DTA | Puppetry
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Puppetry

Created by Jenny Goodfellow

This unit on Puppetry is designed for middle school and up, to introduce students to the material and get them comfortable with performing in a safe and low exposure environment.

This is a unit that builds to a culminating experience for your students. Each lesson is designed to explore techniques, provide opportunities for creative collaboration among your students, and give them opportunities to perform. Some of the lessons require materials to build or create puppets. Puppetry can be as easy as drawing a face on your finger for finger puppets, to actually purchasing your own finger puppets for students to use.

While the focus of this unit is puppetry, your students will explore other skills as well. There’s the obvious ones of creative thinking, teamwork, and problem solving. They are also going to explore storytelling, performing skills, and playwriting.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the objectives for the unit, as well as lists and describes the 9 lessons in the series.
1: PuppetQuest
Through a PuppetQuest, students will learn about the different types and origins of puppetry.
Attachments
2: Shadow Hand Puppets
One of easiest and earliest forms of puppetry, students will learn to create shadow puppets using just their hands. After they have practiced their creations, they will create a group/partner scene using the shadow puppets.
3: Shadow Puppet Cut-Outs
Students learn how shapes create interesting dynamics in shadow puppets. Students will have a packet of shadow puppet cut-outs. These cut-outs include animals that can be attached to a popsicle stick. In groups/partners, students will use the cut-outs in the packet to create a scene. They will also create an original cut-out.
Attachments
4: Finger Puppets
If you have the resources, purchase finger puppets for this lesson. It can also be easily done with drawn faces on index fingers, or faces on popsicle sticks. Using well known fairy tales like “Little Red Riding Hood” or “The Three Little Pigs,” students will retell these stories from a different perspective, using their finger puppet.
5: Create and Character/Object Puppets
Students will bring in an object that they can turn into a puppet. Using the object puppet, students will create an original character and establish movement patterns and character voice. Character Worksheet and Practice Sheets are included, to perform their original puppet characters.
6: Hand Puppets
Students learn proper hand puppet technique and practice these techniques with a prewritten scene. Teachers can also choose to use traditional hand puppets, or students can make their own using socks/paper bags.
7: Script Writing
Students will write their own puppet play using the same format as the prewritten scene. In pairs, students will go over guidelines for creating a character and writing a scene.
8: Puppetry Company
Using the guidelines provided and their previous scene, students will create a Puppet Company complete with a logo, the name of their production, and a picture that gives clues about the production. Students will also learn about professional puppet companies.
9: Putting it All Together
This final lesson is a culminating performance. Students practice their scene using their hand puppets, then perform. Those watching will fill out a feedback sheet, which is discussed after the performance. A Unit Reflection and a Performance Reflection are included.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.b - Articulate how technical elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr5.1.7.b - Choose a variety of technical elements that can be applied to a design in a drama/theatre work.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

TH:Pr6.1.8.a - Perform a rehearsed drama/theatre work for an audience.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr3.1.HSII.c - Re-imagine and revise technical design choices during the course of a rehearsal process to enhance the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr6.1.HSII.a - Present a drama/theatre work using creative processes that shape the production for a specific audience.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cn11.2.HSII.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on theatre research about the selected topic.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.a - Refine, transform, and re-imagine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using the rehearsal process to invent or re-imagine style, genre, form, and conventions.

Common Core

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.b - Articulate how technical theatre elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

7.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

8.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

8.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted scene from a drama/theatre work for an audience.

Prof.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Acc.TH:Cn11.2.a - Formulate creative choices for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work based on research about the selected topic.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

North Carolina Essential Standards

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.F - create environments, characters, and actions.

HS 117.315 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.C - employ effective voice and diction to express thoughts and feelings.

HS 117.315 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.C - offer and receive constructive criticism of peer performances.

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Describe, analyze, and respond using drama-specific language

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

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