Activity Plan: Every Puppet Tells a Story
These homemade puppet characters have faces that tell it all!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Dramatic Play
- large white drawing paper
- tempera paint
- brushes markers
- masking or duct tape (or glue)
- thin wooden dowels, cardboard tubes, or sticks
Objective: Children will create stick puppet characters that encourage language and story development, creative-thinking and fine-motor skills, and social development.
1 Share a favorite read-aloud with children and follow up with a discussion about the characters in the story. Can children name all the characters in the story you just read? What are some of their favorite characters in other stories?
2 Explain to children that they will use paint and paper to create a special character that will be made into a stick puppet. The character can be from a favorite story, or they can make up their own character.
3 Provide children with large sheets of white paper and art materials. Some children may prefer using paint, while others will want to use markers. An easel may work best for those children who choose to create their characters with paint.
4 Assist children in cutting out their finished characters. Tape or glue thin wooden dowels, cardboard tubes, or sticks onto the backs of their characters to make stick puppets.
5 Encourage children to use their stick puppets to tell stories. Each child can tell her own story, and children can also use their puppets to tell stories in groups of three or four. Then try creating a class story featuring the stick puppets. Stick puppets can even sing and dance, and children may want to represent themselves as stick puppets and share stories about their toddler years or family trips/celebrations they have enjoyed.
6 Later, have children create a theatre to use with their stick puppets. Let children decorate an old white sheet with markers to use as a curtain or backdrop. Encourage children to create scenes on the sheet from the story they are about to tell with their stick puppets. Children can also collect items to use as props for their stick puppet plays, such as tiny boxes and empty thread spools for tables, small fabric scraps for tablecloths, and small doll pillows for beds.
Block Building: Ask children to think about the types of homes their puppets would live in and invite them to use blocks to build their puppets' homes. Provide paper, drawing materials, childsafety scissors, and tape to decorate the homes. Encourage each child to describe her building to classmates. Use a camera to record children's special creations.
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman
Puppets by Susan Canizares and Samantha Berger
Shelter by Susan Canizares and Daniel Moreton