Literacy with puppets for Keystage 1

Whispering Smith is an interactive puppet show where suggestions from the audience drive the action. After the show a puppet comes out who has missed the story- can the audience tell him what happened?

The follow-up workshop involves Talk For Writing techniques where the children are invited to participate in re-telling the story in various ways. This story telling is done through shadow puppets and other visual aids, through dressing up, drama and action, role-playing and character hot-seating. The children also get the chance to draw pictures of the characters and the story from their imaginations.
Our literacy workshops are an introduction to imitation, innovation and invention as well as a wonderfully memorable aid to speaking and listening skills. They can be tailored to suit the requirements of individual settings.

The Show

Whispering Smith is a puppet show that tells the story of a shy creature who gets stuck up a tree and has to learn to find his voice to get help to get down again. Along the way he meets a squirrel, a bird, a badger, a ballet dancing fox and a friendly dragon. The story is a simple narrative including a lot of verbal repetition and prompts for audience involvement (see shows page).

The show and workshop can be used to support the following curriculum areas:

  • Speaking and listening
  • Talk for writing
  • Collaborative work
  • Communication skills
  • Storytelling skills
  • DT- how puppets are made and how they work
  • Science – light and shadow
  • Drama
  • PSHE- dealing with issues of shyness, empathy, friendship

Feedback from recent literacy workshops:

It was a great show- visually stimulating, with fantastic puppets – and the live show was a great starting point for literacy work. The workshop offered a chance to work with speaking and listening, sequencing events and retelling. We loved it. Thank you so much for coming to visit us!” Year 1 teacher, St Lukes Primary, Brighton

The children loved the puppet show and had great fun” Year 2 teacher, Brighton