And the word on the street is…

AMAZING, PREDICAMENT and …

I recently had a great conversation with Linda Roberts about the new Sesame Street segment called “What’s the word on the street?” The segment features a character named Murray who is always looking for the new word on the street. Murray learns vocabulary by talking with kids and adults in his neighborhood about words like amazing, predicament and squid.

I love the concept of “What’s the word on the street?” for a number of reasons. First, the clips are absolutely adorable and entertaining! Also, while they are short, they provide just enough background information around a word to make them a useful word-learning and reinforcement tool at home and in the classroom. Each clip not only defines a new vocabulary word, but provides background information, context and visual cues to help children (and adults!) internalize the word. To see more episodes, subscribe to the Sesame Street podcast here.

What’s the next word on the street?!

Anna

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2 Responses to “And the word on the street is…”


  1. 1 Benny April 1, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Hey Anna-

    I was just searching around to see if anyone on the internet had written about the word on the street.

    I had seen this segment a couple times with my little girl and personally i think it shows a real lack of judgment on the sesame street producers.

    The two times I saw the segment, the words were “struggle” and “angry”. Of all words available in the english language, they had to pick struggle and angry!!?? I nearly blew my lid, seeing my daughter watch that crap. In view of all the negativity in the world today as well, can’t we teach our kids to focus on something positive? how about “happy” or “confidence”, etc. But no, we had to pick struggle and angry, and use it all sorts of sentences, and see different people say it and act it out. wow, wonderful kids television isn’t it?

    I think it just ticks me off because we entrust our kids to these shows. They soak in the content. And the producers end up leading our kids down an unnecessary path of WRONG focus. Thank goodness I was there to see it happening.

    Since you seem to know the producer of the segment, PLEASE convey to her that they need to use better judgment with what they’re feeding our kids, who soak things up like a sponge, and deserve to be given a brighter perspective on life.

  2. 2 readinggal April 1, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Hello Benny.

    Thanks for posting your thoughts and refections. I actually don’t know the producers of “What’s the Word on the Street?” But, you bring up an interesting point. It is a common practice to teach young children words to express their thoughts and feelings, so perhaps (although I didn’t see the clips you did) the show aimed to help viewers understand what to call the words associated with the action of struggling or the feeling of anger.

    One of the things I like about the clips is that in general they are quite positive, energizing and fun. They make word study interesting and appealing to both children and adults.

    If you feel like sharing your thoughts with the producers, there appears to be a comments section on the Sesame site: http://www.sesameworkshop.org/aboutus/inside_contact.php

    Thanks.
    Anna


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