SyncUp With StudySync
The results are in! Thank you to all the students and teachers who participated in StudySync’s Blast Out Your Vote! Student Writing Contest. StudySync received responses from across the country. Entries were reviewed by the StudySync Curriculum team and contest judges considered adherence to the rubric, overall writing skills, and creativity when evaluating each submission.
It's time to get started preparing students for the 2017 MyStudySyncTV contest. Students will work collaboratively to produce their own episode for any text or skill in the StudySync library that does not already have a StudySync® TV or SkillsTV episode. Teachers will then submit student-created videos, which mimic StudySync’s proprietary StudySync® TV and SkillsTV episodes by May 3, 2017. Video submissions are then screened by StudySync’s Curriculum and Production team and prizes are awarded to the top Middle and High School submission. Recognition is also given to Best Actor/Actress and Best Direction.
For this year’s 2015-2016 MyStudySyncTV contest we received close to 100 video submissions with over 450 students participating from across the country. Our third annual contest asked students to produce their own version of our signature StudySync®TV or SkillsTV videos, modeling student-led literary discussion groups on texts and skills within StudySync. The StudySync reviewer team was once again floored by the intelligent and creatively crafted submissions, and are very proud to honor these efforts!
April marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. So, what has carried Shakespeare’s countless plays into the 21st century with as much reverence as when they were introduced?
This past November marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and StudySync believes Lincoln’s words are as important today as they were in 1863. On April 15, PBS will honor this landmark speech by airing a new documentary film by Ken Burns entitled, The Address.
The 2014 MySyncTV Contest is officially underway!
Teachers- Have you ever watched SyncTV and thought, “My students could do that.”? Well, now here’s their chance!
With Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln out now in movie theatres, our sixteenth President is enjoying a well-deserved moment in the cultural zeitgeist. Abraham Lincoln has long fascinated Americans and is widely considered by historians to be the greatest President in American history for his leadership during the Civil War and his role in ending slavery in the United States.
Published in 1997, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel The God of Small Things was described by the New York Times book review as, “part political fable, part psychological drama, part fairy tale.” The novel tells the story of the Kochamma family, a wealthy family in the village of Aymanam in Kerala in Southern India, the same village where Roy herself was raised. The story begins with the daughter, Rahel, returning home as an adult to see her twin brother, and goes on to explore the events from their childhood that shaped the family and changed all of their lives.
The God of Small Things gained almost instant international success after it was published. It won the British Booker Prize for Fiction and was named as one of the five best books of 1997 by TIME Magazine. Since then, Roy has concentrated solely on nonfiction and political causes and The God of Small Things currently remains her only novel. However, with that detailed and sweeping first work, sometimes focusing on the history of India itself, sometimes on the individual concerns of one family, Roy truly connects the universal to the personal and illustrates how the small things in life are important and can have far-reaching effects.
Chief among the many talents for which American novelist and Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck was noted was his ability to demonstrate how social and economic conditions affect various individuals in a given society. The Grapes of Wrath, his ninth novel, served as no exception. With the Great Depression of the 1930s as a backdrop, the novel focuses on the economic struggles of a family of migrant laborers who are forced to leave their homeland of Oklahoma in order to attempt to seek prosperity out in California.
Written in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath almost immediately garnered support from the masses, especially among the working class. Yet, it was often assailed by critics who felt that Steinbeck was pushing too much of an anti-capitalist agenda with his gritty, no holds barred approach to portraying the hardships faced by the Joads, the destitute working class family that the novel centers upon. With disagreements among different economic classes just as much of a hot-button issue today as they were in the 1930s, it is easy to understand how The Grapes of Wrath has endured as an important literary classic that still serves to make an strong impression on readers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Like many of Jane Austin’s works, Pride and Prejudice, first published in 1813, is centered on the life of a young woman growing up in middle class Regency England. Through the use of infectious humor and gritty social commentary, this book served to help spearhead the way toward the literary revolution of 19th century realism. Indeed, "Pride and Prejudice" still stands as an invaluable tool for stimulating philosophical exploration of both the status of women throughout history and the struggles between and within the different social classes of both the past and present, all written in a style that consistently succeeds in bridging the gap between Austen's world and that of the reader.