Puppets for Behavior Modification, in a FUN way.

 
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jes1jon2



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Somers, NY USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:52 am
PostPost subject: Puppets for Behavior Modification, in a FUN way.
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It's been very cold in the North Eastern USA and we've been having indoor recess a lot. I've shown my class how to make the hinge puppet and they loved it. I brought this simple puppet with drawn eyes and tongue, into the cafeteria and had it talk and be funny with another teacher's class. They are usually very active, talkative, and inappropriate. Once the puppet started to talk with them individually, commenting on their lunches, asking if it could go swimming in a chocolate pudding cup, etc., they all sat in place eating their lunches and giggling, waiting for the puppet to come and talk to them. Then next day one of the "cool" boys asked, "Where is the puppet?"
This weekend I'm going to make a hamberger and a pizza slice puppet, maybe a chicken nugget too if I can get the look I want. They'll come in for occasional visits to encourage acceptable cafeteria behavior, while making the kids laugh.
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MaryEllen
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papertalker
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:23 pm
PostPost subject: Re: Puppets for Behavior Modification, in a FUN way.
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A simple and elegant application of play language. What an alternative to the cop-on-the-beat model! You are modeling social, creative, engaging behavior. Not only will kids anticipate a visit from your puppet(s), but they will begin making their own. Might it get out of hand? Sure. Can it be managed? Absolutely. Will loud noise and inappropriate behavior scare off a puppet for a day or so or more? You bet. Can a puppet become a lunchroom mascot? Could you have 'puppet panels' where a puppet takes questions from the group and answers them. Kids are enjoying re-runs of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The puppet could host several games where the show's questions (obtained on its web site) are asked to the kids, or even vice versa. The possibilities are endless. Tip: Use a real (cheap) or paper microphone as a prop. Mary Ellen, I encourage you to play with this format, and slowly develop it. Who knows where it could lead? It's a great showcase for 'play language'. Before long, word of mouth may result in your colleagues asking questions and picking up on the process. By the way, doesn't this make interacting with kids in the lunchroom fun?

Finally, these puppet visits and interactions can facilitate awareness and dialog between adults and children and between the children themselves. Let's take a few topics beyond lunchroom manners: school bus issues, bullying, rudeness. Some might say that kids should be left on their own at lunchtime. All I'm suggesting here is that kids also benefit from interaction and play with adults. All too often lunchtime is a vacume in which inappropriate behavior breeds. Kids need to be shown appropriate and productive forms of play and communication. This model is civilizing and humanizing.

Thank you for wading in and just trying something. You can't lose using this medium, and I encourage the community to follow Mary Ellen's example and "just do it."


Last edited by papertalker on Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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suecoop



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:08 pm
PostPost subject: Behavior mod...FUN
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This is a wonderful story! I'm guessing these children are in elementary school--not so much living in that world of preschool anymore where the lines of fantasy and reality are much more blurred. It's good to hear that even "cool" kids / older children will respond to the puppet on the end of the teacher's hand.

In your example, Mary Ellen, I think you showed children that adults can have fun, and this must convey a message of care and respect to the children. Sounds like you're onto something! I know it's better than being the "police" (oh, do I remember those days of lunchroom duty) and I would guess it feels much better, too!

I'm anxious to hear more of your puppet visits!
--Susan
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"I am not a teacher but an awakener." --Robert Frost
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papertalker
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 9:19 am
PostPost subject: Lunchroom Puppet Visits
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Mary Ellen,

I am anticipating a new 'report from the lunchroom.' It just occured to me that just one of many things you can do with this is to visit kids who seem to be on the outside of the social scene. It does not have to be obvious or intrusive, but a puppet who sits on a child's shoulder and whispers 'hi' goes a long, long way to making that child feel included.
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:28 pm
PostPost subject: Interaction in my pre K class
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I tell stories to a group of pre K children once a week. I try to make puppets for all the characters and perform the story or use a puppet to introduce the story. I find the this group of 3-4 year olds prefer interacting with the puppets than listening to the story. When I make the whole activity participatory, the children get carried away and the story sometimes loses its flow.
I feel I must have interactive sessions between the puppets and the children rather than concentrate on telling the story. What do you say about this? Maybe I could use these sessions to teach them new words or manners...
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papertalker
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:36 pm
PostPost subject: Performing Vs Interaction
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Great question. Performing the story with the puppets represents a model that is 'adult-directed'. It assumes that the children will be perfect listeners. This is a setup for failure. Unfortunately, this model is employed by most conventional classrooms.

Instead, interactivity, as you so correctly observe, provides a foundation for participation and opens the pathway for an experience which fully engages the hearts and minds of the kids.

See Communication with puppets and Story Telling in the Workshop area.

See also the Rainbow Crow Video segment on the home page.

Keep those questions coming! Idea
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