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  Integrated Lesson Using Puppets

Updated May 2008




I.         Overview of the Lesson

a.     Date:  March 28, 2008

b.     Time and Length:  30 minutes to 1 hour, 12 sessions

c.     Group Structure:  Individual, Group, and Peer classes

d.     Lesson Topic:  Creepy, Crawly Insects

e.     Grade Level:  3rd  grade

f.      Cooperating Teacher:  Miss Alyson Steltz

II.      Pennsylvania State Standards

a.     9.1.3 B:  use art materials to produce a stage production and write a script

b.     9.1.5 A:  color, texture, line, space

c.     9.1.5 C:  recognize art vocabulary and use it in art form

d.     1.1.3 E:  Acquire reading vocabulary

e.     1.4.3 A:  Write a narrative piece

f.        1.4.3 B:  Write an informational piece

g.     1.6.3 A:  listen to others

h.      1.6.3 B:  retell a story in chronological order

i.        1.6.3 C:  pace speech

j.        3.1.4 A:  know natural objects are made up of parts

k.      3.3.4 A:  know similarities and different of living things

l.        3.3.4 B:  specific parts have specific functions

III.    General Objectives

a.     The students will learn the different parts and functions of a variety of insects.  The students will individually research a specific insect and enhance his/her group’s understanding of the insect.  The group will practice team work and learn from one another. 

IV.   Behavioral Objectives

a.     We will begin by reading Eric Carle’s book, “The Very Quiet Cricket”.  After studying different insects in class the students will be put into groups and each individual will be assigned a different insect.  Then the students will research their specific insect in order to create a puppet.  Then students will work together to enhance each other’s understanding of each insect.  Together the students will create a play/script to present to the class.  The presentation can be informational and narrative.  At the end of the unit the student’s will each hand in a paper about their insect.

V.     Instructional Materials

a.     Science text book

b.     “The Very Quiet Cricket”

c.     Paper towel tubes

d.     Paper towels

e.     Trays to hand items out on

f.        Art paste

g.     Paints and paint brushes

h.      Library time to do research

i.        Any props the children need for the play/skit

j.        Smocks

k.      Styrofoam balls

l.        Masking tape

m.   Pipe cleaners

n.      Tin foil

o.     Paper towels (brown and white)

p.     Wipes

q.     Paper plates

r.        Paper towel/toilet paper roles

VI.   Activity and Procedure

a.     Vocabulary

                                                               i.      Color – when light is reflected off an object, color is what the eye sees.

                                                             ii.      primary – colors blue, red, yellow

                                                            iii.      intermediate colors – obtained by mixing adjoining primary and secondary colors

                                                          iv.      Secondary – colors  violet, orange, green

                                                            v.      Tertiary – blue violet, red violet, red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green

                                                          vi.      Overlapping – touching over top of each other

                                                         vii.      Armature –  the skeleton of the puppet

                                                       viii.      Apprentice – a person who helps someone else

                                                           ix.      Research – to search or investigate

                                                             x.      Insect - any animal of the class Insecta, comprising small, air-breathing arthropods having the body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and having three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings.

                                                           xi.      Head –  upper part of body

                                                          xii.      Thorax – portion of body connecting the head and abdomen

                                                        xiii.      Abdomen – the end part of an arthropod

                                                       xiv.      Arthropod – invertebrate, segmented body, jointed limbs.  Ex:  insects


b.     Motivation

                                                               i.      Students will individually investigate an insect of their choice.  Together as a group they will collaborate to form a creative skit.  Each group will feel the pride of showing off his/her puppet and knowledge to his/her peers.  This approach is fun, creative, and involves each student in a hands on approach.


c.     Development

                                                              i.      Day One

1.      Introduction

a.     We will begin by reading Eric Carle’s “The Very Quiet Cricket”.  I will review with the class the different types of animals they saw throughout the book.  We will make a chart of the similarities and differences of each animal.  At the end we will try and guess what type of classification the animals in the book were (insects).  Then, the teacher will tell the students to start drawing their favorite insect.  There will be pictures of different insects all around the room.

2.      Studio Time

a.     No studio time today

3.      Question and Answer

a.     The students can ask any questions they have about insects.

