Shadow Puppets Tell Traditional Tales

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 in Storytelling

This week, we were treated to a wonderful morning of shadow puppetry.

At a local theatre, we watched beautiful puppets move to music, as they narrated traditional Chinese folktales. In one story a cheeky turtle disturbed a peaceful lake; in another, some selfish squirrels learned to work together and in the final story, a Chinese god taught woodcutters the value of honesty.

When we returned to class, we explained the stories to Ms O’Dwyer (who could not understand any of the Chinese narration!). Then, we analysed the characters, setting and theme of each story. We talked about why puppetry is a powerful form of story-telling and the importance of folk tales in each culture.

It was very exciting to play with the puppets back-stage and meet the talented performers. We were amazed at how much skill was involved in the performance. Some puppets had up to 4 sticks and some needed 2 people to manipulate them.

A big thank you to Mr Hawke and Ms Linda for organizing this wonderful field trip.


Shadow Puppets on PhotoPeach


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Benedict

    Dear Ms O’Dwyer,
    Its was really fun watching the 4 stories at the local theater. Although I did not understand some parts, I enjoyed it. I really liked the part where we got to try to move the shadow at the end of the show. I really really really enjoyed being at the puppet theater.
    Kind regards,

  2. tgascoigne

    Dear Grade 4,

    We enjoyed your video and learning more about shadow puppets. When we read your post, it reminded us about the Thai puppet show we all watched last week. Though they were not shadow puppets we also noticed how much hard work and effort goes into moving and performing with the puppets. It is very cool that we all have stories from our cultures that tell stories about important things and life lessons. We are wondering if you know how the shadow puppets are made? Do you know who made them?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Grade 3

  3. Jermaine

    Dear Ms O’Dwyer

    Its was very fun to watch the 4 stories that were made from the puppets. I did not understand some parts of the stories and I found it a little bit hard to understand. I really liked the part where we tried out the shadows and moved the puppets. It was really fun.

    Kind Regards,