SOS: Puppet Pictures

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series  provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Puppet Pictures

PDF Version


Using puppets to learn new vocabulary is a fun and creative way for students to connect with the new terms as they use it in their own words. By leveraging “Vocabulary’s CODE” (Connect, Organize, Deep-process, Exercise), we can help “students master crucial concepts and retain new vocabulary terms”. (The Core Six Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core) This strategy leverages images from Discovery Education, as well as pictures of your students, to help students connect with new vocabulary terms.



  • After completing your unit on Habitats, students will use puppet pictures to write and act out a story using their new vocabulary terms
  • Print out the following images (large size) on individual pieces of paper of animals and plants from Discovery Education:
  • Print out images of your students
  • Cut out the images and glue them to popsicle sticks, making puppet pictures.
  • Explain to students that they will need to write a narrative about an adventure they had using at least 4 of the plant and/or animal images and include the academic vocabulary they have learned throughout the unit. This activity will assess what they understand about the different components of the habitat
  • Have students act out their stories using the puppet pictures (this can be done whole group or small group)



  • Select a series of images that match the key vocabulary from your current curriculum.
  • Print the “large” size of the images, along with images of your students. Glue them to popsicle sticks
  • Have students write a narrative about an adventure they had, using the academic vocabulary from their unit of study
  • Allow students to act out their story using the puppet pictures

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.



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  1. jfkteacher said:

    This is a great idea, and relevant for many units. I think even for younger kids, making the puppets and emphasizing the “acting out” oral language and comprehension piece is really valuable. Also, I think having a friend or two helping to “act out” collaboratively is a real confidence booster and can really enhance learning.

  2. Danielle Brown said:

    We have a play for our weekly reading story this week. This strategy would be great for recreating a play with some selected vocabulary words. I love this idea! Thanks!

  3. Tina McGough said:

    Puppets are great for kids that are not comfortable in front of others- like kids with speech issues. It is even better if they are hidden behind a screen,etc. Of course , my students enjoy puppets, especially when the puppet represents the concept being taught. That helps them connect with the information.

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