My students had divided a book we were reading into chapters, and each group was responsible for creating a video of that chapter’s main events.
It was a good way to review in a dynamic and memorable way. The history teacher across the hall had been teaching his students to make Common Craft videos, and I offered this as an alternative to filming a live scene.
In an act of media fluency one student said “I think the app my sister is using in Kindergarten would be perfect for this!” He described how it worked and it seemed interesting, so we quickly downloaded the free app and started testing it out.
Puppet Pals brings out the creative inner child in anyone who picks it up. You can choose pre-set characters, or upload your own images and set them in pre-set or uploaded scenes of your choosing.
When the scene is set, you can hit record and narrate or give voices to the characters as you move them around the scene. It’s essentially a puppet show that an individual can perform and film at the same time.
If you’ve seen a young child at play, moving toys around and giving them voices, this is the digital recording of that very same phenomenon.
The videos are fun to watch and the students have to summarize, problem-solve, collaborate, plan and execute the project… without even realizing they are using so many important 21st Century skills.
I love Puppet Pals, it’s going to become a standard fim-making option in my classroom.