Activity Plan 3-4: Folktale Puppets
Children discover how enjoyable working together can be with this lively puppet play.
- Grades: PreK–K
- selection of favorite folktales including The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy (Scholastic Inc.; $5.49), The Little Red Hen* illustrated by Lucinda McQueen (Scholastic Inc.; $3.25), and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig* by Eugene Trivizas (Scholastic Inc.; 53.95)
- puppet-making materials such as brown paper lunch bags; variety of collage materials including felt, fabric, construction paper, and yarn; glue sticks, child safety scissors; markers; and crayons
Objective: Children will develop cooperation, literacy, and creative-thinking skills as they work in small groups to develop a puppet show based on favorite folktales.
1 Choose a few folktales and introduce them to children during reading time. Engage them in discussions to help them to develop an understanding of the meaning of the stories, story sequence, settings, and main characters. Once they have become familiar with the text and meaning of the stories, explain that they will create puppets to dramatize a favorite folktale.
2 Divide children into small groups and ask each group to choose a folktale. Work with each group to identify the main characters and assist them in choosing their puppet characters. If there are more book characters than children, invite them to make more than one puppet. If there are more children than book characters, encourage them to make one or more of the same characters.
3 Provide time for each group to create their puppets and develop and practice their puppet show. Offer assistance if needed.
4 Invite each group to dramatize their chosen folktale. Children can use their puppets while you read the folktale or they can retell the story themselves. The children can also perform their folktale puppet shows for parents or other classrooms. Place the puppets and folktale books in a container in the library area or dramatic-play area to encourage further play.
Puppet Extensions: Invite the same groups to use their puppets to create a new story. Or, mix up the groups and ask them to use their puppets to create a new story.
Curriculum Connection: ART
Puppet Stage! Make a puppet stage by cutting out the bottom out of a medium-size cardboard box. Provide children with tempera paint, collage materials, or stickers to decorate the box. Make a curtain by placing fabric on each side of the front of the puppet stage. Now invite the children to perform their puppet shows!