When it came to art production, my elementary students began at the beginning, which for me is the paper bag puppet. No childhood is complete without making at least one.
Older students watched power point presentations on puppets and video clips of amazing giant marionettes to ancient shadow puppets. They then made their own shadow puppets with two pieces of black paper, wire, and metallic markers. Dowels and brads work too for moving parts. But I am saving our dowels for another project.
The marionette project used paper towel rolls (we still have plenty left over from all of our toilet paper roll crafts), paint, string, and Popsicle sticks.
Puppets and marionettes marry visual arts with literacy and performance art. We wrapped up our unit by taking a trip to the Center for Puppetry Arts to watch an amazing performance about "The Diary of Anne Frank."