Retelling with file folder puppet theaters

Posted by on Jul 27, 2011 in Early Learning, Michigan Author, Phonological Awareness, Rhyming, Storybox Idea | 0 comments

Kids retell stories all the time: they tell what they did over the weekend, what happened on the playground, who really put the building blocks in the fish tank, etc. Retelling is an important skill, and one fun way to retell a story is with puppets. I snagged this idea for making  file folder puppet theaters off of this super-cool website:  fairy dust teaching (Sally Haughey is one of those amazing teachers who has ideas I love to lift.) Cut windows in two file folders, attach them so you have a sturdy stand, decorate with scrapbooking paper, and ta da! Puppet theater!  So now that folders are on sale for pennies a pack, I’m stocking up to make puppet theaters!

Puppet retellings work best with stories that have a limited number of characters and a straight-forward plot. One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler and Ivan Bates is perfect for puppet theaters. One dark night, Mole and Mouse creep from their wee tiny house on a journey through the mush-mucky swamp, under sharp thistle thorns, into the marsh-misty wood. Meanwhile, a big giant bear in his big giant lair is feeling hungry. He leaves his den in search of food and finds Mole and Mouse. “Mole shivered. Mouse shook. Their fur stood up straight.” (Your listeners will be on the edge of their seats right about now.) The big giant bear towers over the wee beasts and grumbles, “You’re late!” Bear has been waiting for his two friends, who join him for a feast in his den.

Kids can make Mole, Mouse, and Bear puppets out of paper and popsicle sticks, and retell the story in their own table-top puppet theater! Or, if you’re lucky enough to have fantastic stuffed-animal-type puppets, put Mole, Mouse, and Bear, along with the book inside your Storybox and let the kids practice retelling that way, too.

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