One of the greatest challenges parents and educators face is engaging reluctant readers. Sydney's World has a full middle-grade fiction book inside (including hundreds of sentences in audio-book format, where the written text and character graphics are supplemented with voice-acting simultaneously).
Sydney's World and The Majesti are written in screenplay format. The only parts your child will read are interesting parts; character dialogue, just like a movie. There are no filler adverbs and adjectives, nor lengthy descriptions of inanimate objects that could turn your child away. Character based dialogue is the perfect format for turn-taking reading between you and your child.
Reading passages are broken up with exploration and occasional battles, which provide immersion that enable attention and focus to be sustained over longer periods of time. The result is significantly more reading; you will eventually turn the game off, not your child.
Click the DBGL or Educators tabs to learn about using Sydney's World as digital game-based learning.
Sydney's World and The Majesti are quest-based games. As such, your child must understand and recall information in order to know what to do and where to go next!
Sydney's World is recommended for students at a fourth grade reading level. The Majesti is recommended for fifth grade. Less proficient readers will concentrate on fluency, while others will be more able to grasp the concepts and focus on comprehension.
Both titles will expand the vocabulary of any student. Research shows the best way for children to improve vocabulary is meaningful dialogue with adults or advanced peers.
The games incorporate this strategy twofold: the characters themselves fulfill the role of conveying meaningful dialogue by adults, and the game is designed to be played with a relative or advanced peer to read the more difficult character text and provide definitions and examples if needed.
Sydney's World has a robust vocabulary of 570 advanced words spread throughout the game in 32 distinct areas. These words are commonly used in conversation by intelligent people, and are found in adult literature.
This is a small sample of the words Sydney was unable to define: foe, wrath, arrogance, mocking, philosophy, gloomy, dejected, sacred, courageous, banish, and intercede. The complete list is available on request by educators using Sydney's World.
Close reading is careful and purposeful rereading of text. During close reading, students focus on what the words mean, and the character's purpose in saying them. Close reading requires children to understand what they are reading.
Parents can use Sydney's World or the Majesti as an educational tool to strengthen comprehension and vocabulary. Close reading is strongly recommended for all levels. At school, students answer questions to demonstrate their ability to close read. This skill is an absolute necessity to perform well on reading assessments and state tests.
“A text based game immediately causes close reading.”
--Erin Hoffman, Game Design Lead at GlassLab Games