How to make a Chanukah puppet show by Nitzanim (“Buds” for first grade).
Step 1:Make a list of all the characters in the Chanukah* story. Then, make puppets, props, and backdrops. It helps to work with a buddy.
Nitzanim children decided that we needed puppets to represent Jewish people, Syrian Greeks, King Antiochus, and Judah the Hasmonean. Children also created backdrops for a clean, usable Temple, and for the dirty, messed-up Temple.
Step 2: Write the script, and choose narrators. Practice reading the script out loud.
Children took turns saying one sentence at a time until they told the entire Chanukah story and all three possible endings.
Step 3: Set-up the puppet theater.
We had MANY formats for the puppet theater, but children decided that the most successful theater was underneath the table so that their puppets could pop up behind the table.
Step 4: Showtime!
Way to go, Nitzanim! You created a puppet show from beginning to end all by yourselves!
*Starting in first grade, we begin complicating children’s knowledge of the Chanukah story. We start by letting children know that part of the Chanukah story is historically accurate. We have archeological evidence that the Maccabean Revolt really did happen, although we don’t have the finer details. We introduced children to three possible explanations for why we celebrate Chanukah today, one from I Maccabees, a second from II Maccabees, and the oil ending is from the Talmud. Click here for the version of the Chanukah story that we explored together.