Learning with Blue Clues and Super Why

Today we are having an interview with Angela Santomero   to learn how to make TV viewing a more interactive and learning experience for your kids.

If you haven’t heard about either of these educational kids series you should certainly check them out. My kids love watching them and have learned a lot through viewing the programs together with me.



How watching the shows ( Blue Clues or Super Why) can be a way of learning for young kids and how parents can make it a learning lesson instead of just letting the child passively watch the episodes on TV?


I have a Master’s degree in child developmental psychology and instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Therefore, making sure that children learn from the shows I make is as important to me as making sure that kids love my characters and stories.
For both Blue’s Clues and SUPER WHY, we start with a curriculum we write that gives us the foundation of learning for the series.
Each episode is evaluated by a team of researchers led by Alice Wilder, Ed.D. For Super Why, the team includes a reading teacher and a reading researcher. In reviewing the episodes, the team makes recommendations in the following areas: appeal, attention, comprehension, interactivity, game play and literacy element adjustments.

A summative evaluation was done on both Blue’s Clues and Super Why which proved that kids who watched the shows scored better on standardized tests than kids who did not watch the shows.  In more detail for Super Why, for instance, Dr. Deborah Linebarger, in collaboration with Katie McMenamin and Deborah Wainwright, from the University of Pennsylvania at Annenburg, completed the summative evaluation.  The results of this detailed evaluation, which demonstrated that the program made significant contributions to viewers’ early literacy skills, have been featured in several news outlets across the country.Read the report at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications

– follow up activities that can be done outside the video watching

We have many episode specific activities that we have created on line for parents and teachers as resources to extend the learning from the show.  It is our hope that kids are motivated by our show and will then wish to play out our characters, read, and play our award winning Super Why app or online games at PBSKids.org/super why

We also have lots of resources from our highly acclaimed Super Why Reading Camps that we have found many parents put to great use over the summer months to combat the “summer slide” – where the kids may fall back or behind during the long summer months.  Here is a link to download all of these activities: Super Why Activities!
Follow me on iVILLAGE this summer as I coach parents through some fun literacy activities and tips to keep this at bay!

AngelaAngela C. Santomero has been changing the way children watch television for over fifteen years.
She is a Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Out  of the Blue Enterprise LLC, overseeing the creative development and research of all of the company’s projects, with a. mission and vision to bring educational entertainment to a whole new level. Her innovative approach to children’s television derives from her extensive background in developmental psychology, instructional technology and education.

She is the lead creator, executive producer and head writer for Nickjrs landmark preschool show Blue’s Clues. Her ability to integrate education, entertainment and active participation helped make Blue’s Clues a breakthrough educational program. Currently, Angela is the Creator, Executive Producer and Head Wńter of the Emmy­ nominated and #1 ranked show, SuperWHY which helps build preschool literacy skills through fractured fairy tales and interactive games.

Angela’s vast accomplishments include leading the production and development of numerous Emmy nominated episodes for Blue’s Clues, Super Why & Daniel  Neighborhood; a full-length feature called Blue’s Big Musical Movie; educational Blue’s Clues  and twenty+ books for Simon & Schuster. In addition, she wrote two Blue’s Clues theatrical productions, which played at
Radio City Music Hall in New York City as well as venues across the nation.

Angela is a prestigious Peabody Award Winner for Outstanding Children’s Programming and a Gold and Silver Parents Choice Awards recipient. She has received a Master’s degree in Child Developmental Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College where she was the recipient of the 1999 Early Career Award. Angela acquired her B.A from The Catholic University of America.

Angela grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in New York with her husband Greg, her two adorable daughters and their energetic dog Oreo. Angela derives inspiration, laughter and sometimes even notes on her scripts from her girls. Angela’s family is her priority. Some of their favorite activities include: roasting vegetables, singing, reading, skiing and asking questions about the way the world works.