Hello. My name is Lori, and I was raised on the glory that was television of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
I know in today’s world it is much less socially acceptable to plop your kid in front of the TV with their Apple Jacks and Tang; but I’m here today to tell the tale of Saturday mornings with Superfriends, Smurfs, and the mother of all cartoons, Schoolhouse Rock. Mom says I learned to read by watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and I sure learned a lot about kindness from my neighbor Mr. Rogers. But, it was Schoolhouse Rock that taught me the Preamble to our US Constitution. This came in very handy when reciting it in front of my social studies class was a requirement in the 8th grade. Turns out, those Saturday mornings were well spent.
Schoolhouse Rock featured educational shorts that were shown in between the Saturday morning cartoon line up on ABC. The original series ran from 1973 – 1985. The topics covered things like science, grammar math, and of course, civics, and were all dressed up in that late ‘70s/early ‘80s-groovy-animated-goodness.
“Three is a Magic Number” was the first Schoolhouse Rock song ever written by David McCall, who set the song to rock music to try and help his son who was having trouble learning his multiplication tables. And the rest is, well…let’s say…history.
I learned all about adjectives from a girl and a turtle that went on a pretty weird camping trip. A tiny train conductor told me all about “and” “but” and “or” – about conjunctions and their functions.
I’m still a little unsure about those adverbs, but that “Lolly, lolly, lolly” song helps in a pinch.
And the star of the show, probably the most infamous of all the Schoolhouse Rock characters, was just a bill that longed to be a law someday and ended up being just that. If a kid can learn about how bills, laws, congressmen, vetos, the Senate and the President are involved in the steps it takes to for a bill to become a law from a singing cartoon scrap of paper, I’d say that’s a pretty successful series.
Between Plastic Man and Scooby and Scrappy Doo (ugh, Scrappy…), these three minute gems snuck their way into my brain and have remained there through adulthood.
Because knowledge is power! Thank you Schoolhouse Rock for being one of the best teachers I ever had.
I can still recite the Preamble, but I’ll have to sing it to you if that’s ok.