With simple supplies you already have at your school, give your students an immersive experience to create and perform with simple puppets.
This lesson can be easily applied to any grade level or subject.
Science, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies
TimelineEstimated Time: about 1 hour
There are many ways to perform with these puppets. For a quick performance, students may perform improvised puppet shows by making up dialogue while they are performing. If you want an extended project into writing, you can have students write their own puppet shows and then perform. Students can perform individually or in pairs. Or, as in the case of the accompanying video, you can have students perform a poem they are memorizing.
The one important thing with these simple puppets is this: they do not have a mouth. This means it is hard to tell which puppet is speaking, unless the puppeteer adds some movement. Encourage your students to move their puppet any time their puppet is speaking, whether it is a small wave, a wiggle, a bounce, etc. Students are also behind a cardboard barrier, so remind them to speak LOUDLY and CLEARLY when performing.
Demonstrate how the puppet is made and how to use it.
A paper mitt puppet is one piece of plain paper folded in half (hamburger style) and stapled on the top and side, leaving the bottom open for the hand to enter. Then you draw a LARGE character (or even just its large face) on the puppet. The mouth will not open; don't worry about its placement.
Give students guidelines for the puppets you would like them to create. They could create puppets of characters from history, animals from ecosystems you are studying, math symbols, characters from a book you are reading, the students themselves, or ANYTHING your class is learning about.
Integration InformationThe sky is the limit on this one. What are your students struggling to understand? Teaching others is a great way to learn, and teaching others through puppets is a fun way to do that!
DifferentiationAdapt as necessary for students with individual abilities and needs.
Students will use paper mitt puppets to demonstrate any topic.
Determine other questions based on integration topic.
How can I make sure my audience can hear me?
Without a mouth, how can my audience know my puppet is talking?
Puppet Theater: Cut a window in a science fair tri-fold board and staple on a sheer curtain. Voila!
Was it clear which puppet was talking?
Could the audience hear the students' voices?
Did students' puppet shows reflect the concepts from the lesson?
Fine Art Standards
All grades: Puppetry, Vocal Expression
Any! Have your students create puppets to represent landforms, history, parts of speech, long division, or anything else you are learning about in class.