Puppets in Education
Puppets in the Classroom
Hi folks. I just wanted you to know how great it is to be one of the puppets in the classroom. My teacher lets me help the kids in every subject. It's fun because I get to learn with them; spelling, reading, math and the best part ... I get to be dramatic! I don't want to brag, but I'm really quite popular. If you look down below, you'll see some ideas about how to use puppets in education. Have fun!
Why have a puppet do the talking
Puppets are popular,
No matter how young or how old we may be, we all can become quite enthralled with the antics of a supposedly inanimate object that is suddenly able to move, speak and take on a personality. Once our imagination takes over it becomes very easy enter the world of play and ignore the fact that a "real" person is in fact in control of the puppet.
Puppets focus attention,
................ break down barriers,
................... speak to all ages.
There are very few people who won't respond to an interesting puppet creature. Even inhibited children are often more at ease and able to interact with a non-threatening character.
Puppetry is often used in a formal performance to present a story or lesson.
There are however, many ways to use puppets in the classroom. The key ingredient is not the puppeteering expertise or talent of the teacher, but the interest and imagination of the students.
Possibilities? ....How to make puppets do the teaching
Teacher in Control
- a teacher's "right hand man" ........ or snail ... ...or elf ....
when used as...
• an "ice breaker" ..... introductory chit chat as students arrive
(especially effective for French (FSL) or any second language conversation review)
..... quick review of rote learning
(math facts, study for history test, Bible verses)
• leading/teaching a song ...characters don't have to have good voices!
• teacher/puppet dialogue to introduce a lesson (could be combined with an object lesson)
• a symbol for a theme ..... design a unit in which a character is the unifying factor
(a farmer for lessons on healthy eating or The Fruits of the Spirit)
Student in Control
Students become part of the story or lesson when they take on the role of puppeteer. A much greater depth of thought is required when ideas must be consolidated and presented in a creative form.
Depending on the comfort level of the performers, plays can be presented live or recorded. Recording gives the students an opportunity to focus on the actions of the puppets so that they do not become simply "talking heads".
It's fun and easy to make puppets for an art lesson. From simple paper bag puppets to more complicated string puppets, there are many puppet patterns suitable for all ages and abilities.
What About Puppet Scripts for School or Church?
• songs with simple storylines ..... many available for younger students, older students may find their own popular song that speaks to their life experience)
• simple storybooks ........ use as written with a narrator or students rewrite story in dialogue
• non-scripted or ad-lib .........role playing through a puppet can be less threatening
• memory work helper ..... Pop-ups can help students practise
anything that needs memorizing either by themselves or with a partner
• readers' theatre .......... allowing shy children to read their parts with a puppet often helps them to relax and express emotion through the puppet
Performance with puppets in the classroom
If a class decides to polish a play for a formal performance, all members should be involved in some manner. The teacher must sometimes be very creative in inventing a number of non-performing jobs!