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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Puppet Storytelling - Easier Than You Think

Using puppets to tell a story can be an intimidating idea for some mommas and teachers. But the truth is, puppets are a guaranteed win! Seriously! Kids love 'em! They're something different, something silly... something highly tangible. You don't have to be anything even close to an expert storyteller to make a big impression when using puppets. 

When telling a story (not reading one), I make sure I know the general gist of the story, and then I add my own touch to it. I DO NOT memorize the way I'm going to tell the story. This never works well. Instead, I have a basic idea of the story I'm going to tell, and then I just let it naturally flow. So the story is never told the exact same way twice. Telling a story this was is easy, and it's fun for both your audience and you!

I have to admit, one of the reasons I have such an easy time being silly and hamming up my puppet storytimes is because there are no other adults present during my Literacy Launchpad lessons; there is nobody to really be embarrassed in front of. So, if this is part of your hang-up, kick the other teacher out (nicely) if you can. Just for story time. OR (and this is probably the more realistic option) pretend they're not there. This is easier said than done, I know. Just remember this though, they will most likely be in awe of your successful storytime, and wishing they were brave enough to tell such an amazing story with the puppets!

Warning: your kiddos are going to want to grab the puppets. Mine also seem to always have the urge (at least one or two of them) to hit one or both of my puppets. Why, I don't know. But for this reason I make sure I explain to the students that they will have a chance to give the puppets each a hug after the story. 

So go ahead and grab that puppet (or two) I know you've got lying around your house. Use it to tell a favorite story, or make up a new story to tell with the puppet. Try it, and see how easy it is. You kiddo(s) will love it, and be begging you for another performance!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that we heard "The Tortoise and The Hare" this week. Hence the photos. :)


keri said...

so cute! i have a few puppets i used in my classroom that i have in bins in my daughters playroom... i should pull out for some retells...my favorite ones are the storytelling sets from lakeshore! very cute (and very pricey)

Tasha at Children's Books for Grown-ups said...

Amy, this looks like such fun! We have a puppet for Milo's bathtime (a frog), that we use to distract him (he is not a fan of the bath). It works a treat but will definitely try using some more puppets for storytelling when he's a bit older.

Stel.la said...

I love puppets!
And the thing is that I use them too in class,they are so useful and magic!
Children look at them and listen to them carefully, as if they were real creatures!

BettyB said...

I just love puppets. They actually help me to take on different personalities when reading to kids. It's also fun to choose a student to let the puppet act out a story as the teacher reads.

Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

I love this idea, Betty! I'll have to do this sometime!
Amy Watson
Motivating and Empowering Children to Soar Into Reading

Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

Not a fan of the bath? Poor fella! ...And poor Momma! I just bought Isaac some foam numbers and letters to use in his tub. He loves 'em. Can't remember how old Milo is, but perhaps finding that right tub-toy might help? You've probably already tried this, haven't you? Ha! (Silly Amy.)

Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

Bins of puppets... that's basically what we have here at our house, only it's a basket of puppets. I REALLY want one of those cool wooden puppet holders. Like they use at toy stores to display the puppets for sale (the ones that kind of look like coat racks). Those are awesome!

Patti said...

Puppets are a close cousin to feltboard storytelling, which I love. The last batch of feltboard pieces I made are holding up well and at some point I'll post how to make them. I find the kids like to grab those too, which is why it's important to make them tough.

So, where do you get your puppets? Do you make them? Are they washable (important to know for my 3s class)?

Anyway, at home I never really got to work with puppets because my kids won't share. Yes, I know this is my fault!