Bring out samples of sock puppets. Have a puppet talk to the students. This may be done with a puppet stage, but doesn’t have to be.
Step 1: Before getting out all of the art and craft supplies, demonstrate how to make the mouth. First, prep the needle with thread. Demonstrate how to thread a needle and how to knot it. Then, they will construct the mouth by first putting the sock on their hand and folding the toe inwards so that the hand can comfortably manipulate it. Have them mark a spot on the puppets left “cheek” and sew it with a few tight stitches. Repeat with right cheek. Go around and check that students are doing it correctly. Offer assistance. Ask students to assist each other. If necessary, draw illustrations on board.
Step 2: Tell the students what to do for full credit: 1) mouths are secure, 2) have at least one (1) eye, and 3) some kind of decoration/detail. Write this on the board. Tell them that since mouths should be secured already, they are one-third done. Show them two ways to do the eyes. First, they can cut out felt and fabric and have the eyes lie flat on the face. Second, they can have raised eyes by using pompoms. Tell them that it will affect how they manipulate the puppet. If you have samples of each type of puppet show them to the students.
Step 3: Ask them for ideas on how to “decorate” their puppets. Answers include: clothing (skirt, shirt, tie, bow, glasses, cape), hair, jewelry, patterns (polka dots, stripes), buttons, arms, ears, nose, animal features, etc. Write these on board next to decoration. They can go further and add more detail at home if they want. Suggestions include making it an animal (duck, cat, dog, octopus), a monster, or a person.
Step 4: Remind students to use their time wisely. Also, give them any safety instructions (i.e. don’t run with scissors, be careful with hot glue, don’t throw things, etc.)
Step 5: Bring out the art and craft supplies. Monitor the students by walking around the classroom and give assistance as needed.
Step 6: Have an activity prepared for students who are finished with their puppet, such as a puppet movie or show.
Have students clean up and turn in what they have finished. Give them the option of working on puppet at home, but they must bring it everyday and have it finished by the manipulation lesson.
Go around room and check students’ puppets. Make sure puppets 1) mouths are secure, 2) have at least one eye, and 3) have some kind of decoration.
*Preparation: Several days (even a week) beforehand, assign students to bring in a sock. This must be a long sock, long enough to cover most of their forearm. Start collecting their socks as soon as possible. Add name to each sock so you can return it to the correct student on construction day.