Tools

Six ideas for using finger puppets in class

Jenny Mutlu-Collins

Finger puppets are a fantastic way to engage your students in learning. Download and print our cut-out finger puppets, then get your students to colour them and make the character their own! Read on to find six easy ideas for using these finger puppets in your classroom.

These characters were designed by real children around the world in a global competition. Download the finger puppets here and meet Sage the Squirrel, Think Big Giraffe, Woody the Owl, Kira the Cat and many others, all featured in our new Fun Skills series.

Beginnings and endings

As the class starts and the children line up to come in, ask them to use the finger puppets to ask and answer a question to each other, one after the other. At the end of class, review parts of the lesson topic with the children using the finger puppets to answer questions.

Storytelling

  • Children take turns to read a story in the voice of their puppets.
  • The teacher’s finger puppet narrates the story and stops for the other finger puppets to fill in the blanks.
  • The children create their own story, or a story they are familiar with and tell it using their puppets.

 

Acting

This works best with small groups and lots of finger puppets! Children decide who will be the main actors and, if there are more children than characters, the others can be extras. Use a story from their class to act as a basis for their own ideas, for example, you could use one of the character stories from Fun Skills Home Booklet. Next, give students time to rehearse their puppet show before they take turns showing to the class.

Songs and chants

Assign different lines of a song to each finger puppet character. When you play the song, the children with the particular finger puppet character have to sing their part. For example as you play the first line from the song you have chosen, all the Kira the Cat puppets have to “stand up” and sing that part.

Grammar fun

Think of ways you could use the finger puppets to help children show understanding of different grammar structures in class. For example,

Comparatives: children compare puppets.

E.g. Think Big Giraffe is bigger than Sage the Squirrel

Prepositions: children act out different positions and other groups have to guess what they mean.

E.g. Woody is under the chair

Pairwork tasks

At the points in class where the children need to do a speaking and listening task together, try it with the puppets instead.

Do you have any more ideas? We’d love to hear from you – leave us a comment below.

Children from all over the world designed the characters in our new six-level exam prep course for the Cambridge exams for younger learners. You can check out the full story of our global character competition:

Don’t forget, you can visit worldoffun.cambridge.org for many more great ideas and resources for teaching young learners.


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