6 Reasons Why Puppets Will Change Your Classroom Forever
Good assistance is difficult to come by, and genuine friendships are formed. Those are the same words we use in our courses.
By increasing opportunities for creativity, cooperation, critical thinking, and curiosity, puppets have the potential to transform the entire classroom. These activities provide kids with a (sometimes goofy) voice and place them in the position of creators. The co-teacher can also serve as a physical avatar, a learning partner, and even a facilitator of learning by subverting the ego, depending on the situation.
The Benefits of Puppets in Class
1. Design Thinking
The Advantages of Using Puppets in First Grade Design Thinking is an approach to problem solving.
Puppets can be constructed by your kids. They can construct the ultimate learning partner for themselves if they take a careful approach to building a puppet.
2. Growth Mindset
Making mistakes while creating puppets is a necessary part of the process. Your very first puppet will always hold a special place in your heart. In a relatively short period of time, students discover that what they perceive in their heads does not correspond to what they can create with their hands. Abraham Lincoln transforms into a cyclops of the Rastafarian faith. Taylor Swift transforms into a married, middle-aged chicken. Children can fail in a low-risk environment by making mistakes when building puppets. They learn a valuable lesson in the face of imperfection. They also learn the importance of following directions. Some students choose to create a hole for their mouth rather than a straight line to accommodate their teeth. Providing them with assistance in repairing their mistakes contributes to the development of a growth mentality.
3. Sharable Media
Teachers, particularly those in elementary and intermediate schools, are constantly concerned about their students’ privacy. In order to demonstrate both content mastery and subject-specific abilities, students should be encouraged to create videos. However, when students create their videos, it is difficult to distribute them in order to provide them with an actual, real-world audience. Because the puppets serve as physical avatars for students, videos may be shared, allowing students to benefit from a larger audience and feedback while yet remaining protected from harm.
4. Puppet as Co-Teacher
When creating a video to introduce a topic or application, consider using a puppet. Your students pay attention in a different way than their peers. My favourite part of a class is when the puppet starts it and then I get to help in the room.
5. Writing With a Puppet
A major concern for many students when they write plays is how they will appear, how they will sound, and what other people will think of them when they are performed. In addition to being significantly more ludicrous, writing for the puppet allows them to experiment with accents and personalities that they would not otherwise experiment with if they had to perform the show in its entirety live. In addition to assisting with material knowledge, writing skills, and dialogue structure, it also teaches children valuable lessons in teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and creative problem solving.
Characters in the Show:
Name of the puppeteer, and the character that was played
Emily: Duck, Menes, I’m sorry (scribe)
Rocco and Mohar, to name a few (soldier)
Wiz and Nafi are two of Polo’s teammates (priest)
Emily: Mirabel, Nefertari (the farmer’s wife), and other women.
Bobby: Tyrone, Sebek, and others (farmer)
6. Making Learning a Less Dangerous Experience
In learning, we take risks all of the time — and sharing out is the worst of them. Using a puppet, being caught in the headlights is transformed into becoming the centre of attention. Students can share with less risk, and the puppet makes the scenario feel a lot more like a stage production than it otherwise would.
The Art of Making Puppets to Transform Your Teaching Career
There are three images of a puppet in various stages of development.
Photograph courtesy of Sam Patterson
Despite the fact that puppetry appears to be a challenging art form, many puppet manufacturers document their entire process on YouTube. Instead of searching for patterns that would work for a whole class, we designed our own and produced instructional videos that are used in class and at seminars across the world. A simple hand puppet in the style of the Muppets does not necessitate the use of complicated sewing or creating abilities. When it comes to sewing and using a hot glue gun, even sixth grade pupils may pick up the skills quite quickly.
There are some things we can do, however, to expedite the process. Students begin by creating a design and selecting a colour scheme. We finished cutting the fleece into the design before the next class period. Then, with the assistance of our instructional films, students work their way through the process at their own pace. When working with younger students, we tend to keep a tight rein on the materials because, if left alone, a 12-year-old will cut a circle out of the middle of a piece of felt and put the rest of the sheet into the trash. As a result, we’ll be in control of the fabric and felt shears.
Besides pre-cut cardboard lips, we’ve also prepared tear strips of duct tape for use as gripping and manipulating thumb and index finger loops, as well as pre-cut felt for the mouth interior to speed up the process. Students should concentrate on the actual process of making and designing the puppet rather than on cutting flawless half-circles and measuring accurately.
Having said that, making mistakes is a crucial part of the learning process. When we taught students how to make puppets for the first time, neither of us had ever made puppets before. Taking part in group learning allows your pupils to see you as a fellow learner, rather than as a didactic answer machine. Students learn how to find their own answers when they are not given the answer to a question. This skill will serve them well throughout their lives.