Emily Cotlier | June 1, 2016
Take a ride with Schoolhouse Rock! to Conjunction Junction…
Some of us at Write remember the 1970s in the USA: bell bottoms, lines for gasoline, and Schoolhouse Rock! cartoons. My first week at Write, going through our training materials, had me humming ‘Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?’ Soon I was sharing Grammar Rock videos with the writers here.
Schoolhouse Rock! was created by advertising man David McCall. He noticed his son had problems memorising multiplication tables, but that the boy remembered rock and roll lyrics perfectly. The show’s co-creator, George Newall, had the motto ‘Don’t talk down to the kids’. In keeping with this, McCall recruited the witty jazz musician Bob Dorough to compose the songs. Dorough brought in his jazz colleagues to sing and play. Their music was combined with animation. The results were catchy, enduring, and a real learning experience.
Schoolhouse Rock! aired in the USA from 1972 to 1985 between regular children’s programming. I remember it most vividly between Saturday morning cartoons. It’s now a benchmark of GenX nostalgia and an easy way to get forty-somethings to start singing.
Schoolhouse Rock’s lasting charm comes from the teamwork, creativity, and energy behind it. And at Write we bring that to our grammar workshops — participants often say they dreaded the day would be boring, but instead they had a ball, learning grammar rules effortlessly.
Want to know your nouns from your pronouns, like Rufus and his kangaroo? Take a look at these workshops.
Check out the grammar tips we’ve blogged about, too.