Puppets and Props (Story Retelling)

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this lesson, students will work together to enact a scene from a read aloud, shared or guided reading book with the class, using Doodled finger puppets. Story retells are a great way to build language, speaking and listening skills. Puppet shows will reflect an understanding of story structure, sequence, and reading comprehension.

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Lesson Plan


Step 1

Divide students into small groups of 3-4. Assign roles of writer, reader and director. All students will be creating and "acting" with puppets. The writer will be recording the script as the group members share input. The reader will be referring to a scene from the story and reading aloud relevant parts of the text. The director will keep everyone on task throughout the writing, puppet making and performance process.

Step 2

State the goal: Writing a script for a puppet retelling of a scene from a shared read. Students will then design/create finger puppets with a 3Doodler and perform for the class.

Step 3

Share the Criteria: Students will be graded on volume, inflection, organization, dialogue and creative use of puppets in performance. Students' puppet show reflects understanding of story scene.

Step 4

Instruct students to work on script together either on paper or a shared online doc, e.g., Google Docs.

Step 5

Model various ways to create finger puppets with a 3Doodler.

Step 6

Create a sketch of finger puppet as a stencil and retrace lines with 3Doodler.

Step 7

Create a base for your finger puppet: Mold a piece of tin foil around your index finger to create the base. Remove the tin foil from your finger, keeping the shape in tact. Rotate the 3Doodler around the tip of the foil finger until it is about the size of a thimble. Attach your puppet by welding with melted filament from the 3Doodler.

Step 8

Note that puppets may be the type described above or the type in which your fingers slide through holes as the puppet's feet. For this second type, demonstrate how to create a stencil with holes large enough to fit your fingers through.

Step 9

Demonstrate how to add music or a construction paper background to enhance the show.

Step 10

Send students back to groups to select a scene from the book.

Step 11

Hand out supplies to each group: paper, pencils, 3Doodler.

Step 12

Circle to assist, guide and assess as students work together.

Wrap Up

Students present their puppet shows. Peers offer feedback. Share on Twitter @3Dooler #3DoodlerEdu


Teacher will assess students based on scripts and performance.

Possible Extensions

Students repeat the same scene, but this time have a character make a different decision or behave in a different way than described in the book. Change the outcome of the scene. Discuss how changing the character's dialogue, behavior or decision changed the outcome of the scene.



    Educational Standards

    Common Core

    Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    In This Lesson

    Students will reenact a story in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    Common Core

    Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

    In This Lesson

    Students will add audio recordings, puppets and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

    Common Core

    Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

    In This Lesson

    Students will write a script for their puppet show that introduces a narrator and characters in an organized sequence.

    Next Gen Science

    Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

    In This Lesson

    Students will work in pairs to meet selected criteria to script and perform a puppet show that meets the criteria set by the teacher.

    CS Teachers

    Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

    In This Lesson

    Students will break down the larger task of retelling a story with puppets into smaller sub-problems, e.g,. brainstorming, organizing, sketching and presenting.


    Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

    In This Lesson

    Students will use the 3Doodler to create finger puppets to demonstrate their understanding of a story.


    Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

    In This Lesson

    Students will demonstrate willingness and competency within an open-ended task with more than one possible outcome.


    Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

    In This Lesson

    Students will design and create original finger puppets to retell a story.


    Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

    In This Lesson

    Students will listen and share ideas while creating with the 3Doodler.


    Contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities

    In This Lesson

    Students will share and support each other by taking on various roles, e.g., sketching, organizing, writing and presenting.

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