Primary: Text Structures & Genres, Oral Language & ELL
Select a story to read aloud
For example: The Little Red Hen, by Paul Galdone
Prepare Story chart
Write the headings Characters and Setting at the top of a piece of chart paper
Photocopy puppet templates
Each student will need 1 character
Read the story aloud
Stop at different points of the story and think aloud about the characters and setting
Discuss the characters and setting
Refer to the Story chart
Have the students brainstorm the names of the characters
Brainstorm and record traits for each character
Have the students discuss where the story takes place
Record ideas on the Story chart
Explain the puppet making task
Model how to make a puppet
Have students make 1 puppet
Have students use their puppets to act out the story in small groups
Invite groups to present their puppet plays to the class
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Retell the story orally while the students use their puppets to act it out - Display a picture of each character beside their name - Review the character traits as a follow-up activity
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Provide the story at a listening center for students to reread - Display 4-5 pictures of the story showing important events in the correct order - Repeat the instructions
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Allow students to make personal connections to the characters
- Use heterogeneous and mixed ability groupings - Allow students to perform the play using different characters
Evidence: Adomat, D. S. (2010). Dramatic interpretations: Performative responses of young children to picture book read-alouds. Childrens Literacy in Education, 41, 207-221.
The goal of Puppet Stories: Supporting Understanding of Characters and Setting is to extend students understanding of the characteristics of a narrative by learning about the characters and setting of a given story.
What You Need
20 minutes - Select a story to read aloud - Prepare Story chart - Photocopy puppet templates (1 per student)
2, 30 minute sessions - Teacher reads aloud story - Teacher and students brainstorm characters and setting - Teacher models how to make a puppet - Students create character puppets - Students present puppet play
Direct instruction: - while teacher reads aloud story Facilitator: - while teacher and students brainstorm characters and setting Modeling: - while teacher models how to make a puppet Supporter: - while students create puppets and present plays
Whole class: - during read aloud, brainstorming of characters and setting and student presentations Individual: - when students create puppets
- Use a checklist to track students' ability to retell the story
- Make observations and record anecdotal comments on students understanding of characters and setting
- In small groups or one-on-one meet with the students and have them describe the characters and setting of the story a. Record student responses on a tracking sheet
- Provide the puppets and the story at a dramatic play center
- Create masks of each character and have the students role play the story a. Perform the play for the entire school or another class
- Read and compare different versions of the story a. For example: The Little Red Hen, by Byron Barton, The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza, by Philman Sturges
- Have students write a journal from the perspective of one of the characters
- Judge the Better or the Best: Have students choose their favorite character to illustrate and describe in a poster
- These kinds of activities can be done prior to students actually being able to "read" to build their understanding of story structure.
- Role play and drama foster active participation and a motivation for literacy. Incorporating the arts into your literacy program leads to an enjoyment for learning and provides opportunities for everyone to participate.
- Provide oral feedback to the students while they practice their plays in small groups.
- Model how to change your voice to fit the character. This will promote student participation as well as your enthusiasm for the activity.
- Provide a quiet work space for students disturbed by sound
- Provide extra support to student whose fine motor skills are developing