The Electric Company

Using the Electric Company for Emerging Literacy:Electric Company
Sesame Workshop presents the new Electric Company!

Click here to visit The Electric Company website.electric company

Over thirty years ago, an educational television show dared to speak to youth in the voice of their generation. The Electric Company turned on the power of possibility for kids by showing them that learning to read can be fun. In 2009, the power is surging back with the all-new The Electric Company, produced by Sesame Workshop. With a cool cast of characters, amazing literacy superpowers, side-splitting cartoons, and songs that you can't help dancing along with, this reincarnation of a television classic is sure to make an impact on the newest generation. The Electric Company aims to entertain children between the ages of 6 and 9 while simultaneously teaching four crucial areas of literacy that are challenging for struggling readers:

  • Decoding: Children will increase their ability to manipulate sounds in spoken words and map those words to print.
  • Vocabulary: Children will expand the amount of words (vocabulary) that they use and understand.
  • Comprehension of Connected Text: Children will learn strategies that good readers use to understand connected text (phrases and sentences).
  • Motivation: Children will be motivated to read connected text and express themselves using text.


Like the original series, the new show filters these educational goals through pop culture — music, comedy, technology, and celebrities — to create a playful, hip, multimedia experience. Unlike the original series, each new episode of The Electric Company includes a narrative with regular characters. This narrative portion of each show teaches 4 or 5 domain-based vocabulary words within a compelling context that children can understand. In addition, the show also includes three "curriculum commercial breaks" that convey the curriculum's phonics and connected text, and motivation goals. These "curriculum commercial breaks" consist of a variety of short-form segments: sketches, animations and songs.

In the workshop, participants will VIEW Electric Company clips that reinforce a theme, READ books related to the theme, and DO hands-on activities related to the theme.

The Kit: Educators' Guide

With this guide, you can bring The Electric Company experience into kids' daily lives. Just click through the following links for a variety of easy-to-do activities, games, and tips that bring literacy to life!

All the materials in the kit, including this guide, build upon and extend the goals of The Electric Company. They're aligned with national educational standards, and they're all about having fun—using language and words as a powerful means to a rewarding end.

The Electric Company unlocks the power of words. Whether you are a facilitator, after-school-care provider, teacher, or group leader, these teaching tools are for you. By guiding kids through the activities and games outlined in this section, you play an important role in showing them how exciting language can be and, at the same time, help them develop literacy skills.

UNC-TV will be working with early childhood professionals, colleges and universities to conduct workshops.

CHC’s will be awarded to early childhood professionals.  PreK-12 public school teachers must receive prior approval from their district to receive CEU’s for this workshop.

For More Information:

Pamela W. Hines Orr, PreK-12 Director
10 T. W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, N. C. 27709
(919) 549-7149
phines@unctv.org

The Electric Company unlocks the power of words. Whether you are a facilitator, after-school-care provider, teacher, or group leader, these teaching tools are for you. By guiding kids through the activities and games outlined in this booklet, you play an important role in showing them how exciting language can be and, at the same time, help them develop literacy skills.

The Electric Company Approach to Literacy
Words are everywhere! That’s why it’s important to make reading accessible and relevant to kids both inside and outside the classroom. The Electric Company presents decoding strategies, vocabulary, and self expression to kids in a way they haven’t seen anywhere else.

The Electric Company Approach to Learning
Context is key! Learning is supported when we help kids make meaningful connections between reading and their very own experiences—new ones and those that are familiar. The payoffs of reading and writing can be enormous, but not all children see literacy as something that’s for “kids like me.”

Sample Lesson Plan:

READ:  "What-Kids-Who-Don't-Like-To-Read-Like-To-Read" Reading List

Source: Parents' Choice Foundation

Nationally and internationally recognized experts selected books which entice reluctant readers to read — and keep them reading.

Ages 4-8

Sam Goes Trucking
Written by Henry Horenstein
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN 0395549507

Sam's father is a trucker; he drives an eighteen-wheeler. The day he takes Sam with him is depicted in a photodocumentary picture book format that leaves no doubt about Sam's feelings for his dad, his dad's feelings for him, and the boy's fascination with his father's work.

Uncle Nacho's Hat / El Sombrero del Tío Nacho
Written by Harriet Rohmer
Illustrated by Mira Reisberg
Childrens Book Press
ISBN 089239112X

His niece Ambrosia brings Uncle Nacho a brand-new hat because the old one is full of holes. Whenever he tries to get rid of the ancient sombrero it somehow gets back to him. One way or another Uncle Nacho's hat comes home. The amusing story, in Spanish as well as in English, is complemented by the bold and bright-as-shellacked-paint illustrations typical of most books from the Children's Book Press.