At The Foundations School, our students are always working on new, creative projects. Recently, our third grade class performed a shadow puppet crankie show for their second grade classmates called “Why Do Kangaroos Have A Pouch?” Our students had a hand in every part of the process, from brainstorming the story to designing the puppets and the set. 

A shadow puppet show uses figures that are placed between a light and a screen. In this show, the students placed their puppets on stick for movement. For the set, the students used a crankie theatre, which uses two spools that have handles that can be ‘cranked’ to move the illustrated set. 

A Pourquoi Tale

The story that the third grade class chose to tell is an example of a pourquoi story. “We were reading pourquoi stories in class,” our third grade teacher, Ms. Sepulveda, said after the show. A pourquoi tale is a fictional narrative that explains why something is the way that it is. Many legends and folk tales are pourquoi stories. 

This story starts with a kangaroo and her joey deciding to travel to the Australia Zoo for the joey’s birthday. But a sneaky dingo thinks that the joey looks like a tasty snack. The creatures of the outback decide they’re going to help keep the kangaroo and her joey safe. But when the koala drops a tree branch onto the dingo, he hurts the kangaroo too and cuts her across the belly. However, the joey decides this is a safe place for him. The dingo gets eaten by an alligator and the kangaroo and her joey make it safely to the zoo. 

The Creative Process 

Once the students had their story idea, they had to build the puppets, the set, and more. As their teacher, Ms. Sepulveda said her favorite part of the process was watching the students come up with the dialogue between the animals.

“That’s where they really got to express themselves,” Ms. Sepulveda said. “And say ‘Oh we like this idea!’ ‘Oh, and he might say this!’ So, that’s where they really got excited.” 

At The Foundations School, our students have an opportunity to show off their creative talents every day. If you want to learn more about another recent performance from our third grade class, you can read about their production of The Color Factory here

Leave a Comment