When I was a kid, we couldn’t get cable TV out in the country where my family lived. We watched the few over-the-air channels available to us out of Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Altoona, PA. Cartoons were only broadcast on Saturday mornings, and interspersed among our favorite cartoons were short educational cartoons from Schoolhouse Rock.
I didn’t realize it at the time (and probably most other kids didn’t, either), but we were learning a whole lot about a bunch of topics. Schoolhouse Rock taught us about a lot of important topics, all set to catchy tunes, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to share it with my girls.
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Here’s a list of seven topics your kids can learn about while they enjoy watching Schoolhouse Rock. You can buy a two-DVD set now on Amazon.com for the absolutely bargain price of about $9. I tried to include on this list only episodes included on the Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) set.
Nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives – they’re each addressed in their own Schoolhouse Rock episode. Remember singing “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” and “Unpack Your Adjectives”? Then there are “A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing,” “Verb: That’s What’s Happenin’,” Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla” (about pronouns), “Interjections!”, “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here,” and “The Tale of Mr. Morton” (about sentence structure – subject and predicate).
Remember how 3 is the magic number? Counting and multiplying by 5s (“Ready or Not, Here I Come”)? Figure 8 (about multiplying by 8)? There’s also “Elementary, My Dear” (multiplying and counting by 2s) and “My Hero, Zero” (powers of 10) and much more.
I can still sing the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, recalled from childhood viewings of the Schoolhouse Rock episode called “Preamble.” Kids can also learn about the Declaration of Independence (“Fireworks”), “I’m Just a Bill” (how bills become laws) and a whole lot more.
“Interplanet Janet” takes your kids on a journey around the solar system (from back when Pluto was a planet). A particularly catchy jingle goes with “Electricity, Electricity.” There’s also “A Victim of Gravity” and “The Energy Blues.”
Health and Anatomy
Schoolhouse Rock features a mind boggling number of episodes with catchy tunes that you and your kids will be singing for many years to come. One of the most engaging is from “Them Not-So-Dry Bones” (about the skeletal system). Your family can also enjoy “Do the Circulation” (about the heart and circulatory system) and “The Body Machine” (nutrition and digestion), plus “Telegraph Line” (nervous system).
Kids can learn about interest and loans (“Dollars and Sense”), paying bills (“Where The Money Goes”), writing checks (“The Check’s In The Mail”), budgeting (“$7.50 Once a Week”), taxes (“Tax Man Max”) and the stock exchange (“Walkin’ On Wall Street”).
Schoolhouse Rock teaches about immigration and diversity (“The Great American Melting Pot”), American inventions (“Mother Necessity”) and women’s suffrage (“Sufferin’ ’til Suffrage”). “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World” tells about the Revolutionary War.
How About You?
Do you recall watching Schoolhouse Rock as a child? Have you watched it with your children?
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