Rocking the grammar on Schoolhouse Rock

Child reading

Young reader in training! Image from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1905, by Jessie Willcox Smith. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Last weekend, I was messing around on YouTube and chanced upon a series of Schoolhouse Rock videos. For blog readers not familiar with the Schoolhouse Rock series, they were a set of short, educational TV movies created by David McCall of the New York ad agency McCaffrey and McCall. The idea behind these animated movies was to teach different topics — such as grammar, math and history — to children in a fun way. I wonder just how many of these movies influenced kids to become writers or book lovers?

These little movies were shown on television between 1973 – 1985 and got revived between 1993 – 1999. Most of the videos are period pieces (you can tell from the 1970s-era clothing), but they’re cute. Each film is about three minutes long or so.

I watched a bunch of them and was enchanted. The music for these movies is pretty catchy. For your viewing pleasure, here’s some of the best of the grammar set. Have fun! (And while you’re watching, I’m going to go search for bell-bottom jeans, pet rocks and mood rings. I bet some thrift store around here might have some tucked away somewhere.)



Filed under Writing

29 responses to “Rocking the grammar on Schoolhouse Rock

  1. I remember these. 🙂 As soon as I heard the voice, memories came flooding back. Especially Conjunction Junction.

  2. I definitely remember Conjunction Junction!

  3. I just read Railsea by China Mieville. The thumbnail for Conjunction Junction could be used in the animated version of the book.

  4. I like the one about bills! Maybe mandatory viewing before making voting decisions!!!

  5. I teach high school English, and I use these little gems in class on a regular basis. It’s ridiculously entertaining to watch 17 and 18 year old kids rock out to Conjunction Junction — plus, they actually learn something!!

  6. Oh yeah, Grammar Rock has not lost its usefulness. This reminds me to load it into my grammar file since I’m teaching practically all freshmen this year. I believe our government teacher uses the “how a bill is made” one for his seniors. When it works, it works, no matter how old the material may be. Dr. Seuss and Grammar Rock will save this upcoming generation!

  7. My son’s first grade teacher showed the class “Unpack Your Adjectives,” and we had to play it again at home that night — several times. Love these videos!

  8. Yay!! Schoolhouse Rock! It’s been too long. Conjunction junction, what’s your function? I’m just a bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill!! So fun and so educational!! Thanks for the memories!

  9. I remember these too. I was young and experienced the revival set, but I always got a kick out of them. I especially remember one on civics,”I’m just a bill … sittin’ here on Capitol Hill …” 🙂

  10. I love Schoolhouse Rock! I was going through some of the videos today in preparation for the beginning of school with my pre-kindergarten class!

  11. I haven’t seen these in years! Talk about childhood flashbacks! Thanks for the trip, ha-ha!

  12. The children at our little two-room school did a play one year based on some of the Schoolhouse Rock songs. We must be either too old or our kids are too old, because we missed this entire era.

  13. That was a great show! The entire collection is (or at least was) available on DVD.


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