Thursday, April 18, 2013

Online Puppet Show

The new favorite app at the International School of Morocco is Puppet Pals.  It is one of the few apps that we liked so much that our school paid for each of us to have the upgraded version, so that’ll tell you how awesome it is.

In both the free and paid version, students get to choose up to 8 puppet characters and a background scene.  (The paid version gives you more options and also lets you import pictures for both characters and backgrounds.)  Then, the students can move around the puppet characters and add dialogue while recording themselves.  At the end, the students can export their show as a movie file.

Using puppet pals in the classroom to encourage lanuage.

We have been using this app in every classroom.  The 3 year olds used it to re-tell the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.  The 4 and 5 year olds have used it to create their own stories (no writing needed!).  The 1st – 4th grade students are using it as part of their Earth Day Video Project – they will use it to create a video talking about reduce, reuse and recycle.  Even our French and Arabic teachers have gotten into the action, having students creating stories in those languages too.

At the ECIS conference, the presenter used it herself to create introductions for the videos in her “flipped classroom”.  Since all videos are exported as .mp4 files, they can then be uploaded into iMovie or Movie Maker and edited or added to a longer movie.

Here is a very simple video that one of my students created in our extra curricular English Language Learner class.  He was asked to create something using the verb “to eat”.

How could you use Puppet Pals in your class?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources