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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Landmark Puppets
Landmark Puppets

HOW IT WORKS
Landmark Puppets is an integrated curriculum unit that employs the buildings of New York City to enhance the teaching of the history and physical science of the urban environment. The students begin by observing slides and pictures to compare man-made structures with ones found in nature. Hands-on experiments are conducted to illustrate the architectural design concepts of color, geometric shapes, textures, symmetry, pattern, perspective, and scale. Students record their experiments and findings in their architecture journal. Using newspapers to make logs, they build dome structures big enough to fit two students inside. Using recycled materials brought from home, they build structures and construct a class model city. They study perimeter and area, and conduct metric measurements of their school building. In geometry they examine angles and shapes and create pictures of “Angle Cities.” During meeting and read out loud, students learn about architecture and architects, and from picture books they see and discuss famous buildings of New York City. On field trips they visit these buildings and sketch them in their journals. In the classroom they form cooperative groups according to the building they want to study, and use the Internet to research the designer and history of their chosen building and the neighborhood in which it resides. The students each use the word processor program to write a report using their research. Groups of three to four students then create large puppets of the buildings they have researched, and moveable arms and legs are attached. The students explore elements of play writing, including theme, conflict, character, and dialogue, and create a script for their puppets. The culminating project includes a puppet show where the puppet buildings act out their history. 

THE STUDENTS
This program has been used with third- to sixth-grade students in ESL, gifted and talent, and heterogeneously grouped classes that meet in rooms containing two to six computers. It can be adapted for younger grades.

THE STAFF
Joan Kane has been teaching for fifteen years, and has been a classroom teacher for six years. Last year she was one of ten urban teachers from the U. S. to be chosen to go to South Africa with the USDA’s Teach Us program. She is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University instructing graduate students in science education. She received her Master’s degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College and was curator of school programs for the Hudson River Museum where she designed programs for school children in science, art, and history. She participated in the CUNY science-teaching program and was a part- time science staff developer in District 2.

WHAT YOU NEED
To create puppets, you need foam, core, cardboard, construction paper, tissue paper, markers, paper fasteners, scissors, and yarn. You also need books about landmark buildings and computers with access to the Internet for research. Each student uses a journal or folder.

OVERALL VALUE
Landmark Puppets engages students in studying the history of New York City. It uses hands-on experiments to explore the built environment. Through field trips to famous buildings, students go beyond their neighborhoods and learn that New York City has many interesting and educational areas. Through the theater arts of puppetry, script writing, and performance, students develop their public speaking skills. This program addresses the learning styles of all learners.

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Science
Language Arts
Social Studies
Arts
Technology

GRADES
3-6

MORE INFORMATION

Joan Kane
Anna Silver School
P.S. 20
166 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
KaneJoan@aol.com

Principal
Dr. Leonard H. Golubchick

IMPACT II 
Catalog 2003-2004

 

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