The Radford Art Education department hosted a guest speaker for a workshop recently and we had a decent turnout. The project was shadow puppets, and is great for all ages.
We had some that were just paper cutouts that we put on the projector screen. After creating the shadow puppets, we were instructed to create a story line with the puppets. This is a great project for younger students because we can incorporate English and language into the lesson with the story.
For the youngest kids, we made larger ones on wooden dowel rods so we could use them as actual shadow puppets on the wall. They are also on a larger scale, therefore they are easier for younger children who are still working on their fine motor skills.
There were a few where we made separate pieces of the same puppet and measured the base for our fingers. The finger puppets were a little more interactive and took more planning before the working started.
There are many different ways to change this project for different age groups and is an inexpensive project for the outcome. The puppets are small and require very little paper for them. The wooden dowel rods can be replaced with skewers as long as the tips are taken off ahead of time. Because we didn’t have enough cutting mats for everyone at the workshop, we used small scraps of matteboard so the tables weren’t damaged. The only expensive materials that are required for this project is the projector and exacto-knives or scissors.
Go forth and create your own classroom story with shadow puppets!