What's a Crankie?? Shanghai, China

The Participants:

Morikami Park Elementary School, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Ronni Gerstel, Teaching Artist; Kira Geiger, Teaching Writer

Shanghai American School, Pudong, Shanghai, China

Jeff Fessler, Teacher

The Funder:

The Victor W. and Celia Lipton Farris Foundation

The Project: 

The crankie is an old American folk art form–it consists of a wooden frame fitted with spindles and, yes, cranks. Cranking the spindles pulls a scroll of decorated paper across the opening, forming a moving backdrop for shadow puppets or other props that tell a story.

Since our stories at Blue Planet are meant to enable students to teach and learn about the world, our local students’ crankie project was all about the wonders of Florida. The Shanghai students’ piece told stories of their home, 8,000 miles from the beaches of Palm Beach County.

Take a look at what students in both countries came up with–you’ll be delighted. Click here to see Shanghai unfurl before you. Click here to see Florida scroll by.