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Puppet Masters: First Graders String Together Shows on Kindness

Puppet Masters
Puppet Masters

First graders in Erin Herring and Alissa Kunert's classes pose for photos during their puppet shows.

Each year, Elementary Art Teacher Tony Vermeer gives his first-grade students at Winola and Sherrard Elementary schools a fun assignment: creating a puppet show. This creative project is the grand finale of his art unit on FolkTales and Fairy Tales.

Vermeer explained the lessons and the process, "The puppet show wraps up my art unit on FolkTales and Fairy Tales. Students learn that puppets have been created by artists for hundreds of years. There are many different types of puppets. Puppets are used for storytelling and play.”

Students crafted sock puppets using yarn and various materials, then collaborated in groups to write and perform their own two-minute puppet shows.

The project included meaningful guidelines: each show had to feature a title, involve all group puppets, and convey a positive story about kindness and friendship, starting with "Once upon a time..." and ending with "The End."

On performance day, Vermeer transformed the classrooms with a table stage and audience seating. Select staff received tickets, and one student was assigned as the doorman to take tickets, adding to the event's authenticity. 

This engaging project not only fostered artistic skills but also emphasized important values of cooperation and kindness.

By creating and performing their own puppet shows, students learn the value of teamwork, storytelling, and the timeless joy of puppetry.

Photos submitted by Sherrard Elementary first grade teachers Erin Herring and Alissa Kunert.





Cala Elliott, Director of Public Relations