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Learning How To Write A Great Essay Could Pay Off

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Essay House in Aylmer, Ont.
This is the house that could be purchased with an excellent essay (and $100).

If you can write an excellent persuasive essay, you may be able to get a three-bedroom house for $100.

Calvin and Diana Brydges live in Aylmer, Ontario but they plan on moving to Barrie, Ont.

For the past two years, they have been trying to sell their house, without luck.

Then they had a creative idea.

They would hold an essay contest, with the house going to the winning entry.

The winning entry will be the essay that best answers the question, “why will this home benefit you?”

The house is worth about $300,000. The Brydges will sell their home to the writer of the winning essay, as long as they get 3,000 essays. Each essay writer will pay $100 to submit their essay.

If the couple doesn’t get 3,000 essays by the end of August they will give everyone their money back (and not sell the house).

So far, they’ve received about 200 essays, including some from as far away as Japan and Australia.

Some of the stories have been very moving. However, the Brydges say they’re not necessarily looking for a sad story as much as they are a persuasive one.

The house is 2,400 square feet, it has a swimming pool and a large backyard.

Adults can get rules about the contest, and enter it from the couple’s Facebook page, “Essay House.”

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What does it mean to be ‘persuasive’?

If you were to enter the contest, what argument would you use to persuade Calvin and Diana Brydges to give you their house?

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
What do you think about the Brydges’ idea? Do you think it is a good one? Why or why not?

Primary
Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Junior
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Intermediate
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Nouns and Verbs
Sometimes the same word can be either a noun or a verb, depending on the sentence in which it is used. For example, the word ‘moving’ can be both.

Read the following two sentences and identify whether ‘moving’ is a noun or a verb. How do you know?
1. “Some of the stories have been very moving.”
2. “Calvin and Diana Brydges live in Aylmer, Ontario but they plan on moving to Barrie, Ont.”

Bonus: Math Prompt
Why do you think the Brydges will only sell their house if they receive 3,000 essays?