Learn with Sesame Street

Familiar characters present early SEL skills, but needs more depth

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

Pre-K–K

Subjects & Skills

Character & SEL, Communication & Collaboration

Great for

SEL

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pros: Accessible interactive stories engage students in multiple ways and give them practice that's relevant to their lives.

Cons: The amount of content is limited, and much of it relies on passive learning.

Bottom Line: When bundled with HOMER Learn & Grow, these quick activities are a solid launching pad for more in-depth discussion around SEL skills and strategies.

Use Learn with Sesame Street as an introduction to SEL themes. Students can play on their own, or teachers could project the stories and activities and go through them together in groups or as a whole class. Deepen learning by extending the themes off the screen with additional class activities. Lead group discussions about students' experiences with similar situations and ask how they handled it. Use emotion words often and help students recognize and name feelings in themselves, their classmates, and characters in books. When situations arise in class, use the vocabulary and songs from the videos to help guide students. 

Learn with Sesame Street is a subscription-based app that focuses on early social-emotional learning (SEL). It uses the characters from Sesame Street to explore emotion regulation and other social skills through stories, songs, and interactive games. With an account, teachers can make up to four user profiles. Once set up, the main screen shows five locations, each corresponding to a different learning theme: bedtime routines, kindness and empathy, trying new food, conflict resolution, and navigating social spaces. Students tap a location and then tap an activity to start. The four activities in each theme follow the same pattern: interactive story, song, interactive faces game, song or video.

Teachers can check out one activity without an account or a subscription. For full access, they'll  need to sign up and provide a credit card number to start a 30-day free trial. The subscription can be bundled with the early learning app HOMER Learn & Grow, which is from the same developer.

Learn with Sesame Street uses songs, stories, and activities to successfully introduce new words, ways to recognize and talk about feelings, and strategies for navigating routines and interactions with others. The Sesame Street characters are well known for delivering complex messages in clear, engaging, and accessible ways -- and here is no different. Audio directions are clear, and activities are simple enough for young kids to follow. There's also some good feedback when kids make a choice that doesn't quite fit. That said, there could be room for so much more. For example, two out of four activities in each theme are songs or videos, which are great but also totally passive experiences for students. The stories that introduce each theme shine as the best activity type. They're engaging, interactive, and highly relevant to young students' lives. Learn with Sesame Street would be a lot stronger if it had more of that kind of content. Though it's probably not worth the subscription price on its own, as part of a bundle with HOMER Learn and Grow, Learn with Sesame Street is a nice addition that's worth checking out.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Sesame Street characters provide a strong draw. Stories, videos, songs, and activities address situations that are highly relevant for young kids.

Pedagogy

Students engage with SEL skills and strategies through interactive stories and by watching videos and songs, but the passive modes of learning outweigh the active ones.

Support

The app has clear how-to-play instructions and decent feedback. But there's no meaningful way for students or teachers to view progress.

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