In January, we have a very exciting theme to explore – and one that we’ve never done before! Our theme for the beginning of the New Year will be Puppetry and Theater. As I research in order to plan learning activities, I’ve learned that puppets are actually some of the oldest man-made objects in the word! Remains of what were probably puppets have been dated from 4,000 years ago. Historians believe that puppets have been created by nearly all cultures, at nearly all times in history. Ancient Egypt, China and India all have examples of puppetry.
This month, the children and I will examine some of these historical aspects of puppetry. We will also make many different types of puppets – sock puppets, finger puppets, stick puppets, and shadow puppets. Small groups of children will be challenged to write and perform their own sketches. This is a theme that easily encompasses nearly every curricular area – language arts, social studies/history, and science.
For our chapter book read-aloud, I’ve selected The Magician’s Boy, by Susan Cooper. This fantasy is bound to entrance our students as we read about a magician’s young assistant (who is also a puppeteer) and his amazing adventures.
Field trip opportunities may include going to Detroit to see a performance by PuppetART and then traveling to the DIA. Details yet to come – stay tuned!