Using Puppets in the Classroom
Early years advisors Sheila Sage and Sue Durant share their enjoyment of working with puppets. They explain how puppets can be used in a variety of ways, beginning with introducing puppets to the class.
Sheila emphasises how important it is for practitioners to feel comfortable with the puppets they use, practicing with a colleague or in front of the mirror before working with children. We see initial reactions to Bernard, whom Sheila brings along to St Johnís First School. Later we meet a hand puppet who lacks numeracy skills and needs the childrenís help to learn to count.
Puppets can encourage PSHE skills in an unthreatening way, such as using a handkerchief, not interrupting or being a bully, as well as developing empathy, imagination and communication. Sue and Sheila explain how sometimes the quietest child will begin to talk to a puppet.
-Encourage the quietest pupils to start talking
-Use a male puppet to avoid confusion with dolls
-Look at a variety of ways puppets can be effective in the classroom