Kermit. Big Bird. Lamp Chop. King Friday. Famous puppets indelibly embedded in childhood memories. What about those life-sized-puppets of Sid and Marty Kroft’s HR Pufnstuf? Ah, the eager anticipation of Saturday morning cartoons during the 1970s. More than characters on a screen, these puppets were lovable friends, full of humor and wisdom, living on the edge of absurd.
Puppetry as a platform for storytelling offers learners an opportunity to explore the art of voice, the world of make-believe, and the power of story. Starting with the Missouri learning standards of erosion and narrative writing, our Studio Two storytellers embarked on a journey to create puppet problem/solution videos with producer and Kansas City artist Anna Jordan-Douglass. In production teams, which included writers, directors, set designers, and editors, learners identified an erosion problem on our campus that needed repair. After much scientific research and data collection, teams decided on what solution would best fit the problem and then wrote and produced a short visual narrative starring the puppets they created.
What a fantastic learning experience! With the iPad, teams were able to produce the entire visual narrative.
- Writers collaborated on Pages to draft scripts
- Directors shot all video using the iPad camera
- Set Designers collected copyright-friendly photos and authentic images for the various set pieces, airdropping as needed and saving to an album in Photos.
- Directors airdropped any footage they had to the same album.
- Editors utilized DoInk for green screen editing followed by combining Line Draw animation in Keynote and final editing in iMovie.
More than the creative product, learners deepened their understanding of what it means to manage a project, to work as a team, and to better understand that storytelling is one of the most significant ways to put ideas into the world. Most of all, they experienced what it means to contribute their gifts and talents to make something amazing.