This project was a great way to incorporate writing with art! 3rd grade students designed puppets and wrote a short story about the characters they created. Before we began, I read them a story with beautifully detailed pictures and descriptions of the main characters. We talked about how the students could think about a character they would want to create- What would it look like? Would it be an animal, a person, an alien, etc....? Where would it live? How old would it be? Would it have a job? What kind of adventure could they dream up for their character?
After brainstorming ideas for our puppets, we began with creating the head of the puppet using about a golf ball size amount of Model Magic that we attached to the end of a handle we made by rolling up the long side of a 9" x 12" piece of construction paper and gluing it closed. I demonstrated ways the students could mold the clay to make the facial features and hair, by either pulling out the clay from the piece or adding to it. Once they completed their heads, they were set aside to dry until the next art class, when they would paint them and add other details like google eyes if they liked.