Piper: A Discovery Learning Experience

Piper-A Discovery Learning Experience

Piper, one of our favourite short animations, tells a simple tale about a little bird learning to defeat its fear. The story starts with a mother teaching her adorable baby to search for food.

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With every learning experience, comes obstacles to conquer and work around. For little Piper, it’s the big and scary ocean. In its attempt to learn the ropes from mom, Piper gets caught in a huge wave. Traumatised by this experience, poor Piper goes into hiding, too afraid to try again.


But hunger soon beckons. Eventually, Piper carefully steps out of hiding in search of a tasty meal. On its way towards the scary waves, Piper meets a baby hermit crab getting lessons on conquering the waves with its parents.

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While sandpipers generally move quickly away from the waves to avoid them, the hermit crabs stay put and hide in the sand to maintain stability through huge waves. Piper quickly picks up on this concept, and realises just how incredible the method is.

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Instead of running away from her fear, Piper faces it headfirst, and discovers a new world under the waves. This new world is a treasure trove of clams, all fresh for the picking! And just like that, Piper conquers her fear of the ocean, AND has a new and unique way to gather food for her friends and family!


Discovery learning is a vital part of growing up. It provides us with the opportunity to learn through experience, which is what Piper does in this short film. Motivated to find a solution to its hunger, this little sandpiper goes out and explores the possibilities in its surroundings. In doing so, Piper engages in a social learning experience and solves a problem with a creative solution.

When we engage in discovery learning, we learn to become independent and creative learners, keen investigators, and strong problem solvers. We reflect on situations, and try to find different solutions by allowing ourselves to study various methods through social interactions. Learning to cooperate, value and respect the way others see and solve problems bring fresh insights to our questions, motivating us to embrace a different perspective.

So the next time you see someone solving a problem differently than you, approach them and explore something new!

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