History

History of WordMasters ChallengeWordMasters™ is the nation’s longest-running language arts competition for elementary and middle school students.  The WordMasters Challenge™ was originally developed by Nancy McGrath, a former high school English teacher.  Nancy’s own children had participated in enriching mathematics competitions in their local schools, but there didn’t seem to be anything comparable related to language arts.  Nancy also had a desire to create a program that took vocabulary beyond rote learning, and challenged students to stretch their verbal reasoning and critical thinking skills.  With help from a team of experienced teachers, Nancy developed vocabulary lists and a series of analogies based on relationships among these words, all geared to a specific grade level.  And so the WordMasters Challenge™ was born.

Since 1988, the WordMasters Challenge™ has grown to include nearly a quarter million students annually from some of the best public and private schools in every state.  Currently, the program is under the direction of Lisa Kennedy and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Nancy McGrath continues to serve as an advisor to the WordMasters Challenge™ and manages the WordWright Challenge, a language arts competition for high school students. Click here for more information on the WordWright Challenge.

Suddenly there’s a love affair with words in my classroom!

– 6th grade teacher from Florida

The high school program is now called
The WordWright Challenge.

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