This is a great activity for Chinese New Year or anytime of year!
What You Need: small paper bags, colored paper scraps, scissors, glue, markers, dragon stories and books
Read or tell some dragon stories to compare different kinds of dragons. Talk about what kind of dragons and dragons stories they like the best to get children ready to create their puppet.
Puppets are made by turning the paper bag upside down and using the bottom flap as the puppet’s mouth. Have children practice this before they start so they get the idea of where a tongue, teeth, snout, and eyes might go.
Children cut out colored paper features and use markers to transform the bags into dragons.
As children create their paper bag puppets, be sure to encourage dialogue about their dragon with prompts such as:
- What does a dragon need to look like a dragon?
- What is your dragon’s name?
- What is special about your dragon?
- Does it have special powers?
- Can your dragon fly?
- What is the first thing your dragon is going to say?
Provide plenty of time for children to play together with their puppets. You might need to ask more questions to help children think of stories, rather than just roaring and fighting!
Write About It!
I have found these prompts helpful to get children excited to create and share dragon stories. Once they are finished, they can act these out with their puppets. Explain to the children they will write a story with their dragon as the star.
- Where does your dragon live? In a cave… on an island… in a castle?
- Is your dragon scary or does it want to help people?
- How do people feel about the dragon?
- Does the dragon cause or solve a problem?
- What are your dragon’s special powers? Does your dragon breath fire? Does it fly?
- How does it use its powers to reach its goal?