Above all, I love stories. I love using color, design, and movement to convey ideas. And I love sharing my passions with both children and adults.
Puppetry has been my expressive medium for most of my adult life – writing, building and performing stories of all kinds to mainly family audiences, world wide, in various languages. I also work with writing and illustration for picture books. But it was puppetry that led me into educational work when I experienced the power children found in it to communicate their own ideas while learning across the curriculum.
I am newly inspired by two weeks in Prague learning with Mirek Trejtnar and am building new shows in the hand carved, Czech rod marionette style to perform to share the enchantment of the art form. I also emphasize my educational work as both school artist in residence as well as teacher educator, because children desperately need alternate ways to learn that give them confidence as creative problem solvers and a gateway into the magic of stories.
I am thrilled to be able to share my countless hours of classroom experience integrating creative writing, art making, and theater – in other words, puppetry – across the curriculum!
Developed in collaboration with enthusiastic elementary and middle school teachers, The Sophisticated Sock: Project Based Learning Through Puppetry, offers specific lessons tied to emotional literacy, literature and language arts, social studies, science, visual art study, and conflict resolution.
Each lesson is presented with clear step-by-step instructions, and includes story building templates and assessment, along with suggestions and instructions for quick puppets made of inexpensive (or recycled) easily available materials.
“… Wow! I love the inclusion of civics and really diving into such a deep driving question through puppetry. True project based learning! …Really gets to the heart of everything STEAM is about!”
“Teachers especially will appreciate Karen’s illustrated project choices for different skill and age levels.”
Puppeteers of America
“Karen Konnerth’s extensive experience in classrooms shines through on each page…a must-have for educators who are eager to stimulate their students’ imaginations, inspire creativity, and strengthen skills and knowledge in many subject areas.”
Former President UNIMA-USA
US Fulbright Program Specialist in Educational Puppetry