George Washington Puppet Masters

George Washington Puppet Masters pic

As part of a STELLAR (Success in Technology, Enrichment, Library, Literacy, Artistry and Research) unit, first-graders at George Washington Elementary School in the district constructed gingerbread rod puppets with the help of the Center for Puppetry Arts, located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The students participated in a videoconference with the center’s distance learning puppeteer, Jeffrey Zwartjes, who discussed the history of gingerbread and explained that not all children around the world eat it. He also shared the ingredients needed to bake gingerbread.

In addition, Zwartjes compared several stories related to the classic “Gingerbread Man” tale, from “The Runaway Rice Cake” by Ying Chang Compestine and “The Musubi Man” by Sandi Takayama to “The Gingerbread Boy” by Paul Galdone, identifying the similarities and differences between each book. 

After watching a puppet show of “The Gingerbread Boy,” the first-graders followed step-by-step instructions to assemble their own gingerbread boys and girls. They fastened the torsos, bellies and legs together and taped two bendable straws to the tops and backs of their gingerbread personas to make them move around and dance.