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Sesame Street

FAQs


Why does Sesame Street include Spanish on the show?
Sesame Street includes Spanish within the show to convey the message that knowing more than one language is useful and fun, and that all languages are important. Through bilingual characters such as Rosita and Luis, we give exposure to a few Spanish words and phrases that can make it easier for English and Spanish speaking children to communicate.

How can I find out when shows air on PBS?
To find out when shows are on in your area, please visit this page. If you need more information, please contact your local PBS station.

How did Sesame Street get its name?
After a long search for a catchy name, one of the show’s writers suggested “Sesame Street.” The word “sesame,” was used in the famous story, The Arabian Nights, “Open, Sesame!” suggested excitement and adventure. Since the show was set on an urban street, “Sesame Street” seemed an ideal combination.

How did Sesame Workshop and Sesame Street begin?
Sesame Workshop and Sesame Street began as an experiment in 1968 and the show debuted on November 10, 1969. The series was designed to use television to teach preschoolers, and give them skills that would ensure a successful transition from home to school. The show gave children a head start, aiming to provide them with the confidence to learn the alphabet, numbers, and social skills.

What are the main curriculum goals of Sesame Street?
Sesame Street remains dedicated to its whole child curriculum and core educational objectives by including initiatives that help prepare children for school and help equip them with the skills to succeed in the world. In season 43 of Sesame Street, the show remains on top of the educational and social needs of its preschool audience by continuing its focus on STEM education, but this year we are adding the “arts” to the equation, creating STEAM. The cornerstone of the curriculum remains the connection between the four main domains: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but the updated approach integrates the arts which will be used as another context or catalyst for teaching and learning STEM concepts. Integrating the arts also helps make learning STEM concepts relevant and enticing to young children by highlighting how artists use STEM knowledge to enhance their art or solve problems and how important that knowledge is in their careers.

By continuing to highlight the underlying scientific process skills (observing and questioning, investigating, analyzing and reporting and reflecting on the “big idea”), children learn to formulate thoughts into questions, solve problems and allow for the new concepts and “big ideas” to become apparent and meaningful.

Why does Elmo refer to himself in the third person? Won’t this teach children improper English?
Elmo mimics the behavior of many preschoolers. Like 3-year-olds, he doesn’t always have the skills or knowledge to speak proper English. Cast members and many of the other Muppets from Sesame Street, however, do demonstrate proper usage of the English language.

What makes Sesame Street different from other children’s television shows?
Combining education and entertainment through research-based curriculum that is always being revised to meet critical needs of children, featuring a multicultural cast and giving kids honest answers to tough questions has made Sesame Street one of the most popular children’s television programs in the world. It is broadcast in 145 countries with over 20 original localized co-productions. As of 2009, Sesame Street has earned 122 Emmy wins and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.

How does Sesame Street stay fresh and relevant to today’s child?
Sesame Street has been reformatted to resemble a typical broadcasting block, responding to the changing viewing habits of kids today. The new format includes four longer segments connected by interstitials and hosted by Murray Muppet from real-world locations.


Produced by: Funding is provided by:
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© 2009 Sesame Workshop. "Sesame Street" and its logo are trademarks of Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved. The contents of this website were developed under a grant, #PRU295A050003, from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
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