Construct a Shadow Puppet Theatre for Fun, Memorable StoryTelling


Construct a Shadow Puppet Theatre for Fun, Memorable StoryTelling

You run the show in your classroom, so why not put on a good one? If you have a love for storytelling, this activity is going to be perfect for you and your students (even the sleepy ones). Use a shadow puppet theatre to tell a story and introduce some fun, wacky characters. This medium is so flexible and easy to make. Not to mention, children love it! You can creatively retell a classic folktale or come up with a story all your own. The possibilities are truly endless.

Here’s what you need to get your shadow puppet theatre up and running. 


  • A Bright, Adjustable Lamp
  • Polycarbonate Sheets (3-5)
  • Colored Gel Sheets
  • Tape (Insulation Tape is best)
  • A White Trash Bag
  • Velcro
  • 2-3 Wooden Puppet Sticks

The Kids English Theatre video gives you step-by-step instructions on how to construct your theatre. It’s very simple and easy to put together. I have some tips for how to make a shadow puppet theatre that you’ll end up using over and over again.

Shadow puppet theatres are a fun and interesting classroom tool that provide many advantages. especially for ESL teaching.

You can use a story to illustrate a concept and bring to life something you’ve discussed in the classroom. You can talk about animals in a nature scene or a family in their home. Using narrative and visual aids as a way to reinforce concepts will help your students remember things a lot better.

This kind of activity is well received by children who are in kindergarten all the way up until the end of elementary school (and beyond).

The many benefits of using storytelling to teach ESL are:

  • Improves listening skills
  • Improves communication within the classroom
  • Engages students who often tune out or don’t participate
  • Inspires the children to tell stories aloud
  • Raises the enthusiasm of the class
  • Gives students a motivational reason to learn English

Storytelling is the oldest form of teaching. We did it before formal classrooms even existed. Young minds are primed to retain information and learn from stories so use that to your advantage and have fun with it. If you are enjoying using the shadow puppet theatre, your students will too.

For more ideas on how to teach English through drama, download the free e-book, Teach Children English Through Drama.

Visit the Kids English Theatre Youtube Channel for more drama games, language exercises, puppetting demos, and other fun ideas to make your lessons fun and unforgettable. 

Be Theatrical!


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