Power of Puppet play

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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 1:25 pm
PostPost subject: Power of Puppet play
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Hello Jeff,

I am a bit disappointed with the teacher responses to my suggestions of involving puppets and education. I had mentioned earlier I wanted to use something on the lines of a puppet for an teacher-assistant during my summer camps. But the Owner of the school conducting the camp did not seem pleased and that really put me down.

I would like to know how other teachers have countered this problem. I seem to need all my persuasive skills! So I have restricted myself to using puppets during follow-up activities.

The children however enjoyed the paper hinge animals I taught them to make and had their own little introductions to present.



Yes, amazingly, this happens. Engage the school owner in a dialog. Explain that there is a methodology involved in your use of puppets and that it's not entertainment.

Ask him to read these resources. Print them off for him.

Puppet Anatomy
The Teacher Journals

Ask him if he thinks that being creative is the mark of an effective teacher or an ineffective teacher, and which would he rather have.

Tell him that you are not trying to go against his rules but that your research has led you to creative strategies that engage children's hands and emotions. Explain to him that the puppets make the children more attentive and motivated. Ask him if he's like to see a demonstration.

See what happens. Try to be conversational. Tell him that you would like him to know what your thinking is behind the use of the puppets. That if he knew it might change his mind.

Smile. Be engaging. Don't be negative.

Let me know if this makes sense or doesn't work, etc. Of course his mind may be closed, but you can try..


Thank you Jeff for your input. I will try my best at convincing the owner. Though, like you said his mind may be closed as his primary concern is making the most out of his business.

Nevertheless, I will continue to use puppetools during the different sessions I have in my library. I started a small children's library in January this year and look forward to making it a mini media centre for children to read, learn and have fun.


Last edited by ktan on Fri May 05, 2006 2:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 1:31 pm
PostPost subject: Thanks Connie
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Maybe you can show your principal the following article that was written after a TESL workshop that I presented last fall, which focussed on the value of using puppets in the classroom. The article was written by the editor who attended our workshop and was totally convinced of the value of using puppets. I was impressed by how much he got out of our 2 hour experiential workshop where our goal was to prove the power of puppets.


Scroll down to Page 61.

We have presented this workshop several times and every adult who has attended, has left with a smile on their face and the desire to use puppets in their classrooms, with either children or adults.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Connie Smith
Ontario, Canada


Hi Connie,
Thank you for the valuable document. I have just been through it and will do so once more to spend more time on it.
There are schools in other parts of India that have used puppets to a great success. But the use of puppetry in education is very rare in the place where I live. Its a system that I have to break into in order to prove the power of puppets.
I look forward to reading some more interesting experiences that I can learn from.



Hi Aparna,
Its very difficult for us in India to convince people to such innovations. However you can mention to your principal that this can be the USP of your camp and if its possible try to to get a local newspaper to cover it - your principal just might buy that idea as it promotes business.

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