This is such a simple process that produces the most endearing results! I had each color family (groups of four children) write their own story.
1. The first round I let each group write and collaborate on their own a story. Each group picked someone to record their story. My rule was that each child could pick a character to have in the story – this prevented most upsets!
2. Next I met with each group to hear what they had written and to add any last details. Most stories were good to go! They were typically 3 to 4 sentences long.
The important part of this process is to honor what the children created. It is important not to impose too much of our own “sense of story” on the children. Their delight is found in what they created. I feel it is critical to let it be what it is.
3. I gave each child white card stock to draw and create their paper puppets. Here I did insist on large scale drawings. If a drawing was too small – I requested the child redraw it on a larger scale. They colored their puppets with crayons. Each child drew and cut out their own puppets.
4. Finally, I taped each puppet to a dowel rod.
The puppet stage was made from a refrigerator box folded to make a tent-shape. I stapled on bulletin board paper and let the children paint grass.
I read their stories as they acted them out with their little puppets. It is a fun process and so easy.