Do you know who’s great at making kids do and buy stuff? Cartoon characters. Kids will mimic what they see in movies or on TV immediately. If there’s a choice between a cup with a pink monogram and a cup with a singing snow queen, it’s snow queen all the way.
Yet, it seems that by and large, education hasn’t quite figured out how to harness this preexisting dynamic for classroom good! Research shows that children form relationships with animated characters and that those relationships can be used to enhance learning. However, there are still limited, quality learning tools that use animations as a tool to uniquely reach children.
Luckily, you’ve found us! WonderGrove Social Skills has over 250 animations addressing social skills, life skills, Dolch vocabulary words, music, health and science, history, and more! Our lessons are written by teachers, so they are based on the realities of preschool through second-grade classrooms.
WonderGrove is based on the principles of using animation to create connections with characters in order to persuade behavior with just a few short minutes a day. WonderGrove works because it brings together experts in education with experts in animation! Our CEO Terry Thoren worked with educators and developed WonderGrove Social Skills based on his experience as CEO of the company that produced Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.
Over the summer break, students will have spent over 1,000 hours in front of a device, likely watching cartoon characters. When you see your students at the beginning of the school year, take a few minutes to use our lessons that introduce the characters and talk with your kids to find out which character they are most like! This hook is relevant to their lives and experiences and sets you up for good relationships all year long. This is a great icebreaker and helps kids form connections with characters and others in their class quickly. My personal preference is to do a character a day with the extension lessons. At the end of the first week, I have them write a simple essay on which character they are MOST like and why! It helps me see how the students perceive themselves and I am able to analyze their writing skills early in the year.
Here’s Miss Flowers to explain how to get started on introducing the characters.
If your school does not return in person in the fall, you can copy and paste a link to the videos in your Google Classroom OR share your screen on Zoom to have your students watch the videos you choose each day. WonderGrove is perfect for in-person teaching, blended learning, or completely remote teaching!
You can purchase the entire WonderGrove Social Skills system for around .50 cents per school day here!