Puff the Magic Dragon Film Project- Our Process

For winter 2018 SGES students chose the song “Puff the Magic Dragon” to build a film performance on. They learned the song before winter break, and on their return to school they have begun to collaborate on what their film will entail.

Preschool students worked with Ms. Lorea and Ms. Kristin to design special mixed media crowns they will wear in the film. They worked with Ms. Page to design and paint a backdrop for the film.

Prekindergarten students collaborated with  Ms. Page for a few weeks to design and create a large, movable Puff puppet to manipulate during the film.

On Thursday, January 25th 2018 students held their performance which was filmed and available for viewing here.


Tuesday January 9th the prekindergarten students came together and watched a video of giant dragon puppets carried in the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco. Then we brainstormed what OUR dragon would look like. After the discussion, here is our description of Puff:

Puff is almost always friendly- but can get angry.

Puff has one big eye and one little eye.

Puff blows smoke and fire.

Puff is green, pink, purple, gold, and silver- in other words, rainbow.

Puff has 2 wings (maybe one more hidden one).

Puff has 4 legs, 4 toes on front feet, 5 toes on back feet with no claws.

Puff has stand-up scales on his tail but not his back.

The end of Puff’s tail is an arrow shape.

Students then used their choices of acrylic paint to paint butcher paper to cut colorful scales from.  

We worked with students to find the fairest way to choose who will hold which area of the dragon puppet for the film.

All kinds of applied learning, happening here like pattern-making, negotiation and fairness practice, cooperation, collaborative thinking and brainstorming, making choices, planning, and designing—-all stemming from a friendly dragon named Puff!



Wednesday January 10th the preschool Mariposas discussed where the “land of Hanalei” is and what it looks like. After some discussion, here is what they decided:

The land of Hanalei is in Hawaii. 

There is an erupting volcano with red lava and gray smoke. There are orange, yellow and brown beaches, and some palm trees. The ocean is blue, purple and black.

The sky is blue with white clouds, and the song happens during the day.

The next day the class painted the first stage of the backdrop with Ms. Page and Ms. Kristin.



After the two halves dried, we taped them together so they looked like a sandy beach and ocean waves. The next week we painted blue sky with clouds and the last week added colorful fish drawn with markers  and an exploding volcano made of torn and cut paper in lava colors.








The huge backdrop was taped to a long piece of wood. Our land of Hanalei was ready!

Meanwhile, the Prekindergarten class finished their giant dragon puppet including adding details to the golden wings and creating the dragon fire. The giant dragon was cut into pieces so each student could hold part of it. After weeks of work, everything  is now ready for the performance!

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  1. […] To see our process, please see our post HERE […]

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