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Puppet Pals: Drama and Technology

January 8, 2011

This week, my students got to participate in a very special drama activity. Thanks to @techieang and @davelanovaz, I learned about Puppet Pals: an app for the iPod Touch and iPad where students can create their own puppet shows/puppet videos using a variety of characters and settings. Since we’ve been learning about nouns, verbs, and adjectives in class, I thought that it would be great if the students could apply what they learned by creating a puppet show that included nouns, verbs, and adjectives as well as some exciting dialogue too.

The students worked in groups of five to make this puppet show. Three groups used the Puppet Pals app on the iPod Touches and one group used the Puppet Pals app on the iPad. The groups had to plan their show and figure out which group member would play which character. They all needed to have a speaking role, but this speaking role could vary depending on what the group decided.
The students loved this activity, and they reflected well after completing it too. The groups agreed that they did a good job following their plan and completing a final puppet show/movie, but that they needed to continue to improve on working well as part of a team. They knew that they couldn’t always do what they wanted to do, and they needed to be willing to compromise. Some groups said that they worked better after recording the play/movie a couple of times, as then they had a better idea of what worked well and what didn’t. One group said that they worked better out in the pod (attached to our classroom), as they could then have a bigger and quieter area to work, and this helped.
Below is a video of one of the puppet shows/movies (sorry, I started recording just a few seconds late). The children in this group definitely enjoyed manipulating the characters on the iPad as well as coming up with some creative dialogue too. I hope you enjoy their show! If you have used Puppet Pals before, I’d love to hear about your experiences too. What worked well, and what didn’t? I look forward to using this app again with my class!
An Update — Sunday, January 9, 2011

Here’s a link to another Puppet Pals video that a second group produced. This group used an iPod Touch to record the video, but it’s an older iPod Touch, so I was not able to export their video to YouTube. I apologize for my “finger shot,” but I wanted to be able to record the video to share with you here. I love how this group used both a narrator and dialogue, and their story even has a happy ending too. It took this group a number of times to record the video the way that they wanted it to be, but when they were done, all of them were pleased with what they produced. I think that this activity taught all of these group members the value of perseverance. Enjoy!


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  1. Aviva, it's great that you've taken a fun, interactive technology that students will gravitate to and have turned it into such a powerful learning experience. Great tool for engagement. It looks like a lot of fun.

  2. Thanks Dave! It definitely was a very engaging activity, and best of all, the students learned a lot too! Thanks for all of your help with Puppet Pals. I'm so glad that I tried it out with my class.


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