Little Lessons Teach Basic Skills

Little Lessons are part of MPTV's Ready to Learn Service which began in 1994. The national effort to provide worthwhile programs for children also included the creation of related materials designed to enhance learning. MPTV participated in those initiatives and offered its own local workshops and on-air “Little Lessons.” The first Little Lessons began to air in November 1995.

Little Lessons teach young children good health and safety habits along with basic skills needed for school. The lessons run from one to three minutes and air between children's programs and incorporate “The Learning Triangle” and the concept of “read, view and do” to extend the learning.

Some of the topics include the following:

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Making a school lunch
  • Crossing the street
  • Getting a library card
  • Importance of play
  • Resisting bias
  • Developing the senses
  • Counting
  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Self-Esteem
  • Music appreciation
  • Making a family book
  • Paper plate flip puppets
  • Wild Things mask
  • Hidden Treasure
  • Footprint Trail
  • Playing library
  • Worms in the Dirt
  • Secret Garden
  • What's my job?
  • People on the bus
  • Money
  • Preparing for the first day of school
  • Always say, “good-bye”

The Family Book

Here is one of the Little Lessons you might like to try at home. It is designed to encourage sharing family stories. Children love to hear stories about themselves and their families. Children also love to tell their own stories.

Making a family book is a great opportunity for parents to teach about beginning, middle and end. Stories have an order of what happened first, next and next after that. Learning about this order will help children read and write.

At the evening meal, talk about what happened during the day. After dinner, have everyone draw one or more pictures and write something they remembered most about the activity they chose or the part of the day they liked the best. Ask preschoolers to tell you about what they drew. Write the words on their pictures. This shows how pictures, and spoken and written words are connected.

Draw a cover for your family book. Write your family name on the cover. Put the pages in order to make the book. Talk about what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of the day. Put all the pages together with staples or ribbon or a string.

Share your family book and read other books about family stories such as Tell Me A Story, Mama by Angela Johnson. Make reading a part of each day in the life of your family.

For more information, please call: Darlyne Haertlein, Community Relations Supervisor at (414) 297-7518 or email