Puppets have a special place in the classroom of littles. Using a puppet in teaching may feel like another item to worry about or check off your ever-growing to-do list, however, when used correctly, they can be powerful to students. It’s as if you have a second teacher in the classroom, a separate being with separate ideas is what they see it as. Puppets to students are magical, even when they are old enough to know better of what they are and how they work, their little brains work in the way that they look at that inanimate object as an animate object with its own thoughts and feelings, even if they are all indirectly coming from you as the puppeteer.
Tips for using a puppet in the classroom:
- Use him as an example of good behaviors you want students to model.
- Use him as an example of common problems in the classroom such as trouble with a math problem. Later, when students run into the same problem, a great reminder for them would be how the puppet solved the problem.
- Use him as a new storyteller in the classroom.
- Let the puppet introduce new topics such as persuasive writing or reading non-fiction.
- Let the students use the puppet as a writing audience.
- Turn it into an art project and allow the students to create their own puppets.
Puppets have a big place in the classroom, whether he or she becomes a part of the classroom, or they are simply used in dramatic play for storytelling. The best part of puppets is that they can be as complicated and expensive as your limits allow, but also as simple as a sock with buttons glued on. They don’t care about the complexity of it, they just care about the magic behind it.
Do you use puppets in the classroom? What benefits do you see?