This is pure educational magic. Pure gold! Give it a try if you have not. It is very simple to do. I have made basic table puppets for the children to use but you could use dollhouse dolls and brown bear figurines. The children just need something to “pretend” the character with. They are not picky!
Here's the deal: set up a small stage with all sequences of a traditional fairy tale like the Three Bears (three dollhouse chairs, three dollhouse beds, and a dollhouse table with three bowls.) Be creative. I think it is so healthy to show children how to use things like blocks and boxes in setting up a little puppet show.
I always do the first two puppet shows to demonstrate how to do it and to teach the children how to be a good audience. Then I start calling the children up to put on a “puppet show” for us. It will bring you to tears! They do such an amazing job!
IMPORTANT: Remember I tell a main story in my class for two weeks. The children hear me tell the story of the Three Bears orally, in puppet shows — I read every version of the book I could find including extended and altered stories.
Educational Benefit: The student demonstrates an understanding of story structure – the beginning, the middle and the end; the sequence of events and dialogue; and sometimes, the capacity to extend and expand upon the story.
Here is a retelling from one of my students: