Shadow Puppets on the Overhead Projector

Shadow puppets on the overhead projector

Our fifth graders just completed a shadow puppet unit. We had a lot of fun creating shadow puppets and performing with them on our old overhead projector. ┬áIf you’ve got one (or more) of these old projectors at school, grab them! Your students will have a blast making shadow puppets.

Materials:

  • overhead projector
  • tagboard or construction paper
  • pencils/erasers
  • scissors
  • bamboo skewers
  • tape
  • decorative punches
  • push pins
  • wax paper
  • overhead transparencies
  • colored Sharpie permanent markers

Create a puppet:

Draw a character on tagboard or paper. Encourage kids to make puppets with interesting silhouettes. Cut out. Use the punches to add a decorative edge. Students can also cut out slits or interesting shapes within the puppets. They can also pierce the puppets with a push pin to make tiny dots of light (look carefully at the octopus below to see this effect). Tape on a bamboo skewer and you are ready to go!

 

Students created shadow puppets from black paper and bamboo skewers

You can learn to create a shadow puppet show step-by-step in the book Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry. The book has great direction for making puppets with movable joints as well.

Worlds of Shadow

Worlds of Shadow

Backdrops:

Wax paper:

We used wax paper as a backdrop. It makes a smokey, translucent shadow when placed on the overhead projector. We used cut wax paper to make ocean waves and torn wax paper to make mountain tops.

Overhead transparencies + colored Sharpie:

Students made a lot of beautiful backdrops on transparencies. Here is a brief video that shows the vibrant color:

I wrote about part one of our shadow puppet unit in this post.

I learned how to create shadow puppets from Baltimore art teacher Grace Hulse – you can see Grace’s shadow puppet Prezi and video in this post.

Enjoy!

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