Teaching Students About The Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for achievements in journalism, literature, and music in the United States. Named after journalist Joseph Pulitzer, the prize has been awarded annually since 1917. Teachers can help students better understand the significance of the Pulitzer Prize and its contribution to American culture.
Here are some ways teachers can teach students about the Pulitzer Prize:
1. Explain the history and importance of the Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is named after Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher. Pulitzer began his career as a journalist and eventually purchased The New York World newspaper in 1883. He was a strong advocate for investigative journalism and used the newspaper to expose corruption and other injustices. Pulitzer left a bequest to Columbia University to establish the Pulitzer Prizes, recognizing achievements in journalism, literature, drama, and music.
The Pulitzer Prize is significant because it recognizes excellence in these fields and is considered one of the highest honors for American artists and writers. Teachers can explain the importance of journalistic integrity, the role of literature in society, and the impact of music as a cultural medium.
2. Explore previous Pulitzer Prize winners
Teachers can encourage students to explore past Pulitzer Prize winners in literature, journalism, and music. They can research the works of authors like Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, and Harper Lee, as well as the contributions of journalists like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who uncovered the Watergate scandal.
Teachers can also play music by Pulitzer Prize-winning musicians and encourage students to analyze the style, composition, and themes of the music. This can help students understand the creative process and appreciate the diversity of American music.
3. Analyze Pulitzer Prize criteria
Teachers can explain the criteria for the Pulitzer Prize and encourage students to analyze the works of nominees to understand why they were chosen as finalists. Teachers can ask questions such as: What is the author’s message? How does the author structure their writing? How does the author’s work contribute to American culture? This can help students understand the complexity of the Pulitzer Prize and appreciate the role of creativity in society.
4. Encourage students to enter writing contests
Teachers can encourage students to enter writing contests as a way of developing their writing skills and building their confidence. While the Pulitzer Prize is reserved for established writers, there are many other writing contests available for high school and college students. Teachers can provide resources and support for students to research writing contests and create high-quality submissions.
In conclusion, teaching students about the Pulitzer Prize can help them appreciate the power of writing, journalism, and music in American culture. By exploring the history and criteria of the Pulitzer Prize, analyzing past winners, and participating in writing contests, students can develop their writing skills and aspire to make their own contributions to American art and literature.