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7 SEL Lessons Sesame Street Has Taught Us All

7 SEL Lessons Sesame Street Has Taught Us All

Sunny Day

Sweepin' the clouds away

On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get?

How to get to Sesame Street

These are the lyrics that have shaped the childhood of many since Sesame Street’s debut in 1969. The impact of this show spans fifty years and has taught children many valuable lessons when it comes to kindness, empathy, acceptance of new cultures and people, and the list goes on. What do all of these lessons have in common? In current education terminology, they would be considered important skills under the larger umbrella of social emotional learning. Popularized in our current educational climate far beyond just preschool-aged children, the important lessons that Sesame Street has taught us (and continues to bestow on youth today) are truly timeless.  

Take a look back at seven valuable SEL lessons Sesame Street has taught us all through the years:

1. Respect for others

Sesame Street’s urban setting has been a great place for children to learn about different cultures, careers, and lifestyles. The song “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” teaches children to be curious about those who live in their neighborhood and to appreciate the different contributions we all make to our community.

2. Understanding emotions

Sesame Street has many skits and songs about feelings, how to identify them, and how to explain them to others. Helping children to express and understand their emotions can set a strong foundation as to how they overcome challenges, understand others, and communicate throughout their lives.

3. Dealing with loss and grief

Sesame Street has been at the forefront of tackling the explanation of tough social issues for children on a variety of topics. In the video below, children learn more about the reality of confronting grief and the loss of a loved one and learn how to cope by using such strategies as talking about happy memories with their families.

4. Resilience

Life is full of big and little challenges we must all overcome. But for a preschooler, that can be difficult to understand. Teaching children the power of resilience and not giving up when life presents a challenge is certainly a valuable skill we should all possess.

5. Empathy

Not only is it important to understand your own emotions, but Sesame Street has taught us that empathy is key to understanding other people and their struggles.

6. Dealing with conflict

Conflict can be tough to grasp as a little one, but a simple demonstration with the help of a friendly face has taught us that it’s okay to disagree sometimes.

7. Believe in yourself

Lastly, we all know that a little self-confidence goes a long way. This song helps kids to understand that believing in yourself will take you far in life.

Want to learn about how to incorporate Sesame Street’s SEL lessons into your classroom? Check out these FREE resources!'s picture
Brita Hammer

Brita started with Edmentum in March 2018 and currently serves as a Marketing Associate. She is passionate about providing teachers resources to help their students achieve in and out of the classroom. Brita earned a B.S. in Marketing from North Dakota State University.