4.      Closure

a.     The teacher would say “we are going to be learning about insects.”  Tomorrow we are going to begin our unit.  It is important that you pay attention and try and find an insect that you are truly interested in.  We are going to be doing a lot of fun stuff with the insect you pick.

5.       Assignment

a.     If you have not finished your drawing, it is your homework for tonight.  Bring it in tomorrow.  Please have it colored J  Also, please bring in any paper towel/toilet paper roles you have around the house (this will be a notice sent home a couple days earlier as well). 

6.      Strategies for Diverse Learners

a.     Have a graphic organizer for each child to follow along through discussion.

                                                            ii.      Day Two

1.      Introduction

a.     “Yesterday we began a new subject, insects.  Lets begin today by making a KWL chart.”  We will list what we know about insects, what we want to know about insects, and what we will learn about insects.  “Please get out your text books.”  As we go through each insect the teacher will ask the children who drew that insect for their assignment to stand up.  Each child that is standing will read one sentence about that insect, and they will go around like that until the section is finished.

2.      Studio Time

a.     No studio time today

3.      Question and Answer

a.     The teacher will allow each child to ask the child next to him/her a question about the insect they drew for homework. 

4.      Closure

a.     “During tomorrow’s class we are going to be building our armatures for our puppets.  Who can tell me what an armature is?  (wait for answer, or prompt along)    Well tomorrow we will be working on this.

5.       Assignment

a.     Bring in any extra paper towel/toilet paper roles you have around the house.

                                                          iii.      Day Three

1.      Introduction

a.     “Okay class, you should have your idea for your puppet ready.  You are in your working groups (groups of four that I have selected a head of time).  On your table is masking tape, Styrofoam balls, toilet paper/paper towel roles, tin foil, paper towels, paper plates and other materials you may need.  Please watch me carefully as I show you how to construct an armature.  What is an armature again?  (wait for answer) Good!   First, rip your masking tape into pieces along your desk so they are easier to grab.  Next, hold the paper towel tube against your stomach and put the Styrofoam ball, or another object you are using on the top.  Use your free hand to attach the object to the tube.  The tape should over lap.  Who knows what over lap means?  When you are finished the object should be attached firmly. 

2.      Studio Time

a.     First, you need to put your name on a piece of masking tape and put the masking tape on your tray.  Then children will make their armatures.  They will be reminded about overlapping the tape and how to hold the pieces together the easiest way.  When I see some children are finishing I will ask them to be apprentices to other’s and explain to the class what the work apprentice means.

3.      Question and Answer

a.     The students will be asked to review vocabulary words.  For example, armature, apprentice, overlapping, insect, and the different parts of insects

4.      Clean up

a.     Clean up trays.  Put each armature in back of room.

5.      Closure

a.     “Lets go around and hold up our armatures and tell the class what we are making.  Pay attention because you might get some good ideas from one another.” 

6.       Assignment

a.     Worksheets in which the children need to color code the different parts of the insect and match up the definitions.  

7.      Strategies for Diverse Learners

a.     Have an aid to help the child along or spend some extra time with that child so he/she doesn’t fall behind.  The coordination to hold the armature together while taping it may be difficult. 

                                                          iv.      Day Four (lesson may be longer today because I would like to finish all paper machete in one day)

1.      Introduction

a.     Have all supplies ready to go ahead of time on trays for easy set up and clean up.  Have the children get into their groups of four right away with smocks on.  Armatures should be at their seats.  “Today is the fun day!  Are you ready to get messy?  Are you ready to get goopy?  Good!  Because today we are going to use the art paste.  Who knows what the art paste will do to our armatures?  What will are armatures be called after the art paste is on them and we decorate them?  Good!  Okay, I am going to demonstrate how to properly use the art paste, using too much can hurt your project.”  Demonstrate the two finger technique, holding it over the bowl and how to lay it on the armature.  “You need one full layer of the brown paper and then one full layer of the white paper.

2.       Studio Time

a.     Work on building puppets

3.      Clean up

a.     Clean up trays.  Make sure the children wipe off their hands with wipes and not water (explain why they should not wash their hands). 

