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What is Puppetry?

Puppetry is giving life-like characteristics to any inanimate object.

Why should my students use Puppetry? 

Studies show that many students learn through doing. Puppetry is a prime example of how students can participate in a dramatic activity in a comfortable way. Using puppets takes the focus off of the student and creates a unique communication opportunity. Student also enjoy designing the puppets, writing the scripts, and creating movements, voices, and personalities for them.

Where does Puppetry fit into my curriculum? 

Everywhere! Access art by designing and making puppets, social studies by making puppets from around the world, history through making puppets of historic figures and using them, math by making puppets that teach concepts, English by making puppets to perform a story, and ESL and language by making/using puppets that speak different languages. 

How do I start? 

Begin by introducing your students to creating a character using movement, voice, and imagination. Then transfer this to a puppet. Remember to include artistry and puppetry skills! Playing in pairs is a good low-pressure way to begin using puppets, or even by modeling puppetry by having a "buddy puppet" that helps you, or visits your classroom regularly.

What does Puppetry look like in a lesson plan? 

Using Puppetry in a lesson may look something like this:

1. Students will decide on which President they want to do research.
2. Students will use the library and/or the Internet to find out facts about their chosen President (e.g. place of birth, political party, years of term, interesting facts, involvement in any major historical events).
3. Students will produce "President Cards" that show a brief collection of the data gathered by their research.
4. Students will also produce a rod puppet with the head of his or her President as the figure. The student will present the information to the rest of the class by means of a first-person narrative, using their puppet.
5. After the presentation, the student will pass out the cards to each student.

What educational standards are met by Puppetry?

National Theatre Standard and Benchmarks
                                        Designs and produces informal and formal productions

                                        Level 2 (Grade K-4)


                                           Knows how visual elements (e.g., space, color, line,

                                           shape, texture) and aural aspects are used to

                                           communicate locale and mood


                                           Selects and organizes available materials that suggest

                                           scenery, properties, lighting, sound, costumes, and



                                           Visualizes and arranges environments for classroom


                                        Level 3 (Grade 5-8)


                                           Understands the functions and interrelated nature of

                                           scenery, properties, lighting, sound, costumes, and

                                           makeup in creating an environment appropriate for the



                                           Understands technical requirements for various

                                           improvised and scripted scenes


                                           Develops focused ideas for the environment using

                                           visual elements (e.g., line, texture, color, space),

                                           visual principles (e.g., repetition, balance, emphasis,

                                           contrast, unity), and aural qualities (e.g., pitch,

                                           rhythm, dynamics, tempo, expression) from traditional

                                           and nontraditional sources


                                           Selects and creates elements of scenery, properties,

                                           lighting, and sound to signify environments, and

                                           costumes and makeup to suggest character

                                        Level 4 (Grade 9-12)


                                           Understands the basic physical and chemical properties

                                           of the technical aspects of theatre (e.g., light, color,

                                           electricity, paint, makeup)


                                           Understands production requirements for a variety of

                                           dramatic texts from cultural and historical perspectives


                                           Develops designs that use visual and aural elements to

                                           convey environments (e.g., place, time,

                                           atmosphere/mood) that clearly support the text


                                           Creates functional scenery, properties, lighting, sound,

                                           costumes, and makeup


                                           Conceptualizes and realizes artistic interpretations for

                                           informal or formal productions


                                           Designs coherent stage management, promotional, and

                                           business plans

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