Murrell Puppet Shorts

Murrell School Students Make Puppets and Put on a Show
Posted on 12/13/2022
student with puppet in front of stage and other students

Students at Murrell Special Day School have had their hands full studying puppetry this semester. 

To wrap up the semester, students put on their first Murrell Puppet Shorts showcase for faculty, staff and families. Students worked with Murrell Librarian Hosanna Banks and Nashville Public Library’s Puppet Truck, which travels throughout Davidson County with the goal of reaching people who are not able to visit the Main Library so they can research information about storytelling and learn basic puppetry. 

The NPL Puppet Truck visited every classroom at Murrell this semester to inspire the students during the process. Students created 10 of their own original short performances and worked in tandem in their art classes to create puppets for the show. Some of their various creations included string puppets, shadow puppets, stick and rod puppets, and finger puppets.

The students also pre-recorded voices and sound and spent many hours practicing for their showcase.

“The kids were so proud of themselves after the show,” Banks said. “They were smiling from ear to ear. They are already thinking about their next show and what kind of puppets they want to make.” 

Through project-based learning, students were given the opportunity to fuse social-emotional learning with creativity. This allowed them to entertain while working collaboratively, responsibly and respectfully in small groups. Students were tasked with sharing ideas and supporting each other throughout the process to create stories, not just for one person, but for the whole group.

At Murrell, students are taught they can do hard things, and this project was both challenging and rewarding.

students and families waiting for puppet show to start

“The students had to work through issues with each other and their puppets,” Banks said. “They all found their roles in the group and worked as a team before and during the show.”

Banks wanted to give a special thank you to those who were instrumental in the success of the puppet show: Tools for Schools for building the puppet theaters, NPL Puppet Truck for their support, Murrell art teacher Madison Dotson, McGavock High School for loaning their stage risers, and James Jackson and the MNPS warehouse crew for delivering them. And Murrell teachers worked collaboratively across classrooms to ensure the Murrell Puppet Shorts were a success.

puppets made by Murrell students
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