CyberFair Project ID: 5009

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Heroes of Hsilo – The Passing down and Innovation of Hand Puppet Show
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Victoria Academy
    Yunlin County, NP, Taiwan

17 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 28, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006, 2007

Classes and Teachers: Roy Lin, Henry Su, Singma Ho

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Yunlin is located at the central-south part along the western coast of Taiwan. Yunlin County stands at the north tip of Chianan plain, bordering Nantou County in the east, Changhua County in north with Choshiu River as watershed, Chiayi County in the south with Peikang River as watershed. The County has a total land area of 1,290.8351 square kilometers and a population of about 750,000. Major rivers, such as Choshiu River, Chingshiu River, Peikang River and Huwei River run from east to west into the Taiwan Straits. Under the jurisdiction of the County Government are one city, five urban townships and 14 rural townships. Except for Touliu City, Kuken and Linnei rural townships cover some mountains; the rest of them are plains. Chiatung Area is located in Douliu City, which is surrounded with various of farms. It belongs to the Dalun watershed of the Peikang River. The community waste water flows to the Dalun drain. Dalun drain flows eater towards to the river and meets other community waste water at the southwestern corner of Victoria Academy.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our motivation of research on “The Heroes of Hsilo – The Passing Down and Innovation of Hand Puppet Show” is derived from the conversation we’ve heard from our foreign teachers. They were talking about their own cultures in class a lot, but we could barely talk about our own cultures. Thus, the whole research project is to find out the cultural arts around us, propagate, and introduce it to foreign friends. We divided the website into “Holding out for a Hero”, “School of Art”, “The 18 Bronzemen”, “Show the World”, “Arena in Underworld”. They are in sequence. Here is the guideline: 1. Holding out for a Hero: (1) To explain our research motivation. (2) Foreigners’ point of view on and questions about a hand puppet show. 2. School of Arts: To introduce the process of searching native culture, a report about our questions and research results, collected information from interviews with those masters. 3. The 18 Bronzemen: The process of how we’d learned to produce a hand puppet show. 4. Show the World: We performed a hand puppet show to promote and demonstrate our research results. 5. Arena in Underworld: Interactive games to make viewers understand our website more. 6. Victoria Youth: Introduction to the members of Victoria Youth. 7. Music Box: A collection of some famous characters’ theme songs when reviewing our website. Our purpose is to pass down the beauty of hand puppet show through the records of how we learn and perform the puppets in our hands. Besides, we add in our creativities and life experiences to expression something new. We hope that all participants may experience and discover our native cultures deeply, and gain strong confidence about our hometown arts through promoting it.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Victoria Academy adopts ADSL to surf useful information and benefit teaching. In addition, there are two NT Servers and a LINUX Server used for WEB, DBS, MAIL, and FTP.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

In the beginning, all we knew about a hand puppet show was from written words, so it was hard to really know it or feel it. Luckily later on we had an interview with Mr. Huang Feng-Shih. Under his instruction, we decided to change our paper reading research to hand-on experience. Thus, collecting information, we felt closer to what we’d read, and had gained more confidence when we promoted the hand puppet show to the community. Our team wasn’t familiar with the cyber fair’s procedure, and the time was urgent (We couldn’t find Mr. Huang Feng-Shih till the end of December.), so we made a huge change on our research directions. As we just mentioned above, we decided to turn paper work to action, and added the research on Master Huang Hai-Tai’s family. Thus we’d worked at school on winter break in order to finish it before the Chinese New Year.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

What made us feel great was “Have a talk in person is better than 10-year reading”. When you google about “hand puppet show”, a lot of related information pops right on the screen. We were so lucky to meet Mr. Huang Feng-Shih in person and we had his leading and narration when visiting the PILI studio. All the information we’d got was stories full of affection, not just cold and dead words. Because we did everything in person, we were able to feel the contents of this project strongly from screenwriting, making puppets, dubbing, music editing, stage setting, performing…etc, especially from the interaction with Mr. Huang and our supervisors. We received the essence of teachers’ experiences through years. We felt that every teacher’s specialty is different, but their attitude is serious and attentive. This is what we’ve learned most. “No pains, no gains.” Especially before being on stage, if we’re not fully prepared, we’re going to make a fool of ourselves!

