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Children and Media

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Learning with SUPER WHY

Visit SUPER WHY on to get great activities for your Super Readers!

SUPER WHY was created to help children ages 3-6 learn to read through interactive story adventures. SUPER WHY features a team of literacy-powered super heroes: Alpha Pig (with Alphabet Power), Wonder Red (with Word Power), Princess Presto (with Spelling Power), and Super Why (with the Power to Read).

SUPER WHY focuses on reading fundamentals. A comprehensive literacy curriculum incorporates key skills identified by the National Reading Panel: letter identification, word decoding, phonemic awareness, word encoding and phonics and reading comprehension.

SUPER WHY's signature educational approach includes:

  • promoting books as a resource for solving problems kids face in preschool and in life
  • interactivity that facilitates practice and learning
  • seamless integration of story and literacy content

In each episode, the Super Readers experience a preschool-related problem, fly into a book to find the answer and apply what was learned to resolve the problem.

Example of an Episode Breakdown
Alpha Pig has a problem.
Social-Emotional Problem
The Super Readers fly in to a book.
Reading Adventure
Alpha Pig solving his problem.
Problem Resolution

Activities for You and Your Super Reader

Over a five-day period, you and your Super Reader can work together to maximize the educational value of SUPER WHY. Start by viewing "The Three Little Pigs" episode.

Watch the episode:

Instructions and Worksheets:

You can also create a multimedia learning experience for your PBS kid using these resources and activities:

SUPER WHY in the Community

Kids playing at Super Why reading campSince 2007, SUPER WHY and local PBS Stations have hosted SUPER WHY Reading Camps. The SUPER WHY Reading Camps are five-day interactive learning adventures that show children the power of reading and motivate them to play with letters, sounds and words through a comprehensive curriculum developed by noted literacy experts.

Camp activities reinforce knowledge through repetition and multiple modes of learning — art, music, movement, dance and games — and also use multiple media types, including CD's, DVDs, worksheets, and more. Camp attendees showed significant improvement (at the 95% significance level) in their literacy skills thanks to this multimedia approach.

See pictures of a SUPER WHY Reading Camp at PBS member station WHRO in Norfolk, VA.

Learn more about the camps from this video.

If you have additional questions about the SUPER WHY Reading Camps, contact your local PBS station.


All SUPER WHY episodes are evaluated by a team of researchers led by Alice Wilder, Ed.D. The team includes a reading teacher and a reading researcher. In reviewing the episodes, the team makes recommendations in the following areas: appeal, attention, comprehension, interactivity, game play and literacy element adjustments.

Dr. Deborah Linebarger , in collaboration with Katie McMenamin and Deborah Wainwright, recently completed a summative evaluation of the program Super Why! The results of this detailed evaluation, which demonstrated that the program made significant contributions to viewers' early literacy skills, have been featured in several news outlets across the country. Read the report at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications.

Over 1200 children have participated in SUPER WHY research so far.

How does SUPER WHY help your child learn?

Super Why products

Looking for SUPER WHY products? Buy them now from Toys R Us.

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