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On this page: General Contest Information | Art Contest | Writing Contest | Lesson Plans and Resources


Contest Information:

  • One Grand Prize will be awarded to the best overall individual entry chosen from all grade levels. If the grand prize is awarded to a group entry, the grand prize will be split equally among the group members.
  • Judging for both the art and writing contest is based on originality and interpretation of the theme.
  • Deadline: Jan. 12, 2018. Must be received by the deadline, so mail a few days earlier.
  • Please include the entry form with the entry.
  • Entries will not be returned unless requested before entry deadline.
  • Entries are limited to one per student in each contest.
  • Teachers (including home school teachers) will receive color participant certificates, ready for personalization, for each student who enters.
  • Students submitting entries directly to the OBA will also receive a certificate.
  • Target date to announce contest winners: February 2018.
  • Winning entries will be published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal and posted to the OBA website.
  • First- and second-place winners in each category will receive a framed award certificate in addition to prize money. First-place winners will be invited to an award presentation ceremony at the state Capitol, where each attending winner will receive his or her award. Second-place winners will be presented their awards by their local county bar association. Honorable mention winners will receive an award certificate in a presentation folder with a ribbon. Presentation arrangements for honorable mention recipients will vary by county.
  • Judges reserve the right to not award a prize for every grade level.

To mail entries, send to:

OBA Law Day Committee
P.O. Box 53036
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

To hand deliver entries, bring to:

Oklahoma Bar Center
1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, 73105

Questions? Email the Law Day Committee.


Art Contest

Grades Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten (includes T-1) coloring:

  • For each grade level, a first- and second- place winner are chosen
  • Transitional first-grade students will be judged within the "kindergarten" category.
  • First-place winners receive a $25 cash prize. Second-place winners will receive a $15 cash prize.
  • Honorable mention certificates will also be awarded.
  • Three coloring sheets to choose from; each student may pick one of the coloring sheets to enter.

Grades 1st through 12th free form art:

This is a free form art contest for students grades 1st through 12th. Entries will be an original piece of artwork from any medium. Examples of entries might be mixed media artwork, original music, photography, video, collage or anything else that relates to the contest theme.

  • First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for each grade level.
  • First-place winners in 1st through 5th grades will receive a $50 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 1st through 5th grades will receive a $25 cash prize.
  • First-place winners in 6th though 8th grades will receive a $100 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 6th through 8th grades will receive a $50 cash prize.
  • First-place winners in 9th through 12th grades will receive a $150 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 9th trough 12th grades will receive a $75 cash prize.
  • Honorable mention certificates will also be awarded.
  • Group submissions are accepted and will be judged at the grade level of the group member in the highest grade.
  • The Art Contest is flexible, but if you'd like inspiration or guidance for subject matter, see the writing prompts below.

Writing Contest

Grades 1st through 12th writing:

A writing contest is available for 1st through 12th grade. Students will respond to a prompt based on his or her grade level provided by the Oklahoma Bar Association Law Day Committee, or may submit an essay based on a prompt relating to the Law Day theme. Each prompt provided has been tailored to align with the Oklahoma State Department of Education social studies standards. Poetry and creative writing entries will also be accepted as part of the writing contest.

  • First-place and second-place prizes will be awarded for each grade level.
  • First-place winners in 1st through 5th grades will receive a $50 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 1st through 5th grades will receive a $25 cash prize.
  • First-place winners in 6th though 8th grades will receive a $100 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 6th through 8th grades will receive a $50 cash prize.
  • First-place winners in 9th through 12th grades will receive a $150 cash prize. 
  • Second-place winners in 9th trough 12th grades will receive a $75 cash prize.
  • Honorable mention certificates will also be awarded.
  • Writing prompts available below.

Writing Rubrics:

Elementary | Middle School | High School

Writing Contest Prompts: (Downloadable PDF):

Grade

Standards

Writing Prompt

Grade 1

American Heroes

  • Who was George Washington? What did he do for our country?
  • Who was Abraham Lincoln? What did he do for our country?
  • What makes a good leader?

