Judith O’Hare has been recognized nationally and internationally for her work in teacher training.  Judith received the Marjorie Batchelder award for career work in Puppetry in Education from the Puppeteers of America.

Puppets can bring a new dimension to teaching and provide teachers and students with a vibrant dynamic way to communicate and express ideas, information, literature, and feelings. Puppets make a strong link to literacy and social skills. Puppets can provide a way to assess student learning and how much students have internalized what they have been taught or read.   Students express what they know about a situation, a character, a piece of literature, an area of science or social studies and most important they express something about themselves. By observing students work with puppets, educators can assess student progress in the above areas.         

Workshops are custom designed to meet the needs and requirements of each school.

Schools may select 1 1⁄2 hour to full day workshops or a series of workshops. Graduate courses can also be arranged to be held on site through the Northeast Consortium for Staff Development with graduate credit given through Salem State College. Courses can be offered anywhere in the world.

Puppets Provide Children with an opportunity to achieve the following educational Goals:

- to develop creative expression

-to stimulate and enhance imagination

-to develop spontaneous oral expression

-to Improve speech, enunciation, and voice projection

-to practice writing skills, become more fluent in oral reading

-to gain appreciation of literature

-to develop coordination and a sense of timing

-to enhance a child’s feelings of self-worth

-to gain self-confidence and personal satisfaction

-to release fears, aggressions and frustrations in acceptable ways

-to develop social interaction skills

-to create and use manipulative in an integrated, purposeful way

-to gain skills in problem solving

-to improve fine motor skills 

-to sharpen listening skills 

-to come to consensus, give and take of ideas

-to observe the world through the senses, to remember what was observed, to process what was

observed and remembered and to recreate it with puppets.

-to evaluate

-to polish, improve on what was done

Workshop Choices

A packet of handout materials including a bibliography, resources, patterns, puppet activities and lesson plans will be sent prior to each workshop.

•  Post performance workshops: These workshop focus on the performance, the type of puppets used, how the stories were developed, problems to be solved to turn an idea into a puppet play and more. Students can then make learn how to make one of the puppets used in the show and make that puppet come to life. 

Pathways to Literacy: Puppets for the young child

Puppets have the power to engage young children in oral language. In this workshop, discover ways to use a variety of puppets to stimulate young children’s language and their ability to re-tell stories. Also explore how puppets can become a personal voice for young children allowing them to use the puppets as an extension of themselves by speaking through and with the puppet.

This workshop was created for the Kennedy Center Teacher Training program.

  1. Puppets Bring Literature to Life: This is a hands-on workshop which teaches several approaches to telling stories from literature with puppets beginning with very simple group story telling to side coaching
    and developing a fully crafted improvised script. There are suggestions for building simple theaters, and patterns for puppet construction. Techniques for  hand puppets, rod puppets and shadow puppets are included. (Grades 2-6)

Bully Prevention through Puppetry Arts: presented with Dr. Robin D'Antona EdD in Bully Prevention

This workshops begins with a puppet performance that provides a jumping off point for discussing the issues of Bullying Behavior: the victim, the bystanders and the bully. The discussion leads children to positive courses of action including the positive role of the bystanders who stand up as a

From Jabberwocky to Puppets: Using simple materials construct a fantastic puppet which is manipulated by 3 or more people to recreate the characters from Lewis Carroll’s poem, “Jabberwocky”.

The workshop presents an approach to puppetry in education  and literacy that requires divergentthinking, group skills, problem  solving and dramatic expression.  This workshop has been presented at conferences across the country in Kenya, Tanzania and Hong Kong for students and teachers.

  This workshop can also use other poems, nursery rhymes or scenes from literature.

Toy Theater/ a path to literacy: (Theater in miniature, bring to life a diorama)- Participants will learn a technique for turning narrative into dialogue. They will select a short story, myth, or legend, or a scene from history or biography etc. to dramatize in a Toy Theater and then construct a Toy Theater, miniature theatre, with scenery, props and movable puppets. Using the theater and puppets, participants will dramatize their story using lights and sounds. The puppets, theater and scenery are small and easily constructed and used students of all ages.  Judith has given this workshop across the co
untry at national festivals and in Hong Kong and Kenya.

Puppets to Retell Greek Myths: This workshop introduces people to a variety of Greek Myths and ways to dramatize them with puppets. Styles of puppets include, Scarf Marionettes, Shadow puppets, Toy Theater and puppets using Black Light.  (see. 1 credit graduate course.)


Puppets in the Middle School/ High School: An approach to teaching the art of puppetry to middle school and high school students. Techniques for constructing puppets, developing scripts, working on improvised scenes for conflict resolution and basic puppet play production. Demonstration of student work and student videos will be shown. There will be suggestions for ways to use puppets as a form of student assessment in curricular areas. Puppets are a powerful art form to enhance language arts and social studies.

Puppet Construction: Construction workshops are designed to  teach children and adults how to constuct puppets and also how to make them come "to life". The techniques are tested with children and adults.  Plan a minimum of 1 1⁄2 hour per workshops for construction and making the puppets come to life. Directions and materials list sent ahead. Teachers can chose from: hand puppets, open mouth puppets, large or small rod puppets or shadow puppets.  Materials lists and construction procedures are sent prior to the workshop and techniques are given for how to construct the puppet with children of different ages and skill levels. Any of the above workshops can also include construction.   Call for more details.

  • Shadow puppets: Making and Using them to retell stories: Participants will construct a simple shadow puppet with moving parts, learn adaptations for adding spring action animation and adding fabrics, and work with an overhead projector.  Sample puppets from “Tales from Greek Mythology”, “Memories of a Chinese Grandmother”, and puppets from India, Indonesia and China.

  1. Hand puppet construction using Tissue Paper Lamination: This is a method that can be done effectively by elementary school children. It includes simple modeling, covering the head and costume design, and basic hand puppet manipulation. These puppets are easy to make in a relatively short time; they are durable and provide a puppet that can become a character for personal expression, or a character in a story from literature or life. Tissue paper lamination can be used to make scenery. (2-3 sessions).


                • Scarf Marionettes: this is a very simple style marionette, but it is magical and can be used for
great effects. It can be used to recreate the “evils” of Pandora’s Box”, dance to music or become a character for personal expression or a character or story dramatization. The design comes from Albrecht Roser.

            • Giant parade puppets: Construction of giant puppets is a group project. The puppets can be used for parades, celebrations, dances and retelling stories about Giants and other large characters.

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Graduate coursesshapeimage_4_link_0

Puppetry in Education: Teacher Training and Staff Development: Graduate courses