Lynn, the author behind TiePlay Educational Resources, is with us today sharing her insight on how to use puppets in the classroom. Your students will love interacting with reading and writing through puppet shows!
Some kids have difficulty writing, but most all kids love puppet plays. How can a teacher of 25 or more students implement puppets in the classroom along with reading skills and everything else? This idea sounds challenging. Yes, it can be done! How?
A Little Bit of Time Every Day
Spend about 20 minutes each day, and then move onto other ELA topics. Also, if a student finishes other subject matter work early, they might work on a component of their skit.
First things 1st… choose the Common Core State Standards or other state or class standards.
Depending on your class grade level, this lesson could cover the range of writing, dialogue, writing narratives, and presentation goals.
Puppet Play Examples
Next, show your students examples of puppet plays.
Here are some possible examples for younger grades based on a classic tale.
The Three Little Pigs
The Three Little Pigs Stick Puppet Show
Go over grading and group participation expectations.
Explain that the class will be creating puppet shows. Some terrific rubrics can be found at this website that you can adjust for your class.
Create a puppet play as a whole group. The class skit can be based on another story, such as Cinderella, or an original idea. Review key terminology and then brainstorm ideas for the genre, plot, setting, characters, actions, and dialogue. One concept and brainstorm a day should suffice!
Participation in Ideas
Student ideas can either be put up to a vote (the majority wins) and/or ideas selected by the teacher from each child. Place final thoughts on sentence strips or a SmartBoard. Edit the final skit with the students. Have groups of students perform the skit and videotape or tape record the presentation.
Student Puppet Plays
Learners can choose to work alone or with a group in the creation of their play. Each child should have one or two characters to portray. After a brief review of the concept, post what students will be working on for 20 minutes each
Create a Puppet and/or Set Design
After the student creates the skit, have them make a puppet and possibly even a setting. They can create a stick puppet or paper bag puppet. They can then practice the skit using their final and edited script for their presentation video or tape recording. This website has some neat puppet ideas along with the directions.
How Did I Do?
Lastly, go over the rubric with the learner and give them feedback for their next presentation.
Some students might benefit from creating a wordless puppet show, with action, setting, characters, and little to no dialogue. A scribe might write or type the words for learners. Students might also wish to present the script with pictures for a display. Some learners might wish to privately demonstrate their skit during recess or another time.
Twenty minutes a day really adds up. In about three to four weeks, expect super performances!