Friday, May 28, 2021

Puppet Characters in Third Grade Classrooms

It's the end of the teaching season for me, and as usual, things are just getting good. For one of the programs I work in I've been with the students each week or two over the course of the full school year. We've done many projects, and the third graders are finishing up with lessons in puppetry. We built puppets with found objects, and this week we began exploring the characters they created. I conducted some improvised interviews with their puppets this week to get the character development underway, and these are a few gems:

Joe Joeington, a "regular Joe", 28, worked in business eight years, willing to work for $20 per day (even with extra hours, loads of paperwork, and weekend hours). He's bringing his best friend, "Hungry Bear" to the company picnic. Can't wait!

Shelly, a Miss American pageant queen, who makes her own casual rainbow belts, has an agent (Tom) who insists she wear her fancy costume everywhere. She wishes she could just wear her casual clothes. She donated her winnings to the homeless, and bought some groceries.

Dr. Joe, a robot doctor/dentist/game console. He treats everyone who programs him well, but sometimes he gets confused. He once tried to pull a tooth from a patient who just wanted to play a game, and the patient jumped out a window. Don't worry, it was just the first floor.

Kelly, a librarian who runs storytime in the Kids Zone part of the library. She's had a love of books her whole life, and got into the library business through a friend who lost a job.

The Clown Monster lives in her garden with her bee friends and all her flowers, who are also her friends.

Frank, friend of Anthony the accordion dog, lives in a party house. He likes to read, and parties are constant. His favorite thing to do is swing on the swing outside, and it somehow makes him angry when parties stop, even though he likes to read and it's hard to read with the parties going on all the time.

McClaren, British rock star who never travels. His largest audience was two million puppets, where he sang that famous song of his. I asked McClaren to sing it for us, and he hummed a few bars. It was catchy, so I joined in.

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