Animal Jumping Puppets

Grades 3-4

Art 207-03, Group 1

Lily Gicker, Kelly Bullak, Erin Moore, & Ariella Dalton




Students will learn about proportions of body parts.
Students will learn how to create moving parts.
Students will learn how to cut shapes with detail.
Students will learn how to attach string and tie knots.

Student's Materials

9"x12" Construction Paper (assorted colors)
Hole punch
Brads (4 per puppet)
Chopsticks (one per puppet)
Newspaper (to lay over the tables)

Teacher's Materials

Examples of different animal jumping puppets
Javanese shadow puppet and slides of puppets from various cultures




1.      Intro: Discus the historical and cultural background of puppets. Show slides and examples.

2.      Demonstration on how to make the puppets.

3.      Lay newspaper over the tables

4.      Think of the animal you want to create and sketch it on construction paper.

5.      Cut out body & head, arms, and legs.

6.      Add facial features & decorate.

7.      Punch holes (four in the body where legs and arms are to be attached; and two in each arm and leg- one for the brad and one for the string)

8.      Attach brads

9.      Glue on chopstick

10.  Attach String and test it out!

11.  Closure:  Share puppets with the class and discus what they have learned.



-Extend the activity by having students create puppet shows.
-In the beginning talk about the basic shapes of animals, how many legs they
 have, ect.
-The two holes in the arms and legs might be confusing; you might want to draw
 it large - scale on a board to show which hole is for the brad, and which hole
 is for the string.
-Larger string or yarn is easier to tie.
-Have people available to help the students tie the string, this may be a little
 difficult for some third graders.
-Emphasize the size and shape that the body parts must be in order for it to
 work well (if the arms/wings are too fat/round it will not work)
-Suggest having only two wings instead of two arms and two legs- it's simpler.
-Have students make people puppets or other figures that go with what is
 currently being taught in the class.

Artistic Development


Third and fourth graders are a combination of both the schematic stage and the realistic stage.  The third grade students may still be at the schematic stage.  The schematic stage deals with developing line and shape making skills.  The students work to improve their muscular coordination in handling art tools such as scissors, glue, or clay.  There is no overlapping, items are placed randomly in picture space, and bodies are made up of geometric figures.  Proportions of figures usually depend on emotional or physical value.


The realistic stage is a bit more advanced and probably will not be present in a student until the fourth grade.  This stage begins with a newfound realistic approach to making art.  The students still may be holding on to childhood beliefs and fantasies, but their thinking about what they see changes dramatically.  Geometric shapes no longer suffice to make all objects.  They can now see that the sky meets the horizon and that objects can overlap.  They pay more attention to detail on their figures, especially to hair and clothing.  They learn to shade objects, add shadows, and make distant objects smaller.  The students use more realistic colors and are more critical of their work.  By this stage the students are ready to learn about visual space and perspective.

Our art project will be great for the third and fourth grade for four main reasons.  First, our puppets will help the students to learn about proper body proportion by having them make even body parts.  Second, this activity is great for motor skills because much of this project is done by cutting and putting things together.  Third, the student is free to give as much detail as they like to the puppet's characteristics.  And lastly, making puppets is fun!




Herberholz, Donald and Barbara Herberholz.  Artworks for Elementary Teachers 9th ed.  Boston: McGraw Hill, 2002.