Genre: Childrens educational
Age Range: Preschoolers
Network: PBS KIDS
Super Why - Overview
Super Why follows the adventures of four friends, the Super Readers, who use fairy tales to solve problems in their every day life. When a problem occurs, the Super Readers -- Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power, Wonder Red with Word Power, Princess Presto with Spelling Power, and Super Why with the Power to Read -- invite Super YOU to come into the pages of a magical storybook world and help them.
Kids follow along as the Readers read and watch a story, talk with the characters, play word games to ensure the story is correct, and relate the story's lesson to the problem they are trying to solve. The brightly colored, CG animated characters make letter, spelling, and reading fun and adventurous for preschoolers.
Super Why - Guide Review
The first episode I saw of Super Why was somewhat annoying to me. I thought that the characters were great, as well as the idea of Super Readers who teach kids about the alphabet, reading, and spelling, all while relating the moral of a story to a real-life dilemma. The animation is also colorful and cute. However, the show seemed a little disjointed, with these random word games thrown in chopping up the story in an attempt to get kids to practice manipulating and understanding letters and words.
What I found in subsequent viewings with children, though, is that the word games don't seem at all contrived to kids. Rather than chopping up the story, the games that the Super Readers use throughout the episodes actually inspire interaction in viewing children, and the show is carefully paced in a safe and natural way to avoid overstimulation.
Children LOVE this show, and they really do practice and talk about what they learn on the show. I have heard several children in public places pointing out "super letters" to their parents as they pass signs or products. I saw Super Why costumes on Halloween, with kids dressing up as a reading super heroes. Kids can relate to the characters and storylines, and the show brings the basics of reading right down to a preschooler's level. Despite my original misgivings about the format, I have seen that Super Why is highly successful in both entertaining and educating kids. "Super Readers, to the rescue!"
Super Why - Expand Upon the Curriculum
- Now that your kids are learning the ABCs, they will have a blast looking for "super letters" every where you go. Pick out a "letter of the day" to work on and see how many places your child can spot the letter throughout the day. Or, do a fun alphabet craft with the super letter of the day.
- Play a letter game. Use blue painter tape to tape out a letter on the floor and dance around it. Or, use some of the same games the Super Readers play, like changing the first letter of a word to make different words. You can pick a word like "run," for example, and have your preschooler act out or draw the different rhyming words like "fun" or "sun."
- Incorporate basic reading into games you play with your kids. Instead of playing "Red-light, Green-light," for example, play "Stop and Go." Use signs to hold up, so that kids learn to distinguish between the words as they play. Or, pick animal names out of a jar to play charades. Use only a few, easy animal names at first, and kids will begin to recognize the words as they pick an animal to mimic.