Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
Get it now

Puppet Pals HD

Get it now

All the world's a stage with this easy, thematic story creation app

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
  • Arts
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Pre-K-2
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (24 Reviews)
3

Take a look inside

4 images

Pros: Themed character packs guide the basic story while other options and voice recording let students' imagination flow.

Cons: Most character packs and use-your-own images require in-app purchases.

Bottom Line: Puppet Pals HD is a fun, creative way to help students learn thematic storytelling.

Puppet Pals can be incorporated into classroom lessons about about history, current events, science, storytelling, literary genres, and more. Read the helpful guide with lesson ideas on the developer's website (specifically created for Puppet Pals 2 but also applicable to this version), which also includes tips to use the specific features of this app most effectively. Multiple students can work on a storyline together, incorporating story sound effects and voice acting for each character. Or, individual students can use this as a presentation or storytelling tool. Teachers may want to use one of the historical-based character packs (American history figures, characters from Medieval times, or Thanksgiving) or the current U.S. political figures pack to enliven the lessons in a unique, memorable way.

Continue reading Show less

Puppet Pals HD offers an easy way for students to create and record their own storytelling scenes and develop fun voice-acting skills. Simply tap "Press to Start" and choose up to eight themed, move-able sticker-like characters from the available theme packs (in-app purchase required for most). Next, select up to five backgrounds. Swipe and pinch to place, resize, and move the characters within the background. Tap to record audio or swap backgrounds, then save and give the performance a title. The app includes one set of characters and sets, Fairy Tale, and there are others available for purchase at $0.99 each (or $4.99 for the full Director's Pass). Sets include American historical figures, politicians, wild west, pirates, and one called "War & Peace," which features people from the past who are known for war- or peace-making, such as Mother Teresa. The ability to cut people out of your real-life photos and use them as puppets or add backgrounds also requires an in-app purchase.

Continue reading Show less

Students can learn about digital storytelling using Puppet Pals HD. While recording their own audio, students practice speaking clearly. If working with others, they can learn creative collaboration and dialogue. They can also observe how multiple forms of expression -- visuals, movement, voice acting, and sound effects -- come together to tell a story. When teachers provide some background information about the famous people in history or current politicians included as characters, students can also learn more subject-specific information in a memorable way.

Continue reading Show less
Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Your own photos, as well as fun, themed character packs -- which include things like U.S. historical figures and knights and princesses -- can be added to the initial pack via in-app purchase for more engaging story-creating sessions.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Students can learn how each part of the creative process works to form a story as they make decisions about which backgrounds and characters to use in each scene, how to size them and move them around, and which audio to record.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

There are very few instructions, and data is limited to the elapsed time of each saved video. There's a helpful Parent and Teacher User Guide on the developer's website.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 24 reviews) (24 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Melissa Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Liberty
Springfield, MA
5
Digital Storytelling Coming Alive

I think Puppet Pals is a great teaching tool!!! It is easy to use for all children. I love how they have already characters and how you can add your own pictures for a more personalize story. Students want to go on it because they think it is fun and don't realize how much learning they are getting from being on it. If I could use this app more often I would! The movies the students made were so much fun to watch and share with their parents.

Read full review