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| November / December 2006

MCs Do the SATs

Vocab lessons get a boost from hip-hop

by L. Jordon Frauen, from Flux

Remember the days in high school English class when, fretfully twiddling your pencil, you avoided your teacher's gaze in an attempt to circumvent the humiliation of defining vocabulary words in front of the entire class?

Alex Rappaport and Blake Harrison have joined forces to help today's generation avoid such shirking and rise to the task by using hip-hop music in the classroom. As the Manhattan-based group Flocabulary, the twentysomething entrepreneurs create raps that accompany a series of study aids and SAT prep workbooks designed to improve vocabulary comprehension for high school students.

Flocabulary's educational materials can now be found at bookstores shelved right alongside the Princeton Review guides. 'When you put music in a voice that kids can relate to, they can internalize it,' says Harrison. 'Our goal is to get students to feel like they own the info.'