Shadow Puppets

|| Subject: STEM (Engineering), Literature

|| Description: This project involves making shadow puppets that are then used to perform a play based off of a book. Some puppets can have several moving parts and require students to bring out their engineering skills to make their puppet work just right. This project also improves hand coordination skills as students maneuver the puppet across the screen, increases knowledge of play production, and strengthens performing skills!

3rd and 4th graders made these shadow puppets and performed “It’s Mine!” by Leo Lionni.

1st Graders performed “Swimmy” by Leo Lionni:

|| Prerequisites: To allow for more time to make the puppets, students should have been read the book before the project time starts. If you wish to perform the project immediately after the puppets are finished, a screen must be prefabricated… usually a few sheets stapled to a wooden frame works great! You will also need a projector, and if you want a background, you can draw it onto transparent slides, as shown in the example above.

|| Possible Variations:

  • The puppets can be based off on any fable or book.
  • Depending on the subject of the play, the structure of the puppets will vary, and the number of different puppets will also vary.

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