Teaching Language Arts through TV Shows

TV time for your kids can be fun, educational, and sometimes both. That’s why teaching language arts through television is one of my favorite ways to integrate learning into our everyday life.

Teaching Language Arts Through Television Shows

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Does that mean we park our kids in front of the TV at all times and skip the formal homeschool work? Definitely not, but our kids usually watch some television each day. That’s why it makes sense to focus on programming that educates instead of only entertaining.

Teaching Language Arts through TV

You may already know that we like to use TV to help with math skills, but we do the same thing with several subjects. Language arts is one of those subjects.

Here some of our favorite television shows that promote language arts skills.

Teaching Language Arts
Through WordWorld

The concept of WordWorld is downright brilliant. Words are truly the stars of this show because the characters, places, and items themselves are animated words. For example, Pig’s body is comprised of the letters P, I, and G, while a barn is animated with the letters B,A,R, and N.

These word pictures work together in each episode to help young learners with letter identification, spelling, and vocabulary.

Beyond the TV show, PBS provides lots of opportunities to learn reading skills through WordWorld. Here are a few of them:

Interested in introducing bringing words to life in your home with WordWorld? Look for it on PBS stations and Amazon Prime Video. You’ll also want to take advantage of the viewing tips and episode descriptions from PBS Parents so that you’ll know which letters, sounds, and words are introduced.

Teaching Language Arts
Through Super Why

If your preschooler spends time watching TV, Super Why is a show they don’t need to miss. Through interactive stories and problem solving, Super Why introduces key reading skills and encourages reading practice.

That kind of reading emphasis happens on several TV shows, but I love that Super Why does this by highlighting the strengths of the main characters.

In each episode, Whyatt and his friends come together to solve a problem in a story. Whyatt, or Super Why, uses his power to read to change words and solve problems in sentences, while Alpha Pig does this by helping viewers identify letters, Wonder Red helps with word decoding, word families, and rhyming, and Princess Presto helps with spelling.

This TV show is great on its own, but it’s even better when it’s a foundation for teaching and reinforcing reading concepts. Thankfully, there are lots of fantastic Super Why resources that will help you build on the concepts learned from the show:

You can find Super Why on your local PBS station, Netflix, and Amazon Video. To learn more about the episodes and their language arts objectives, check out the episode directory from PBS Parents.

Teaching Language Arts
Through Martha Speaks

Martha Speaks is one of my favorite shows to watch with my kids because it’s so stinking funny and it does a great job in teaching vocabulary!

If you and your kiddos haven’t met Martha yet, the show’s theme song does a fantastic job explaining the premise. Another fun thing to know about Martha Speaks is that it was a book series for many years. Yep, the series itself is based on Susan Meddaugh’s Martha Speaks picture books.

If you’re teaching language arts with some help from Martha, be sure to check into the following resources. They’re a great way to build on the vocabulary words from the TV show.

Martha Speaks is available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video and your local PBS station. Also, don’t miss the detailed episode directory. It includes a helpful listing of the vocabulary words introduced in each episode.

Teaching Language Arts
Through WallyKazam!

We don’t watch a lot of WallyKazam! because we don’t spend much time on Nickelodeon or Nick Jr, but my youngest does watch it enough for me to be thankful for the reading skills it promotes.

This fantastical show helps young learners identify letters, words, and vocabulary through Wally’s efforts to keep Bobgoblin, the forest’s troublemaker, in line.

If you’ve got a WallyKazam! fan, be sure to take advantage of these free games and printables for your little one:

Not familiar with Wallykazam? Check out the clips and full episodes available through NickJr.com.  You can work Wallykazam! into your kiddo’s regular television viewing time by checking the Nick Jr. programming lineup.

Teaching Language Arts
Through Word Girl

“Unsurpassable vocabulary, able to bend steel, fly at the speed of sound, and pause clocks long enough to prolong bedtime.”  That’s a pretty impressive skill set and it’s exactly why we love PBS’s WordGirl. And, much like Martha Speaks, WordGirl makes it easy to introduce new vocabulary words through TV time.

The show itself targets ages 4-9 and follows WordGirl as she goes through everyday life as a regular fifth-grader and as she and her monkey battle evil all around — not legitimate evil, mind you, just the silly kind. The fun thing is that WordGirl happens to have a fantastic vocabulary, and that’s where teaching language arts comes into the picture.

There’s lots of vocabulary goodness happening in each episode, but your kiddo can learn even more with some help from these WordGirl resources:

You can watch WordGirl on your PBS channel and Amazon Prime Video. You’ll also want to take advantage of the episode descriptions. Not only will you know the general plot of each episode, you’ll also know the vocabulary words emphasized through them.


So, what about you? Have you tried teaching language arts through watching television? What are your favorite language arts-themed TV shows?

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