Cooperation Through Puppet Shows

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Grade Level
Elementary School
Length of Time
5 class periods

Children will learn a story they want to turn into a puppet show, make their own puppets, and prepare and perform the show, working in small groups.


Children will learn how to turn a story into a puppet show without a written script. They will also learn to design and make their own puppets, to work as a team, and to perform.

Materials Needed

An assortment of fairy tale books. Craft materials for puppets. (This varies since children will decide together what to use.) They will also need something to be the theater. Again, they will decide this themselves.


1. Read several fairy tales to the children. Tell them you'd like them to do a puppet show of several fairy tales. They can use the ones you read or other fairy tales. Have an assortment of fairy tale books for them.

2. Assign groups of children to work together. Be sure the groups are varied as to talents and don't put bullies with children likely to be bullied.

3. Before sending the children to work in their groups, explain how this will work. First, the children must choose a fairy tale. Tell them they should decide on a method for choosing. They can just discuss, they can vote, or they can use another method. They may not argue. Then they need to decide what characters are needed for the story and who will play each character. Third, they must decide how to make their puppets and make them. Next, they must read the story together many times until they know it. Tell them they are not to memorize the story word for word, but are to just learn the plot and how each character acts. Then they can make up the words as they go, and it's okay if the script is a little different each time. Next, they must use their imaginations to think of something in the room that would work as a puppet theater. Finally, they will practice.

4. As the children work, watch how the groups work together. If they begin arguing, don't solve the problem, but help them find a solution. If children are being unkind, stop them immediately. Praise groups that work together well and are kind, doing so publicly so the other groups see what you value.

5. Before the show, remind the children the rules of good behavior. They may not criticize any group or person, but should offer supportive comments.


Ask the children to evaluate, as a group, how they worked together as a group and how they plan to improve next time. They should put their evaluation in writing. You may want to let them work together on another project, reminding them of their evaluations and plans.

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