Paper Bag Puppets

Grades 1-2

Art 207-03, Group 6

Jane Perlin, Amanda Bell-Corona, Chase Harrison, Lorree Wallender





1.      Students will learn the historical background of puppetry.

2.      Students will learn how to create elements of a face/puppet from construction paper.

3.      Students will learn how to use scissors and glue effectively.

4.      Students will learn how to create characters out of a paper bag.


Student's Materials


paper bag (any size)


construction paper


decorative materials (yarn, glitter, buttons, ribbon, cloth, markers, etc.)


Teacher's Materials


examples of different types of puppets
historical information on puppets




puppetry, construction paper, character, puppet show, three dimensional, Jacob's ladder, marionette.


Introduction: Give historical information on puppetry and show examples of artwork.




1.      Put a hand in the bag, find the fold, and use the hand to open and close the fold. This is the moving part of the puppet, and the flat bottom of the bag will be an area of the face or top of the head.

2.      The face can be drawn or glued directly on this flat bottom, or another piece of paper can be shaped and glued onto the bottom. Don't forget to put colors and details inside the fold. This could be either the mouth or the eyebrows.

3.      Three-dimensional additions are excellent. Noses or back to stick out and Jacob's Ladders for the arms and legs may be used.  Cut paper can be fringed or curled to make hair or feathers.  Other materials can be added to enrich the puppet form.




Have students describe their puppets
and name the character. Discuss how they might put on
a puppet show, using their puppets. Hang up student
artwork and discuss what they have learned.


source: A


Handbook of Arts and Crafts, 10th edition, by Wigg, Hasselschwert, et al. Publisher: McGraw-Hill, Boston


Group 6: Artistic Development


As students learn through study and instruction in art, they begin to understand the expressive and formal content of artwork as well as grow in their own artistic expression.  The artistic development of children's art production occurs in stages.  In our lesson plan, we are teaching to 1st and 2nd graders.

Grades 1st and 2nd are in stage 2: making symbols of artistic development.  This stage is referred to as the symbolic or schematic stage because they develop their line and shape making skills.  In addition to developing line and shape making skills, they also develop their muscle coordination, which enables them to handle drawing tools such as scissors, glue sticks, and modeling clay.

A child will usually start out by drawing simple recognizable images called symbols.  Drawing a particular symbols conveys to us what people, events, and objects impress the child at that particular moment.  People are the most often drawn symbol.  The first people they draw are themselves, parents, siblings, and friends.

When beginning to draw, children rely heavily on geometric shapes rather than on realistic or free form shapes.  When drawing a persons body, they often make round and oval shapes for the body and rectangles for the arms and legs.  Also, when first starting out drawing symbolic representation of people, trees, flowers, etc., they usually do not relate the color they are using to actual color of object.  Many times a figure will end up with a green face and purple hair.

At first, children let their drawings of people float in the air with no relationship to space or to one another.  During the 4th or 5th year, children begin to connect objects in space in their drawings.  They begin to organize objects and show connections between objects in their pictures.


History of Puppetry


A puppet is a figure whose movements are controlled by someone through strings, rods, or hand movements.  There are all different kinds of puppets. They are used mostly for entertainment in almost all cultures, including Africa, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, and throughout Europe and the Americas. No on really know where puppets originally came from, but most likely they had their beginnings in religious ceremonies. The main type of puppets is hand or glove puppets. These puppets consist of heads with mitten type bodies, and usually show only form the hips up. Another type of puppet is a marionette.  Marionettes are fully moveable.  They are moved from above by using strings attached to wooden controls.  Puppets that may be familiar to most of us are Jim Henson's Muppets, and Shari Lewis, and Lamb Chops.  Puppets have been used by storytellers to illuminate and entertain for centuries.


Sources Wigg, Hasselochwert.

A Handbood of Arts and Crafts, 10th edition. McGraw-Hill, Boston. 2000