Pop-Up Puppets

Pop-Up Puppets lesson plan

Puppets pop up through the floor of this circus theater created from a recycled box. Act out Peter Spier's Circus! or any favorite book!

  • 1.

    Read <U>Circus!</U> by Peter Spier or another book that really appeals to you. What animals and people do you see in a circus? Clowns? Elephants? Jugglers? What does the tent or arena look like? Use Crayola® Colored Pencils to make a list of details such as the book's setting and circus performers. With a small group of classmates, make this puppet stage and puppets to retell the story.

  • 2.

    With Crayola Scissors, <B>ask an adult to help you</B> cut off all flaps on a recycled box to make a puppet theater.

  • 3.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Tempera and Paint Brushes to paint your theater. Air dry.

  • 4.

    Use Crayola Washable Markers, Construction Paper Crayons, and Glitter Glue to decorate the box so that it looks like the setting of your circus. You may want to use construction paper or decorative craft supplies, too. Air dry.

  • 5.

    On posterboard, draw and color the main characters and animals from the story. Cut out the puppets. Glue each one to the top of a craft stick with Crayola School Glue. Air dry flat.

  • 6.

    <B>Ask an adult to help you</B> cut slits in the bottom of the theater so your characters can pop up through the floor. Insert the puppets as they appear. It's time for the show!


  • Children read Peter Spier's <U>Circus!</U> (or another similar book) and identify the literature's setting and characters.
  • Children work in small groups create a circus stage set and puppets based on their reading.
  • Children perform a puppet show using their set and characters.


  • Add circus music to complement scenes in your puppet show.
  • Transform your classroom or playground into a circus. Make costumes. Show various circus acts.
  • Make similar stage sets and characters for favorite books. Or write your own stories and make puppet stages for them.