Students will make hand or stick puppets for use as props in songs, plays or other educational activities.
To make puppets!
Prepare materials for students
Puppets can teach your students all kinds of things or they can use them as props in songs or plays. My middle school kids fight over who is going to use my rat puppet. Go figure.
You can use stuffed animals you find at thrift shops, or go get some inexpensive dog and cat toys (good for fish puppets). You can make a puppet out of anything, but I have two main types. Hand puppets and puppets on a stick.
Hand Puppets- Find a stuffed animal that you want to bring alive and/or talk. Let's use a stuffed seal pup. Look at the tummy and see where you could slit it to fit your fingers and/or hand inside the flippers and/or mouth. If you can't don't stress, just putting one or two fingers inside the creature will give it a life of its own.
Fit the bottom of the foot (we're talking sock) so that you can slit it and/or cut it so that you can fit your hand into the sock and puppet. Sew the outside of the sock around the bottom of the seal so that you can stick your hand or fingers where you need them. I make a variety of animals into happy puppets. They take a place in my class and we all live crazily ever after.
Puppets on a stick- My most current craze is puppets on a stick. I am making them for elementary students, but plan to use them with my middle school students when we sing different songs, or do different activities. They will become the organism I give them.
Let's make a fish puppet on a stick. Get a small (3-5 inch) stuffed or toy fish. Get a wooden dowel stick. Get some funky yarn, lots of it, like a skeins worth. Take the end of the yarn and wrap and tie it around the fish. Tie and wrap the fish, many times so that it is securely attached to the end of the wooden dowel. Wrap the yarn, around and around and around the dowel so that you cover the wood with the yarn, it becomes fuzzy with color. Wrap it to the other end and then tie it tight.
Maggie Prevenas, prevenas [at] hawaiiantel.net