The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


Shows Instead of Prose: The Value of TV Shows in the Classroom

Chloe Yokitis

Staff Writer

Television plays a huge role in the way people see the world. Shows can provide entertainment, distraction, and a connection to pop culture. But Titans say that they can also be educational. Theogony kidnapped multiple Titans and ACHS teachers to learn more about the Titan community’s views on the impact of TV shows on students. 

Titans say that TV shows can provide different benefits based on the situation.

“If I’m trying to relax and just want something lowkey, I’ll put on an episode of Wonder Pets or Yo Gabba Gabba,” said sophomore Kelleigh Davies. “But sometimes, I want something with a little more— a little more meat to it, you know? So I’ll watch some Doc McStuffins, which is actually quite enlightening. Plus, I’m in the Health Sciences Academy, so I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched an episode right before a test and then gotten a 100% on it!”

Anatomy teacher Mikey Purch says that Doc McStuffins is a favorite among his students. He believes that the most important — and hardest— thing about teaching is figuring out a way to keep students engaged. But this is where television comes in, he says.

“I’ve been a teacher for 34 years. I’m hip; I know what this generation is into and what they’re not into!” he said. “The trick is to find a show that teaches something while also being interesting. Like, look at Doc McStuffins, or even Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! They have so many educational facts that they’re basically documentaries. The kids love them.”

Many teachers agree that shows can be the intersection between entertainment and education.

Marge Train, a junior and teaching assistant for DE English composition, said that there is a myriad of shows that provide English tips for students.

“Oh boy! There are just so many [shows] out there,” she said. “Word World, Martha Speaks, Little Einsteins… I mean, the list never ends! Word Girl is a favorite among my students. It teaches them tons of new vocabulary words, and it’s perfect for SAT prep. Though, some of them do say that they’re afraid of butchers now. But it’s worth it!”

Mimi Campagna is an AP biology teacher who shares episodes of shows like Sid the Science Kid, The Ruff Ruffman Show, and Dinosaur Train with her students every week.

“At the beginning of the year, I had my students take a pretest. More than half of them didn’t know what a hypothesis was! But after watching a few episodes of Dinosaur Train, 100% of my students got that question right on the unit test,” she said.

For those not familiar with the “hit show,” as Campagna described Dinosaur Train, it teaches viewers about paleontology and the scientific method.

“I have a new hypothesis!” says Buddy, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, in nearly every episode.

Junior Solrac Zally, who took biology last year during virtual learning with a different teacher, says that every teacher should follow Ms. Campagna’s philosophy about television shows.

“All we did on Zoom is Nearpods, notes, and quizzes. I wish I had Ms. Campagna!” he said.

Some students say that these educational television shows also have a purpose beyond the classroom.

Senior Cameron Flanders credits shows such as Octonauts and Wild Kratts to helping her discover her passion.

“When I grow up, I want to be an oceanographer. Well, really, I’d love to take over for the Kratt brothers once they retire. A girl can dream, right!” she said with a laugh. “Those shows taught me everything I know. I’m forever grateful for my oceanography teacher telling our class about the show on the first day of school. I don’t know what I’d do without Chris and Martin [Kratt]!”

These shows can inspire people and show them who they want to be. Not just their career, said freshman Alessandro Dunkin, but who they really are inside.

“I love KC Undercover,” Dunkin said. “KC is my role model. She’s who I want to be.”

Sophomore Beet Palace agrees that these shows teach viewers about who they truly are.“I look up to Whyatt Beanstalk [the protagonist of Super Why]. I love how he’s a great leader, but is also a great friend. Whyatt, thank you for everything you do!” Palace said.

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Shows Instead of Prose: The Value of TV Shows in the Classroom