Puppets in an Inspired Classroom

Judith O’Hare is a world renowned puppeteer and the focus workshop presenter at the Teacher Art Retreat.  Today, she shares some insights to how puppets can play a part in our classrooms and in the lives of our students.  This is a preview of the wonderful things we will be learning from her at the retreat! There is a power in puppets! Puppets tickle the imagination and stimulate the mind, not only for children but for teens and adults. At first we all love to see something that we know is not real, seem to come to life before our eyes. We know the object that is moving and talking is not real, yet we are pulled into the reality of the puppet character. If there is an opportunity to touch the puppets, coax a bit of life into it and begin to control it, there is a power of creation. Anyone can make a lifeless puppet come to life and with a little practice, we can make people believe in that puppet, believe that it is real. That is Power! Hoody Dowdy was a part of my childhood, and Big Bird, Elmo and Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are part of the childhood of children over the past 30 years. The Muppet show and the most recent Muppet movies and commercials have made puppets a part of mainstream entertainment. These characters are indelible parts of our lives; puppeteers have breathed life into them and we believe in them. Puppets have been around as long as we have recorded history and they have been some of the world’s most dynamic teachers. I recently was in Africa at an International Puppet Festival that was sponsored by Planned Parenthood and other non-government health agencies to help promote education about AIDS through puppetry. In … Continue reading Puppets in an Inspired Classroom