Listen to a song from the Broadway show, Little Mermaid, “I Want the Good Times Back.” Hand the students the lyrics to that song. Have them listen and pay attention to what Ursula does with her voice. Have them circle or underline the parts in the lyrics in which Ursula does something with her voice. Tell the students to pay attention to the vocal qualities that she displays. Look at the possibilities that you can do with your voice. You will need to create two distinct voices in the puppet show.
STEP 1: Transition- Hand out the final project assignment that describes the Puppet Show. Have a student read aloud each section of the assignment so that everyone understands what is going on. Ask if the students have any questions. Assign students partners so that they can work with different people. Remind the students they will perform their shows before the term ends so they only have a few class periods to work on it.
STEP 2: Modeling- Tell the students that they are going to be writing scripts. Draw two rectangles in “portrait” (not “landscape”) on the board. Draw in lines on one as if it were a book. Draw in lines in the other one as if it were a script. Show the students that a script has a lot more blank space, so one page isn’t all that much to write. Remind the students that is only has to be about 2-3 min long. So that is only about 3 pages of dialogue and action.
STEP 3: Instruction- Review plot structure with them that they learned in their Pantomime Unit. Have them tell you what makes a good story.
STEP 4: Modeling- Have students brainstorm ways to get ideas for a script. For example, true stories, fairytales, fractured fairytales, myths, character journey, etc. Ask students what one important thing to do in their puppet show. Demonstrate by performing a quick, boring show with your hands where the two characters only talk. Answer: action and characters. Ask students how they can add action to their scripts. Talk about characters and the voices that you need to give them.
STEP 5: Group Practice- Give the students time to get into partnerships and work on their scripts. Tell students once again that they need two distinct characters, and to watch their vocals. Since this is a vocal unit, your main grade will be in the characters and voices that you create for them. You will need to create an interesting plot, but focus heavily on the voices you create. They have to be two different voices.
STEP 6: Group Practice- To get the students to stay focused remind when time is almost up to finish their scripts. When you can determine a good stopping point have them put their scripts done and get ready to make puppets! Give them time to create puppets from the characters that they created.
STEP 7: Rehearsal Time- After they create their puppets they need to start experimenting with their voices and their script. Have them start rehearsing their script with their puppets.
Students can be assessed by their written down script, and creation of their two puppets.
A “Puppet Show Assignment” sheet was not submitted. The rubric from lesson 8 could be used or used as a guide to creating one.