’s Sarah Stolfi (

Please include:


If you have questions about the NIE/MIE program, please feel free to contact Sarah Stolfi of CGA for more information. You may reach Sarah by email: or by telephone at 860.430.1363