Develop Critical Thinking Skills Across Subject Areas

Boost 6–12 social studies engagement with inquiry-based SyncBlasts

SyncBlasts, powered by StudySync®, provides reading and writing assignments called Blasts focusing on social studies and current event articles and offers students the opportunity to engage in a national conversation about topics that affect their world.

Supporting student inquiry and discussion, Blasts assignments feature a variety of rich multimedia—including a news show, cinematic preview and explainer videos, podcasts, and skills videos—that help students build a complete understanding of a topic and construct an informed response.

SyncBlasts is an engaging and smart way to build critical thinking, writing, and research skills.

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How Blasts Work

Blasts pose a driving question to which students respond in a short-response format and include background research, an online student poll, peer review, and more.

Every school day, new Blasts are published in SyncBlasts at three distinct Lexile®-levels. These Blasts assignments challenge students to:

Build vital research, writing, and critical thinking skills and employ anonymous peer review and feedback.

Develop informed opinions on high-interest topics of cultural significance.

Participate in thoughtful discussions with an authentic audience of peers.

Express their opinions succinctly, in a familiar social media-like format.

Multimedia Components

Complementing the Blasts are dynamic video and audio features that provide in-depth coverage of topics and skills to enhance learning.

Preview Videos

Designed like movie trailers, preview videos set the stage and provide background information for what is to come. Use these videos as an introduction to the subject and revisit for a big-picture view.

SyncSkills Videos

SyncSkills videos model the rigor and drama of a lively classroom discussion in a condensed and casual format. Students learn by watching peers model specific critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills.

Explainer Videos

Short, fact-based videos focus on explaining an idea in a simple and compelling manner. Clear, concise language is paired with visuals, quickly teaching a concept prior to a deeper dive or discussion.

The Point News Show

These videos get to the point with news and global issues. Students watch and engage with newscasts produced with peer-aged students.


Bring students’ thoughts and opinions—plus insights from teachers, experts, and innovators in education— right into the classroom! Podcasts are produced using student voices from around the country.

Spanish Blasts

Published once weekly, Spanish Blasts help English learners develop vital research, writing, inquiry, and critical thinking skills while engaging them across subject areas.