The Bird's Nest

…sharing stories of our learning

July 1, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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Making a Puppet Show Using Our Writing, An iPad and Puppet Pals: All About EL. B.

Writing about her appearance, personality and some of the things she is passionate about

EL B. loves animals so that was definitely a component of her writing using similes. “My hair is as brown as a chestnut horse” is one simile EL B. wrote. She also wrote sentences about being as caring as a veterinarian and as artistic as a painter (painting animals). I will remember all of her drawings of unicorns, horses and of the pegasuses.  Here is a Tagxedo, in a horse shape, with all of the words from her descriptive writing.

We ended our school year by using students’ writing and recording each one within an iPad App called Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass . In the Director’s Pass version of the App, students were able to make a puppet of themselves by tracing in one continuous line around their bodies in a photograph. This then creates a puppet that can be moved or resized (manipulated) across a chosen backdrop as the student reads out her “All About Me” paragraph. Students can choose between the backdrops that come with the Puppet Pals App or use ones we took around the school.

Here is EL. B.’s puppet show:

EL.B.’s most recent journal picture – She was going to “tweet” it

July 1, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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A.P. Uses iPad App Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass

An “All About Me” written by AP

AP described his appearance and personality using similes. We put all the words he used into a Tagxedo word cloud.

Here is AP’s puppet show where he describes his appearance, personality and things he enjoys doing. AP used Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass for the iPad.

July 1, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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A. S. – Describing Myself Using A Simile Story

All about me: my appearance, my personality and things I enjoy doing

Here is a Tagxedo word cloud showing all of the words AS used in her “All About Me” simile writing. When we neared the end of this project, I would read one or two students’ writing and students would guess who had described themselves.

AS recorded herself reading her all-about-me write. We used the App, Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass, to create a puppet show. AS used her finger to trace around herself in a photograph on the iPad to cut out and turn herself into a “puppet” to use with the App. Here is her short Puppet Show/Movie on Vimeo:

July 1, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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GC – A Simile Write and Puppet Show

A Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass puppet show made on the iPad

Here are all of GC’s words from his simile write loaded into a Tagxedo word cloud. This writing project was divided into three different “chunks.” Each lesson included reading one of three books: Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story, My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil, and My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks. Our first writing focused on physical appearance, the second writing on characteristics and the final writing was on things we like to do or things we are really good at doing.

Here is GC’s Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass puppet show. He had a photo of himself and he traced around it to cut out a puppet of himself to use in his simile puppet show.


Leedy, L. (2008). Crazy like a fox: A simile story. New York: Holiday House.

Piven, H. (2007). My dog is as smelly as dirty socks: And other funny family portraits. New York: Schwartz & Wade.

Piven, H. (2010). My best friend is as sharp as a pencil: And other funny classroom portraits. Schwartz & Wade.

July 1, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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All About Me – AB: A Simile Write

Using literature to inspire a simile write.

AB and her classmates enjoyed listening to Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story which was written by Loreen Leedy. Rufus the fox is on an adventure as he chases Babette the sheep. The fox and sheep encounter many other animals in their chase. Students consistently enjoyed predicting the object or animal that would be used in each simile. In fact, the story is written so that prior to turning to the next page, where the completion of the simile is revealed, students have the opportunity to predict which comparison will be used.

AB has a real strength in playing with language. She is an early reader and someone who uses writing within all sorts of play settings. I have a collection of her notes with my favourite being one that was attached to a floral arrangement fresh from the classroom florist shop, “[Your] the best teacher I have ever seen.” It is okay that she is in kindergarten and that I am the only teacher she has ever seen. Thanks, AB, for showing me how much language is a part of play every day in a kindergarten classroom.

Here is a recording AB made of herself as a puppet starring in a short Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass puppet show:

June 27, 2012
by Ms Clayton
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A Kindergarten Student’s Simile Write

EB has written a story about herself using mostly similes. She also created a Puppet Pals show.

I hope you have a wonderful summer holiday with your family and friends, EB! You have really become a reader and writer. Look at all those words below! Just think of all the fun you will have in Grade One next year. I will see you in September and you can show me your new classroom and tell me what kinds of books you read over the summer. Maybe next year you can make a puppet show using pictures you draw.

 Here is EB’s Puppet Pals presentation:

Puppet Pals HD Director’s Pass

Tagxedo for word art!