I have made puppets with my 5th graders for at least the last 15 years. It was a year long project starting with the collecting of the light bulbs and culminating with puppets shows for parents and doing traveling puppet shows for other the students in our school.
I retired last June. My friend, Cindy, switched grades and took over teaching my 5th grade classes. Cindy wanted to continue making puppets this year if I would come in and walk her through the process of paper mache', painting the faces, gluing on the hair, beards, and mustaches, designing and making the clothing. I had a great time working with the kiddos and being able to leave the mess (only kidding) behind.
When working with the paper mache', I found that most of the students had never used the paper mache' paste or art paste. Many of the kids would be upset the first time they touched it. The paste feels quite slimy and some children didin't like that sensation on their hands. So, I always try to make a joke of it and say it feels like slime or snot. Of course, all the kids make a awful noise but are intrigued. I tell them to only put two fingers in the paste at first. It gets most of the kids over that first touch and things go smoothly after that.
After we have completed the first two coats of paper mache', the kids want to wash their hands. I tell them to rinse off their hands with water only. If you wash your hands with soap you will make an incredible amount of bubbles. One of the boys came back after cleaning his hands. He stated that his hands felt like "Grandma Hands", meaning they were so very soft. I had to laugh.
Here are some of the finished products. I just love them. Every year the students manage to amaze me with their creations.
His necklace adds a sparkle to his face.
His eyes and eyebrows intrigue me!
The green dress brings out the color of her eyes.
I love the expressions on their little faces. Everyone is different with hair and eye color, beards, eyelashes, and smiles.
Just in case you were wondering about the style of clothing , the puppets represent people from the Bible. The women are wearing a veil, crown, or some kind of head covering. Some of the Bible stories presented as puppet shows were Noah's Ark, David's Giant Faith, Jonah and the Whale, Moses and Water from the Rock, Jacob and Esau, and The Birth of Moses to name a few.
Making these darlings is a long process, but very rewarding for the students in the end. I do hope Cindy will continue to have the kids make puppets in the future.
I have linked up with 4th Grade Frolics. Please stop by to see her new classroom for the fall.
Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute. I'd love to read your thoughts.