The Muppets huddle in a group against a sky with puffy clouds.

Sesame Street Season 51 Curriculum

A triptych of Issa Rae posing with her index finger to her forehead, then her chin, and then up in the air.

Playful Problem-Solving: Positive Approaches to Learning

Sesame Street’s 51st season kicks off a two-year curriculum focused on playful problem-solving.

Drawing on extensive research, Sesame Workshop identified a critical educational need, as today’s preschoolers commonly lack curiosity, creativity, and perseverance in the face of challenges – an issue that impacts their ability to navigate obstacles at school and in life.

“Through our conversations with educators, we learned that children quickly grow frustrated when their initial solution to a problem fails, rather than embracing the process of trial and error as they think of creative solutions for solving problems,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop. “This new curriculum, Positive Approaches to Learning, encourages children to reshape their thinking around the challenges they experience. Our Sesame Street Muppets model this approach for young viewers by working together to troubleshoot solutions, encouraging one another not to give up. They inspire creativity in coming up with new ideas and implementing them with a more resilient mindset.”

In Season 51, Sesame Street Muppets, human cast members, and guest stars alike face challenges that require flexible thinking – a critical school readiness skill that is particularly crucial in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To highlight the thinking process as they engage in creative playful problem-solving, they use the mantra “I Wonder…What if…Let’s Try!” along with corresponding gestures of pointer finger to temple, chin, and in the air, respectively, to aid comprehension. This framework for finding solutions is used in Street Stories and interstitial segments featuring kids solving new problems that are directly connected to each episode.

To further cement the mantra, the new season will debut the anthem “I Wonder, What If, Let’s Try” performed by celebrity guest Hailee Steinfeld, which will be used in Sesame Street episodes throughout the year.

Read on for examples of “I Wonder…What If…Let’s Try” coming to life in this season’s episodes:

The Muppets huddle in a group against a sky with puffy clouds.
Press Kit
Sesame Street Season 51