4.      Closure

a.     Go around and ask the children what the art paste felt like.  What did they like about building their puppets?

5.       Assignment

a.     Worksheet in which the children have to match facts up with the insects.

6.       Strategies for Diverse Learners

a.     If a child does not like to get his/her hands dirty with the art paste show them how to use only two fingers and hopefully an aid can help them.  If not, put the wipes at his/her desk so he/she can clean hands frequently. 

                                                            v.      Day Five

1.      Introduction

a.     We now need to wait for our puppets to dry before we can do anything else.  So we are going to look at our KWL chart.  Lets see if we can answer any of our questions that we had before we started this unit.  Now, I am going to split you into groups of four and we are going to play a review game.  I have prepared questions about all different types of insects.  The groups I put you in are the groups you are going to be working with for this unit.  No group has the same insect twice. 

2.      Studio Time

a.     No studio time today.

3.      Question and Answer

a.     The review game will be played and score will be kept.  All children at the end will get an insect sticker. 

4.      Closure

a.     Tomorrow we are going to be in the library doing some research.  Who can tell me what doing research means?

5.      Strategies for Diverse Learners

a.     If it is too much stimulation for a child to be in a group answering questions, have them being the score or time keeper and be your apprentice. 

                                                          vi.      Day Six

1.      Introduction

a.     Go to the library.  Ask the librarians to have prepared some books about insects that are friendly reading to 3rd graders.  Have the librarians do a presentation on how to search on the computer for information.   Hand students an outline to follow with questions they should find the answers too about their insects.  This will keep students focused and on the right track.

2.      Studio Time

a.     No studio time.  Working in the library.  (Still waiting for puppets to be thoroughly dry.)

3.      Question and Answer

a.     How did you guys like researching?  What did you find difficult?  Do we need more time?

4.      Closure

a.     If more time is needed, reassure the children you can go back to the library tomorrow to do work.

5.      Strategies for Diverse Learners

a.     Apprenticeship.

                                                        vii.      Day Seven (Continue research in the library if needed, if not continue with lesson)

1.      Introduction

a.     “You have collected all your research, now it’s time to get into your groups.  Once you’re in your groups you are going to be planning a skit to present to the class.  Each of you has a different insect.  Remember the book we read by Eric Carle?  What was the title again?  This was a narrative story.  You may write a narrative play or an informational play.  Who can tell me the difference between the two?  Good!  Now today you are going to be brainstorming for some ideas as a group.  I have handed you each a graphic organizer to keep track of your ideas.  By the end of today’s work period you should have a thorough idea of what you want to do and have started the skit.”

2.      Studio Time

a.     Time spent brainstorming and prewriting skit

3.      Closure

a.     Please hand in to me what you have done so I can make sure you are on the right track.  Tomorrow we are going to be working more on our puppets.  But PLEASE, keep thinking about ideas for the skit.  Next time you reconvene as a group, we are going to put the finishing touches on our skits. 

                                                      viii.      Day Seven

1.      Introduction

a.     Today we are going to paint our puppets! First, you should all have your smocks on.  Second, notice that you are in the groups you are presenting your skits with.  Take this time as you are painting to discuss ideas for your skit.  And Next, before you paint make sure you draw with your pencils the lines where you are going to paint.  Once that is done, there are paint brushes and all the different colors at your tables.  The paper plates are to be used to mix your individual colors.  There is also a bucket of water to rinse your brushes out.  Please do not get up during this time period because I do not want anyone to get paint spilled on them. 

2.      Studio Time

a.     Time spent painting their puppets.

3.      Closure

a.     Tomorrow we will be letting our puppets dry and doing some group work on our skit.

                                                          ix.      Day Eight

1.      Introduction

a.     Today we are working on our skits.  I have handed each of your graphic organizers back with some feedback.  I will call each group back one by one today to see how your progress is going. 

2.      Studio Time

a.     Writing skits and meeting with me to edit.

3.      Closure

a.     I am going to go home tonight and type each of these skits up and make a copy for everyone.  Tomorrow when you come in you can practice your skits and we are going to be putting the finishing touches on our puppets. 

