What is Rachel & the TreeSchoolers?
Rachel & the TreeSchoolers incorporates the best elements of Schoolhouse Rock, Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street to deliver a well-rounded preschool science curriculum for ages 2-6. This Science Learning System:
- Lets your child go to preschool with Rachel from Signing Time!
- Actively engages children in learning
- Teaches values like kindness, teamwork, and sharing
Today’s children’s programming is light on education, heavy on advertising. Unfortunately, selling trumps teaching. Did you know that only 1 in 8 kid’s educational programs meet high-quality standards and only 1 in 4 were classified as minimally educational? Advertisers spend $12 billion a year on ads targeting children.
The TV studios we approached about Rachel & the TreeSchoolers turned us down because the show was “too educational for children’s television” (their words). We disagreed – and we knew our Signing Time families felt the same way. So we took the project directly to them through a Kickstarter campaign. In 30 days, nearly 2,400 people pledged $218,000 to fund a total of 6 episodes. You’ll see many of those supporters’ kids in the shows! Now there are 9 Episodes of Rachel & the TreeSchoolers funded by parents and teachers like you.
Core concepts taught in Rachel & the TreeSchoolers
Ep. 1 A Rainy Day
Rain interrupts the TreeSchoolers’ plans to play outside. The lightning and thunder scare Abacus Finch. Rachel and the TreeSchoolers show Abacus that understanding something can make it less scary. Along the way, Rachel and her TreeSchooler friends explore questions such as:
- What is a cloud?
- Why does it rain?
- What is lightning?
- What is thunder?
- How can we help someone who is afraid feel better?
- How can I show kindness?
Ep. 2 Plants and Flowers
Rachel and the TreeSchoolers are getting ready for the Flower Fair, but first, they need to help Bongo learn more about flowers so he can pick out his favorite for the fair. Along the way, they work together to answer questions such as:
- How do plants grow?
- What do plants need to live?
- What is photosynthesis?
- What are the parts of a plant?
- How can we work together to learn something new?
Ep. 3 Incredible Insects
Firefly Hue helps the TreeSchoolers learn about all the ways that insects are incredible, but he’s still feeling small. Together Rachel, Hue and their TreeSchooler friends learn about insects and how even small things can have a really important purpose in life. Together, they ask questions like:
- What makes an insect an insect?
- What makes insects different than other animals?
- What are the parts of an insect?
- Why are insects important?
- How can small things make a big difference?
Ep. 4 Awesome Animals
There’s a talent show at the TreeSchool, but Penny isn’t sure what her talent is! As Rachel helps the TreeSchoolers learn about all of the awesome things animals can do, Penny discovers what makes her truly special. In this episode, Rachel helps the TreeSchoolers explore questions such as:
- What is an animal?
- What do animals need to live?
- How do animals move?
- Where do animals live?
- What do animals eat?
Ep. 5 The Amazing Human Body
Convinced that they’ve never met a human, the TreeSchoolers set out to discover what human bodies do and how they work, inside and out. As they learn about what makes humans special, they start to wonder: Could their friend Rachel actually be…a human? This episode explores questions such as:
- How do our bodies work?
- What’s inside our bodies?
- How do our bodies move?
- How do we use our senses?
- What makes humans special?
Ep. 6 Happy, Healthy Me
Abigail Finch has an important recital coming up, but she’s feeling sick! The TreeSchoolers set out to learn why bodies sometimes get sick and what we can do to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Will Abigail get better in time for the recital? Happy, Healthy Me explores questions such as:
- What can we do to take care of our bodies?
- Where do healthy foods come from?
- Why do we need sleep and exercise?
- Why do we need to drink water?
- How can we listen to our bodies?
- Why do we need to stay clean?
- How do bodies get sick?
Ep. 7 Scientific Reasoning
It’s time for the Science Fair! This episode explores the properties of air, light, and water and the steps of the Scientific Reasoning Cycle:
- Reflect and Ask
- Plan and Predict
- Act and Observe
- Report and Reflect
Ep. 8 Extraordinary Earth
When Chroma Chameleon discovers that her cousin’s habitat is endangered, the TreeSchoolers naturally want to help. With Rachel’s guidance, they discover that there are lots of things they can do to take care of our Earth! Along the way, they learn about:
- Months of the year
- Seasons of the year
- Geological formations
- Natural resources
- The seven continents
- Conservation and recycling
- Being an everyday hero
Ep. 9 Our Solar System
Simon gets worried when he sees the moon slowly disappearing! As Rachel and the TreeSchoolers set out to solve “The Mystery of the Missing Moon,” they learn about the sun, moon, stars, planets, and the scientists whose questions and curiosity led to important discoveries about our universe. Along the way learn foundational vocabulary and concepts of astronomy, including:
- phases of the moon
- the Milky Way
- and more