Grade 2

Our Democratic Heritage

  • Why is it important to share power?
  • Why doesn’t America have a king or queen?
  • The United States government has three separate branches of power that work together. How would you get three people to work together?

Grade 3

Oklahoma Studies

  • What are Oklahoma’s three branches of government and why are they separate?
  • What is something the Oklahoma Legislative branch of government can do that the Executive and Judicial branches cannot?

Grade 4

United States Studies: Regional Geography and History – The Why of Where: Places, Patterns of Settlement, and Global Interactions

  • Why was the United States government established with three separate branches of power?
  • Why is it important for people of different races, ethnicities, and religions to be assured separation of powers in their government?
  • Describe how separation of powers help different kinds of people contribute to our community?

Grade 5

United States Studies: Creating the United States: The Foundation, Formation and Transformation of the American Nation, 1607-1806

  • Describe in what ways the United States Constitution established the three branches of the United States government?
  • What lessons did the founders of the United States learn about the need for separation of powers from the American Revolution?
  • What features of the Constitution embody “checks and balances?”

Grade 6

World Geography: The Western Hemisphere – The Why of Where: Places, Patterns of Settlement, and Global Interactions

  • Why are “checks and balances” in government important to safeguarding citizen’s rights?
  • Describe how America’s fusion of many different races, religions, and nationalities makes it important to have a government with distinct and separate powers?
  • Where does the principle of separation of powers come from, and why is it important?

Grade 7

World Geography: The Eastern Hemisphere: The Why of Where: Places, Patterns of Settlement, and Global Interactions

  • When do you think that having a separation of powers has been most important in American history, and why?
  • How does the United States’ system of separation of powers compare to the governing principles of other nations? 
  • Describe how having three branches of government protects the peoples’ rights in a democracy?

Grade 8

Creating the United States: The Foundation, Formation, and Transformation of the American Nation, 1754-1877

  • When do you think that having a separation of powers has been most important in American history, and why?
  • How does the United States’ system of separation of powers compare to the governing principles of other nations? 
  • Describe how having three branches of government protects the peoples’ rights in a democracy?

High School

Oklahoma History and Government – The Foundation, Formation, and Transformation of the State of Oklahoma
  • Discuss the “checks and balances” within Oklahoma’s three branches of government? 
Sociology – Formations and Patterns of Group Behavior
  • How do separation of powers and “checks and balances” impact the power of a democratic majority over a minority? 
United States Government – Freedom for All: Securing Rights and Defining Responsibilities
  • What is the role of the judicial branch in making sure laws are constitutional?
  • Did Abraham Lincoln exceed the limits of his Executive powers during his time as President? Explain why.
United States History – Creating the United States: The American Nation in Transformation, 1878 to the Present
  • Describe the continuing importance of “checks and balances” in the United States government?
  • What event or events in American History illustrates the importance of separation of powers?
United States History – Creating the United States: The American Nation in Transformation, 1878 to the Present
  • Describe the continuing importance of ”checks and balances“ in the United States government?
  • What event or events in American History illustrates the importance of separation of powers?
World History – Cultural Connections, Turning Points, and Transformation of the World into the Modern Era
  • How has separation of powers impacted America’s political and social culture?
World Human Geography – The Why of Where: Places, Patterns of Settlement, and Global Interactions
  • How does America’s system of “checks and balances” complicate or simplify the United States’ relationship with other governments?

Lesson Plans:

The lesson plans below coordinate with the Law Day theme and offer a great way for students to learn more about the topic. Each lesson plan includes a brief description of a key Law Day theme concept and an activity to help them put their knowledge to use. These will also be published in The Oklahoman as part of the Newspapers in Education program.

Other Resources:

Below are some excellent resources from iCivics, a free resource for teachers. The lessons and games are organized by grades, but many teachers cater the assignments, lessons and games to suite their age-appropriate needs.

Middle School (Grades 6-8) 

Foundations of Government: The Constitution: The Legislative Branch: Citizenship and Participation: American Development:

High School (Grades 9-12)

Foundations of Government: The Constitution: The Legislative Branch: Executive Branch: American Development: State Government: The Constitution:

Games