My Singing Puppet Show
Lower elementary students love to play with puppets. Students will learn how to coordinate their puppet movements with their singing voices. By choosing their favorite nursery rhyme/song, small groups of students will practice with a proper singing voice and then add the puppet movements. The final step is for the group to “perform” their puppet show and have another student record the performance. Students could also add “sound effects” to the performance that they have recorded.
NOTE: This lesson will take 1-3 class periods depending on the size of the class and how many minutes of class time.
Be able to learn the proper voice to use when singing and recording.
Be able to explore pretending to be a character.
Develop their fine motor skills when learning to manipulate their puppet to match the words of the rhyme or song.
Be able to express themselves and show how they’re feeling.
Be able to use an iPad or a Chromebook to record their show.
Nursery Rhyme: A nursery rhyme is a short rhyming song or poem that tells a story.
Proper Singing Voice: To use a proper singing voice one should:
singing using a pleasant tone with emotion.
know the words so that the audience can understand the song.
sing loud enough for the audience to hear you and the recorder to pick up the sound, but not screaming.
Perform: To perform is to present a form of entertainment for an audience.
A cappella: Singing a cappella is done without instruments.
Video Record: Video record is to produce a recording with both visual and audio components.
Sound Effect: A sound effect is a sound other than speech or music that imitates a sound called for in the script of a play or musical.
Backdrop: A backdrop is scenery in the background, often on a stage.
To prepare for this lesson:
- Give your students time to learn how to use a puppet and try different ones BEFORE this lesson. That way the excitement of trying all of the puppets is out of the way.
- Teach and review the list of nursery rhymes and songs so students are comfortable singing them.
- Muffin Man
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
- The ABC Song
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- Rain, Rain Go Away
- Make sure you have a puppet for each student to use and explore with. It works better if you use all of the same type (e.g., finger puppets, hand puppets, sock puppets.)
- Make sure you have enough recording devices; iPads or Chromebooks to allow groups to record their work. You will be using the regular camera app. You may choose to use an iPad stand and only one iPad.
- Watch the Video that explains some benefits of using puppets. Video on Using Puppets for early childhood development
- Watch this teacher video "How to Use Sock Puppets".
- Could show students this video about using puppets:
- Three Basic Puppetry Techniques Every Puppeteer Should Know - Swazzle Puppet Studio Episode 8 YouTube.
- Divide class ahead of time into groups of four or five students depending on the size of your recording area and singing confidence.
See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4student website in the Teacher Resources.
Directions for this activity:
- Teacher: “Today we will work in small groups to create a puppet show that you can video record."
- Ask the question, “What makes a video that you watch exciting?”
- Introduce or review the vocabulary words as needed.
- Review the list of songs that were practiced in an earlier class. Review the lyrics, emphasizing the important words and how to enunciate them clearly.
- Have each group sit in a separate area of the room and decide on what song they will choose to perform as a group. Most often a group will work together and agree on a song. This takes cooperation and if it becomes a problem, assign a song to each group.
- The Teacher will review how to manipulate a puppet reviewing: Lip Sync, Eye Focus, and Character.
- Pass out puppets and have students practice the Lip Sync and Eye Focus movements.
- Show the Video if you choose. Three Basic Puppetry Techniques Every Puppeteer Should Know.
- Have students practice singing their songs with puppets in their separate areas.
- Have each group choose someone from their group to “introduce” the song they will be singing.
- Come back together and have each group “perform” in front of the class including their introduction. This will be a “practice” before they actually “record” their songs with either iPads or Chromebooks.
BONUS Activity: Students could create “sound effects” to go with their song, pre-record them and add them to the performance.
Different options for assessing the students:
- Check for understanding
- Self Evaluation using the “My Singing Puppet Show” Rubric. You can alter the rubric by MAKING A COPY of it in Google Docs.
- Share out the video.
MITECS Competencies & ISTE STANDARDS
MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
6c. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Devices and Resources
Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad
Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL
App, Extension, or Add-on:
How to Use Sock Puppets
CONTENT AREA RESOURCES
Students will work on language and reading skills when learning and reviewing their song lyrics.
Music Education & Dramatic Arts
Students will learn what a performance is and record their own performance.
This task card was created by Elizabeth Loyselle, Breckenridge Community Schools, April 2023.