Back to School in the time of COVID – Social-Emotional Learning


Well, it’s back to school time. We wanted to use visual storytelling with PuppetMaster to do a little SEL (social-emotional learning) project. It could be a nice way to identify and express our feelings, and alleviate anxieties around going back to school during COVID.

This project is for kids, parents, and teachers. We will each make an animated video to talk about our feelings about the new school year. Then, we can share these together and open up a discussion. This will help us feel more comfortable, and have empathy for others and their feelings about everything.


  • How do you feel about starting the new school year? Excited? Nervous? Both? Something else?
  • What are some things you’re looking forward to when you go back to school?
  • Is there anything you are worried about?
  • How are you attending school? In person? Online? Not sure?
  • Do you have any questions about how school is going to be done in this new year?


  • Make a self portrait – a collage or painting, whatever you like.
  • Optional: make another character of somebody else. If you’re a student, the other character might be a teacher, or a friend you’re going to see in school, or whatever.
  • If you’re doing school in person with masks, you can put masks on the characters.
  • Make a background that shows where school is going to be. If you’re planning remote, maybe it’s a picture of your room with a computer. If in-person school, then a classroom. Or maybe you will be having classes outside?
  • Animate your characters with your background to show and tell us some things you’re excited about for school, and some things that make you feel worried or anxious.
  • Share the video! Post to our FaceBook page (with parents’ permission of course), or email us to share privately with Google Drive or similar. You can also share in groups with your class, fellow students and fellow teachers. Let’s discuss what we’ve shared. We can empathize with each other, and talk about strategies to deal with the challenges of this upcoming year. We are in this together!


You can follow this self portrait example from our previous self portrait project.

And you can follow the rest of the example, to see how we set up this puppet in PuppetMaster.

Feel free to use this template if it helps, or just make your own from scratch.

Leave A Comment