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Site Review: PBSKids Electric Company

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Site URL: pbskidsgo.org/electriccompany    

Content:  This is the home page for the PBS television show “The Electric Company.” The bulk of the content is aimed at the show’s audience, although there is an educators' section on the site that offers a wealth of resources.

Design:  When first logging on, users might be a little overwhelmed with all the popping graphics and automated video. But remember, this is designed for elementary-school kids. The link to the educators' area is very clearly posted at the top of the page. Once in the educators' area, things calm down a bit. There is a clear navigation to the left of the media player that spells out what resources the site offers. The design is very clean and straightforward — no hunting for content here.

Review: While the site is clearly promotional, it does offer a wealth of materials to help in the classroom. Once you’re in the educators' area, you are only one click away from student activities, games and lessons, all of which facilitate reading and writing.

All of the materials are available to print in PDF format and are free of charge. Whether it’s a worksheet about the silent “E” or an activity involving “the two ways to say ‘C,’” the materials all have “Electric Company” themes and designs. This includes the teacher materials as well.

For teachers who have digital projectors in the classroom, the site offers many clips from the show that bring an element of fun to the traditional spelling and grammar lessons. It’s one thing to explain how punctuation works, but imagine how much your students will retain when that lesson is put to song and performed by L.L. Cool J. Celebrities from Dwight Howard and Ne-Yo to Jimmy Fallon and Kyle Massey appear to bring a level of cool to the lessons.

Bottom Line: When it comes to making reading and writing lessons for elementary-level students cool and fun, The Electric Company is second to none. There’s no doubt your students will be singing “The Silent E Song” within five minutes of hearing it.

 

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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