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Learning Politics With Schoolhouse Rock

Updated on November 23, 2008

You probably remember these cartoons that were shown during the 1970s and 1980s. I sure remember watching Schoolhouse Rock as a child, but I also remember my high school history teachers showing them to us. The cartoons provide an entertaining way to learn about all kinds of things, from history to grammar to politics.

A good way to teach your children the basics of current and historical politics of the United States is by watching the Schoolhouse rock with them, and then talking about the cartoons. In fact, I bet these fun little flicks will remind a lot of adults about a lot of basics they have forgotten.

No More Kings

This cartoon covers a bit of U.S. history, from the Pilgrims arriving to the Declaration of Independence. The cute song and animation glosses over a lot of stuff, but it provides the basic background of how America was colonized, and then why the colonies declared independence. The politics of taxation from the British King are touched upon. As well, George Washington is introduced as the first president because we don’t want anymore kings: “No more kings!”

"Schoolhouse Rock!: No More Kings" (1975)

Fireworks

This cartoon covers the history of the 4th of July, explaining how the Declaration of Independence was singed on this date in 1776 by the Continental Congress. It is totally unrealistic, but still offers a cute version of history. We have the right of life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The cartoon touches on the clashes between the colonists and the British government, but mainly sings about fireworks and independence.

Schoolhouse Rock - Fireworks

Three-Ring Government

This episode of Schoolhouse Rock teaches about the three branches of the U.S. government by comparing it to a Three Ring Circus. It provides an easy way to learn about the branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. It also talks about how all three are important and interdependent upon each other.

Schoolhouse Rock - Three-Ring Government

The Preamble

This cartoon teaches about the history of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, written by our Founding Fathers. The preamble is sung by a chorus, highlighting the “we the people” part. It really is a nice way to learn about the preamble and what it says.

Schoolhouse Rocks - The Preamble

How a Bill Becomes a Law

It’s kind of all in the title: learn how a bill becomes a law in Washington, D.C. Enjoy listening to poor “Just a Bill” sing his song about his journey to becoming a law. Poor little “Just a Bill” is dragged from Congress to the White House to Congress…whew! Poor little “Just a Bill.” Will he ever become a Law? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law

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    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Don't you all just love Schoolhouse Rock? I was a History major before switching to English, and I love the concept of these cartoons because they make learning fun.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 10 years ago from United States

      I agree with Angela - how did you think of this one? Kudos to you, Stacie!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      What a creative idea for the politics topic

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