Raven the Trickster Puppet Tales

Raven the Trickster Puppet Tales lesson plan

Get to know characters of Raven legends from Pacific Northwest America’s native nations. Create puppets with a theatre to act out these dramatic, traditional stories.

  • 1.

    Research several traditional Raven tales from Pacific Northwest native nations (Tlingit, Salish, and Haida). With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, write a puppet script for one or more of the stories. Be as authentic as possible!

  • 2.

    Find examples of art depicting common characters such as Raven (the central figure, a trickster), Beaver (industrious), Mouse Woman (fairy godmother), Eagle (powerful), Killer Whale (guides men on hunts), Wolf (good hunter), Owl (feared character), Bear (always hungry and greedy), and Mountain Goat (sure to get revenge if offended). Sketch each character on a large index card. You can easily erase any changes!

  • 3.

    With Crayola Markers, color the most basic lines for each character (formlines) with black. Make your lines very thick in the centers and thinner at the ends. Separate each part of the body. Color other thick lines within the body and head with red for accents. You may also use traditional blue-green as accents for the red, in the same formline manner.

  • 4.

    Cut out each character with Crayola Scissors. Attach puppets with Crayola School Glue to craft sticks. Air-dry the glue.

  • 5.

    Create a longhouse backdrop theater to present your Raven stories to other classes or your families (see the Lesson Plan Longhouse Spirits).


  • Students research common formlines in Pacific Northwest Native art.
  • Students transfer character traits from tradition to their own drawn version of common characters.
  • Students participate in retelling of traditional literature using their puppets as props.


  • Create a life-size longhouse backdrop and costume versions of the puppet characters with Crayola Fabric Markers. Put on a formal production.
  • Reprint a traditional Raven story on several pages. Illustrate them as a book.
  • Assessment: Compare student drawings to authentic examples, specifically the characters, types of formlines used, and colors chosen.