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

This project combines language arts, social studies and humanity arts. This project makes us not only know about the subjects only, but the evolution of Master Huang Hai-Tai’s family. To confirm our locality is one of the crucial parts of international program in our school. Because we believe that only if we know about the place we live, we have something to exchange with foreigners, not just to tell them how much we know about their cultures. Because the aspects that we’ve known about them (such as Halloween, Christmas) is a bridge for communication. Only when we’re able to share with what we’ve discovered and how joyful we are about our cultures could make them interested in ours, which is the real way to internationalize Taiwan.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

- oral interviews and telephones: visit experts; interview through several phone calls - internet: search from the internet, communicate with cyber friends - books, newspapers: look for related documents and reports - recorders: record interview contents, edit the records - digital cameras: make and edit CD picture Albums - scanners, printers: scan newspapers or pictures, print out students' typing work - laptop computers: easy to bring with when visiting other places or people - flash drives: is able to store massive data and picture files - computer software: Flash, Photoshop, GoldWave, WinAVIVideoConverter

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

At the beginning, the school board vice president Chia-Fen Lee made contact with the head consultant, Fong-Shi Huang, of the International Pili Multimedia, then we took over to scheme the further interviews and visits. Therefore, we also invited Mr. Huang to school and made a description of how we were going to work on the case study and what we were going to design a website to promote our study simultaneously. Next, we asked for advice from Mr. Huang of a variety of questions about our designated topic. After we had designed and created our puppetry drama, our Junior High school curriculum organizer gathered the whole school students to enjoy the school performance. Afterwards, the elementary school curriculum organizer Po-I Lin invited the neighbor schools to watch the puppetry drama, which included Cheng-Nan elementary school, Wu-Chia elementary school, King-Long elementary school, Yung-Guang elementary school, etc. In addition, the head of the foreign language department, Pei-Fen Lee, arranged the foreign teachers and foreign parents to take part of our project. They helped to fill out the questionnaires and also learned to manipulate various puppets through activities. They came to watch our drama presentation as well, learning our local culture. Finally, Ms. Shu-Jen Tsai invited several news reporters to promote our puppetry drama, e.g. Dei-Jin Jiag of CTI TV, Hung-Yuan Yo of China Television, I-An Chen of the Journalist, Hui-Lin Tung of Epochtimes, etc.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Actually, Pili hand puppet shows have been quite familiar and well acquainted in our community. However, we know very little about the Pili family. From the project cooperation, in addition to help people learn more about the value of puppetry arts, we have promoted the local culture interests and community identification. Above all, during the process, the great puppetry master Hai-Dai Huang passed away before dawn on February 11th. His death had caused lots of Taiwanese people’s sorrow and recall towards this national treasure. At the same time, we also just accomplished the website part about his story. Therefore we determined to notify our community schools of this website, which provides the schools enough resources as local culture and art teaching materials.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Most of our website data and materials come from interview contents and compilation. After several interviews, we had acquired the permission from the chief counselor of Pili Multimedia Inc., Master Huang Feng-Shih and he would grant us the authority to publish the website after we completed the content and design. Meanwhile the content had gone through their examination and investigation.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We found it is difficult to speak Taiwanese fluently without the old generation’s instruction one to one. We hardly pronounce correctly and mostly we couldn’t find any electronic dictionaries are able to teach us authentic pronunciation. In other word, if we only focused on the written paper and collected written information without doing in practice, we wouldn’t be able to experience the senior’s effort and time. The most valuable lesson that we have learned from the project is we usually ignore some precious things around us. We often learn things from textbooks, TV shows, network, or idle talk with friends, which are all given by others passively. Nevertheless, our teachers remind us that we should make a self-examination of what we are doing and take concerns of the people and matters around us. Just like the main character, Victor, in our hand puppet show, finally found that he should not always live in dreams, but strives for his toward his dreams and goals. What surprised us most was to do a hand puppet show by ourselves. We felt it was difficult in the beginning, because it’s impossible to know about traditional operas and manipulation of puppets 101 in a short time. However, we had an idea that why not we make a hand puppet show of our own? Thus, we asked teachers to help with the puppet DIY and screenwriting to make a new style hand puppet show, which is one of the kind. Eventually, the audience’s laughter and applause were also an unbelievable achievement for us!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5009)

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