Michigan Makers at Scarlett, Fall 2017, Meeting #9: Puppet Show

At Scarlett Middle School today the students were tasked with creating a Puppet Show from scratch. The students had a cardboard stage, fabric, junk boxes, and their creativity at their disposal to create everything they needed for their show.

Using toy parts, felt and other scraps of fabric each student created unique puppets. The students did not do much planning and preferred to jump right in to making the puppets. This allowed each puppet to be fully unique, however, they soon discovered that sometimes what seems like a great idea for a character might not be conducive to a 3D puppet. The students spent time troubleshooting how to get their floppy but pretty puppet to stand vertically. Straws, popsicle sticks and glue seemed to be the method of choice to support the puppets.

When it came to the stage, the students used fabric and other fun materials to drape over the stage and the area in front of it to create scenery. This was done instead of coloring or drawing on the stage. The effect was magically, however, like with the puppets the cardboard stage could not support all of the weight so it was back to problem solving and figuring out how to have a decorated stage that could stand up straight under the weight. The students used some of their books from school to prop up the stage from behind carefully making sure it was not visible from the front.

The last step was to bring all the pieces together to put on the show. There was no real planning of dialogue or action. It was definitely an improv session. The students took inspiration from shows and movies they loved as well as conversations they had in real life with friends and family for their shows. They were definitely unique!

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