What’s the Word

I created and executive produced this series aimed at teaching kids big, challenging new vocabulary words. This series of 15 music videos set to original songs starred Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of RunDMC fame and were animated on very tight budget and schedule constraints. I directed all 15 episodes, working closely with composers, designers and animators. The series was extremely successful in achieving both its learning goals and also generating positive press for Noggin as Darryl McDaniels promoted the series.

A study that leveraged pre/post testing with eye tracking technology, measured the comprehension and retention of challenging but important vocabulary words with children ages 3-5. These words were often far more advanced that the target audience, with some words at the middle school comprehension levels. The study results indicated that children who watched the videos were not only highly engaged but were able to understand and retain an understanding of these challenging vocabulary words. These results stand at odds with the prior belief that such advanced words cannot be taught to children at this age.




Avg. 2:00 to 3:00


Noggin app & partner channels, YouTube


After Effects, Premiere, Illustrator, Photoshop


Creator & Executive Producer: Peter Kiger, Julius Harper
Director: Peter Kiger
Performed By: Darryl McDaniels, Tiffany Deveraux
Music By: Joachim Svare, Joleen Belle & Drew Ryan Scott, Jack Kugell, Jamie Jones, Hanna Jones & Matt Wong, Anthony Mirabella, Bianca Sperduti, Susan Paroff, Ali "Dee" Theodore, James Keith Petrie & Sergio Cabral
Project Manager: Jen Johnson
Production Manager: David Leal
Design: Amy Stadelmann, Anne Ruffin
Storyboards: Spencer Sine, Yvonne Kwok
Animation: Spencer Sine, Yvonne Kwok, Aeisha Cirunay