                                                            x.      Day Nine

1.      Introduction

a.     I have handed each group copies of their skits.  You also have highlighters.  Each person should go through and highlight their lines.  Good, now that that is done, lets get out our puppets.  All the materials you need are out on your group trays.  Please work diligently. 

2.      Studio Time

a.     Finishing touches on their puppets.  Items handed out like usual on trays, in groups of four.  Clean up is the same. 

3.      Closure

a.     Students you should all be very proud of your work.  You all did a wonderful job!  Tomorrow is the big day or presenting!  Go home and practice your lines.  I am very excited to see what each of you has done J

                                                          xi.      Day Ten

1.      Introduction

a.     I am very excited to see all of your presentations today.  Let's remember to give each group our up most respect.  There should be no talking when a group is presenting because we know we wouldn’t want them talking while we are presenting.  The worksheets you are given are to follow along in sequence of each main part of the story.  At the end of each presentation will be a time to ask any questions you may have.

2.      Studio Time


3.      Closure

a.     Wow, I can not believe the talent you guys have!  I am blown away by your presentations.  It seems that you have learned a lot about insects!  Who is still afraid of the creepy crawly insects?  Haha, that’s okay.  But now we know a little more about them and how they work.  We have one more project to do with this unit tomorrow.  Please make sure you bring in your research.

                                                        xii.      Day Eleven

1.      Introduction

a.     Today we are going to be writing individual informational papers about insects.  Not only are you going to include the insect you have research, but also two other of your favorite insects.  If you are stuck, please ask a friend for some information that researched a particular insect.

2.      Studio Time

a.     Time spent writing rough drafts.  Once they are finished I will call them up and edit their papers together.

3.      Closure

a.     Tomorrow we will finish writing our papers and making them into final drafts.

                                                      xiii.      Day Twelve

 1.      Introduction

a.     Those that I met with yesterday can get started writing their final drafts.  There is lined paper to write it on and then this worksheet to color to use as a border.  When they are finished they will be hung on the bulletin board in the hallway.  If you have not completed your rough draft please keep working.  I will continue to call you up one by one to edit them with you.

2.      Studio Time

a.     Time spent finishing papers

3.      Closure

a.     I hope you guys have learned a lot about insects over the past two weeks.  Lets go back to our KWL chart and see how we have grown.  Review items and see what they can add.

VII. Evaluation

a.     Assessment

                                                               i.      The student’s puppets will be collected to make sure they are completed.  They will also be hung up for everyone to see their hard work. 

                                                             ii.      The students writing will be graded on whether or not the student was able to present their knowledge of insects.  It will also be graded for error. 

                                                            iii.      The student’s worksheets such as the graphic organizers from the presentations and from brainstorming will be collected to make sure they were doing their work all along. 









The puppet was completed and student followed all directions.  The student took time to enhance puppet.

The puppet was completed and done well.

The puppet was completed but very basic.

The puppet was completed but the student did not follow directions.

Not Completed


Writing Assignment

Completed.  Showed complete understanding.  No grammatical errors.  Fluent.

Completed.  Showed understanding.  Few grammatical errors.  Clear.

Completed.  Showed little understanding.  Many grammatical errors. 

Completed.  Showed no understanding.  Many grammatical errors and difficult to read.

Not Completed



Completed properly

All completed but missing some sections

Only two completed.

Only one completed

Not completed



Prepared, was fluent and clear.

Prepared, but struggled at some spots. 

Somewhat prepared, a little shaky at spots

Was not prepared.

Not completed


Group Effort/Grade

Student participated in group well.  Student’s responsibilities for the group were met.

Student participated in group and met most responsibilities.

Student barely participated in group work.  A problem was caused because of the students actions.

Student participated in group the bare minimum.  Student caused problems with group work.

Not completed



All of finished projects are neat.  Student took their time. completed with care.

One of finished projects looks messy and rushed

Two or more of finished projects look messy and rushed

Finished projects look messy and rushed

Not completed



b.     Self Evaluation

                                                              i.      Make sure students stay on task.  There are a lot of step by step instructions, and a student can not fall behind. 

                                                            ii.      Be careful when you split the children into groups for group work and working on their puppets and skit. 



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