Materials required: black construction paper, single-hole punches (1 per 4 students), scissors, brass paper fasteners, overhead projector(s), scotch tape, clear plastic
A shadow puppet is a flat, cut-out figure with movable parts, made from paper, that with an overhead projector can be an effective way of telling a story through play. Shadow puppets allow for visuals to be developed before the stories are told. Students with beginner or weak writing skills will find it easier to describe aloud the actions of their shadow puppets than to develop a story directly into print.
Note: Use pictures as a guide to make animals. A great book for this is The Enchanted Caribou which was made with shadow puppets. The last page shows how the puppets were constructed with movable parts.
Have each student pick a particular animal or person from the Klu’skap/Kelowuskap story. Discuss their body shapes. Explain that they will create their own play as a group and present it.
Explain how the different parts of the body (legs, tail, wings, etc.) need to be cut out separately to allow for movable parts. Demonstrate how to make movable parts by taking two pieces of paper. With a hole punch, punch a hole in each piece and attach the piece with a brass fastener. Put some pencil marks on your piece of paper. Set up an overhead projector and display your pieces of paper on the wall. This will show the students that pencil marks will not show on the projection. Distribute black construction paper and scissors. Encourage the students to try out their puppets on the overhead projector as they work. This way, they will be able to see the shadow shapes reflected on the screen. Encourage students to work large and to solve problems with scotch tape and rolls of larger pieces of paper taped on.
Use the puppets in several different ways:
- Play out the story on the overhead projector while you guide the students through the story.
- After they have rehearsed the story, have the students make an outline, story web or story board.
- Talk about how every story has a beginning, middle, and an ending. Have students produce three thumbnail sketches, then decide which scene comes first, second and third.
- Attach wood slats to the movable parts and construct a puppet theatre from a white sheet or use the overhead projector.
- Use the puppets as stencils and trace them on paper with a black pen and add tempura colours or pencil crayons.
- Trace them in a variety of poses on coloured construction paper and illustrate the story.
- Retell the story by videoing each scene separately and then making it into a movie by linking it through narration.