Saturday, July 20, 2024


by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11

Watch this delightful Pixar short and use it as the starting point for learning in different areas of the curriculum!

If the video below is unavailable, you can watch Piper as part of a Disney+ subscription. It is also sometimes included as an extra short video on Disney DVDs and Blu-rays.


Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • A group of sandpipers is called a ‘fling’. Can you find out the collective nouns for different groups of animals?
  • Write (and record) some narration for this video in the style of a nature documentary.
  • Create a diary entry from the point of view of Piper.
  • Pause the video at different points (e.g. 1:01, 1:17, 2:11, 3:14, 4:17) and think of captions or speech / thought bubbles for the characters.
  • Write a story about an unlikely friendship between two animals.
  • Write your own story about an animal that overcomes its fears.
  • Create a persuasive advert to promote this video to an audience.
  • Think of words and phrases to describe the main character. How does Piper change as the animation develops?
  • Write an acrostic poem about PIPER or SANDPIPERS.
  • Write a sequel in which Piper has a new adventure.
  • Write your own review of this animation in the style of a newspaper movie review.


  • Create food chains / webs that include sandpipers.
  • Describe the habitats shown in the video. What other plants and creatures might live there?
  • Think about how sandpipers are adapted to living in this habitat.
  • What are tides? Create a report that teaches others about them.


  • Use image editing software to create your own pictures of Piper.
  • Create a game about a sandpiper that has to catch its own food while avoiding the waves.
  • Create an animation that shows sandpipers running along the shore to get some food but then fleeing from the waves.
  • Look at Pixar’s site and then create your own website to promote this short film to others.
  • Use publishing software to create some promotional posters / leaflets to advertise this movie.


  • Create a comic strip that retells this story. Add captions and thought bubbles to accompany your illustrations.
  • Look at photos of sandpipers and create your own pictures / paintings of them (see resource below).
  • Look at the photo of the young sandpiper on the downloadable resource below and compare this to Pixar’s image of Piper. How are they similar / different? Can you use similar techniques to create your own version of a baby animal that could be used in an animated movie?


  • Listen to the soundtrack of this video. What instruments can you hear? How would you describe the music?
  • How does the music change throughout the animation? How does it enhance the story?
  • Can you compose a new soundtrack for the video (or a small part of it)?


  • Piper is terrified of the waves at the beginning of the story. How would you encourage her to return and try again?
  • What are you frightened of? Have you ever overcome one of your fears? How would you help somebody else to overcome their own fears?
  • In the animation, Piper shows her determination and perseverance. Think of occasions when you have had to persevere at something.

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