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Cardboard box and plastic shower curtain shadow screen can also be a simple hand or rod puppet stage.

Day Three teachers become puppeteers! The teachers built very simple stages to take back to their classrooms. And, they began planning a curriculum integrated performance to present to their students. Selected curriculum areas included vocabulary groupings, simple stories and fables, as well as original stories carrying a wide variety of messages and lessons.

Then, they had the next day to make the required puppets for their show. I had selected felt hand puppets as the technique. I thought these would be effective as they required simple materials and they could look sharp and colorful even as made by beginners. When told they could either hand sew or hot glue the parts, everyone selected sewing! One man did source out and bring his home overnight for his wife to machine sew.







The fifth, and final, day, each teacher presented their show for supportive feedback from the class.

 Puppet theater performance was a new experience for all of them, and now that they had completed the necessary steps with support, they could do it again on their own, as well as lead their students to do the same. Their presentations varied from very polished and thought through, ready to go right into a classroom and engage children on specific curriculum learning, to hesitant, but growing in confidence, to rambling and needing editing – but all enthusiastic, and all well supported by the class. Fables such as The Lion and the Mouse and the Hare and the Tortoise were popular, as well as stories constructed around specific vocabulary groups such as clothing, shapes, animals, and foods. Original stories also taught lessons on honesty (a very funny one on a girl who pretend to be sick to stay home from school and learned a lesson when her little brother wore a scary costume to frighten her when she was home alone), park rules (with a bad boy breaking rules and learning a lesson), and more. Each participant received credit and a certificate…. and here they are! The first graduated class!Next week, a brand new class begins!

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