After School
Art Classes
Special Ed.

Puppet-Tale: Create and Play

"Pupperty & Shadow puppets is a magical world of art and emotions"

Puppetry is a theater performance in which the subject matter of the performance is brought to life through the manipulation of puppets in a highly creative atmosphere. It is suitable for student ages 7 and up. Any subject including bible, history , literature and religion can be transformed into an interactive educational experience using puppetry.

Pupperty can be taught in schools or private classes, and it is especially effective in teaching language skills in groups/classroms.

A Breakthrough Method: Teaching Hebrew Through Puppetry

What is the benefit of Puppetry?

Puppetry is a highly effective medium that allows students to improve skills including reading, writing and most importantly speaking Hebrew.

See examples of Puppetry in schools...
See examples of Shadow Puppets in schools...

Why Puppetry?

Puppetry allows students to practice and learn Hebrew in a highly effective and fun learning environment. This activity motivates both advanced students as well as shy and hesitant students to participate, learn and use new Hebrew vocabulary.

The student operates the puppet, and speaks and acts through it. This allows the students the confidence and freedom to be expressive and vocal through the puppet, avoiding typical inhibitions or fear of judgment.

The students take part in creating the scene/stage, writing the Hebrew dialog, and directing the scene. This is very important as it gives the student enthusiasm in their character and motivation in bringing the puppet to life.

Simply put, the students want their puppets to perform well. This motivates students to learn and use Hebrew so that they (though their puppets they have chosen) can have a successful performance they can be proud of, and worthy of their teacher's and parents' praise.

How Does Puppetry Increase the Students' Hebrew Skills?

The chart below outlines some of the activities involved in puppetry, and the corresponding skills which are improved through that activity:

Activity Skills Learned
Reading the scenes
  • Improves reading Hebrew skills through repetitive exercises
  • Teaches the subject matter of the play
  • Practicing the scenes in groups
  • Increases comfort level of speaking Hebrew with peers
  • Improves Hebrew conversation skills
  • Writing out the dialogue to finalize the scenes
  • Improves Hebrew writing skills
  • Improves spelling of Hebrew words
  • Increases familiarity with subject matter of play
  • Preparation and creation of the various scenes of the play
  • Improves Hebrew conversation skills
  • Improves grammar by editing and perfecting the dialogue
  • Encourages creativity
  • Improvising and practicing the scenes
  • Improves speed and accessibility of Hebrew words
  • Improves comfort of using Hebrew with peers
  • Encourages creativity and self-confidence
  • Decorating the stage
  • Improves recognition of key words in Hebrew
  • Increases understanding of the subject matter of the play
  • Performance of the play
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Motivates creativity and learning
  • Shows off work and accomplishments
  • During all of the activities a teacher and I guide the students with their use of Hebrew.

    How is Puppetry Utilized in the School Curriculum?

    In a regular classroom:
    Experience shows that this approach is most effective with small to medium-sized groups of students (2-12). This provides a good balance between ownership of the project and distribution of responsibility. Larger classes can be handled by breaking the class into multiple groups. The whole class can come together in multiple ways: small groups each creating a complete story, or small groups where each group is responsible for a part of the story. This process also allows for teaching flexibility such as teaming weaker students with stronger ones, or teaming students of similar abilities, depending on the goals and preferences of the teacher and the school.

    As part of a remedial or enrichment class ("Sheurey Ezer"):
    Puppetry is an appealing, fun, and interactive way to engage students who require extra help with their work. The students feel rewarded and motivated in what to them feels like play, but is really an interactive and effective method of teaching Hebrew.

    On the stage:
    Staged productions can be run in groups of up to 12 students. The students can be from different classes or grades, and the production can involve family members (e.g. parents). Students can perform in front of a class, the school, or parents and families. Performing increases the motivation and self-esteem of the students. It also shows off the students' use of Hebrew.

    How do Batia and a Teacher Collaborate to Make a Puppetry Project happen in Classooms?

    Batia has an initial discussion with the classroom’s teacher before each project commences during which the following is canvassed to ensure a successful project:

  • the subject matter of the project
  • at what time during the curriculum would it be most beneficial to have the project (before the topic is taught, while the topic is taught or after the topic is taught)
  • the students’ capacity for learning
  • whether there are any students that require special attention or have special needs
  • a timetable for the project (days and times I would visit the classroom)
  • the types of puppets that will be used
  • whether students will be given the opportunity to write or edit the script for the performance
  • dividing the students into groups (which depend on the topic, the number of students and the performance)
  • whether the teacher will continue the teaching the topic after the performance
  • whether the teacher plans to give the students a test about the topic after the performance
  • that the teacher will be asked to complete a progress report
  • whether the students will perform in front of other classes, or just students in their own classroom

    How do Batia and aTeacher Facilitate a Project Together in the Classroom?

    Batia and the teacher work closely with the students through every step of the project. Throughout the protect they assist the students and encourage them to:

  • actively rewrite and edit their portion of the performance in Hebrew
  • write and spell Hebrew words correctly
  • read the story in Hebrew with comfort
  • comprehend the plot of the story
  • understand how their performance plays into the topic being taught
  • speak Hebrew clearly
  • pronounce their part in Hebrew properly
  • use their imagination
  • improvise where appropriate
  • work well both independently and within their group
  • connect to their characters
  • display confidence when giving their performance
  • memorize their part
  • use Hebrew vocabulary appropriately

    How do you know if Puppetry is Working?

    At the end of each project, you may have the teachers and the students complete a progress report to indicate if the students’ skills have improved. The progress report can be tailored to determine whether the specific goals of the project have been achieved (i.e. a goal for a remedial class may differ from a goal in a regular classroom). A sample progress report for a teacher and a student is available below.

  • Sample Teacher Progress Report
  • Sample Student Progress Report

    A Teacher's Review:

    The following is a quote from Ms. Meny Rom of the Associated Hebrew School Finch Branch after puppetry was used in her classroom to teach the students the story of Malkat Shva:
    Following the completion of the puppet exercise of Malkat Shva, I gave the students a standard Hebrew assignment on the topic. During the assignment everyone was focused and quiet. In addition everyone returned the assignment on time (typically some take the assignment home to get help from their parents). I was impressed with the results of the assignment as the students remembered a lot of detail about the story from memory. Their use of vocabulary also improved. I was pleased to see how engaged the students were throughout the entire puppetry process up to and including the final assignment. I would be thrilled to have more opportunities to use puppets in teaching Hebrew to my students.

    The following is a quote from T.Klein:
    שלום בתיה
    אלף תודות על העבודה הנפלאה שעשית עם תלמידי כיתתי בכיתה ו' חדר 115 התלמידים עבדו בקבוצות בצורה נפלאה ואפילו עזרו לקבוצות אחרות שביקשו עזרה מהם מה שהדהים ,היה לראות את האינטרפטציה של התלמידים בהבנת הדיברות שבא לידי ביטוי בפרזנטציה שלהם בפני 2 הכיתות התלמידים אמרו לי שהם נהנו מאוד לעבוד איתך על הנושא בדרך הזאת וזה בא לידי ביטוי בהצגת החומר
    נהנתי לעבוד איתך
    עלי והצליחי בעבודה היצירתית שלך
    תשמרי איתי על קשר
    שבת שלום
    צופיה קליין

    I look forward to discussing the potential of puppetry in your school. You may reach me by telephone at 905-764-7643 or contact Batia online.