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2007 Unit F


Grade level: Middle school
Discipline: Visual arts

Teacher name
Email address
School or District
Jayne Sweet
jsweet@southallegheny.org
South Allegheny High School
Lucille Chamberlain
lbchamberlain@troyareasd.org
W.R. Croman Elementary School
Scott Sprengel
scott_sprengel@mtwp.net
John Henry Neff Elementary School
Cora Mariae Artim
Artimartist305@yahoo.com
Bishop O'Reilly Junior High School
Diana Ludwig
diana_ludwig@mtwp.net
J. H. Neff Sixth Grade School

Title of unit: Construction of Puppet Personality through Manipulation of Media and Symbolism
Overview: Students will identify different personalities of Bunraku and modern puppets and apply their reaction to those characters by the creation of their own puppet. Students will express meaning through the medium.
Time needed to complete the unit: 6 hours

Essential learning(s): Artists use works of art to express meaning.
Summative task: Students will compare and contrast Bunraku puppetry and modern puppetry.
Students will use media and symbolism to create the personality of a puppet.
Students will experiment with puppet manipulation to understand how the movement enhances the personality of the puppet.
Puppets will be evaluated through the use of a rubric.

PA Academic Standards
Content Indicators
(What students will know)
Process Indicators
(What students will do to demonstrate knowledge of the content)
1) 9.1.8.B Recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review, and revise original works in the arts.

2) 9.1.8.J Incorporate specific uses of traditional and contemporary technologies within the design for producing, performing, and exhibiting works in the arts or the works of others.

3) 9.2.8.K Identify, explain, and analyze traditions as they relate to works in the arts.

4) 9.3.8.B Analyze and interpret specific characteristics of works in the arts within each art form.

5) 9.4.8.B Compare and contrast informed individual opinions about the meaning of works in the arts to others.

6) M7.A.2.2.5 Select and/or use ratios or proportions to solve problems.

7) R8.A.1.3.1 Make inferences and/or draw conclusions based on information from text.
1) Students will understand the elements of design to produce sketches exhibiting various personality traits.

2a) Students will know traditional media and techniques to create a puppet.

2b) Students will know the contemporary technologies needed for production of puppets.

2c) Students will understand that manipulation of puppets can express personalities.

3) Students will understand Japanese traditions as they relate to Bunraku puppetry.

4) Students will understand the characteristics of Bunraku puppetry and contemporary puppets.

5) Students will know that various cultures view beauty differently.

6) Students will know how to use human body proportions in relation to a puppet.

7) Students will know the basic story elements of a puppetry performance.
1) Students will use the elements of design to produce sketches exhibiting various personality traits.

2a) Students will model proper use of traditional media and techniques to create a puppet.

2b) Students will select the contemporary technologies needed to produce their puppets.

2c) Students will demonstrate the ability to manipulate puppets to express personalities.

3) Students will identify, observe, and discuss elements of Japanese traditions, including Bunraku theater.

4a) Students will watch authentic Japanese video segments of Bunraku performance and contemporary puppets.

4b) Students will identify, compare, and contrast Bunraku characters and contemporary puppets from the videos.

4c) Students will dialogue with each other and the teacher about the development of their puppet and its personality.

5) Students will discuss and reflect on the aesthetic beauty of puppetry as influenced by its history.

6) Students will apply correct human body proportions or exaggerated proportions in the creation of their puppet and its emerging character.

7) Students will complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting modern puppetry and historical Japanese Bunraku puppetry.

Teacher materials needed:
found objects
music
water
balloons
paper strips
foam
TV/DVD
Computer with internet access.
Books related to Japanese Bunraku
Books related to Modern Puppetry
Markers
Pencils
Paper
paint / paint brushes
paper mache
Glue
fabric
wood / dowel rods
yarn
digital video camera
iPods
"The Dramas," Suzanne Perfect-Miller, Synergetics, 1988
"The Master Puppeteer," Katherine Peterson, New York; Harper Collins, 1975
"Bunraku" by Tokio Oga," Hoikusha Publishing Co. 1984
"Step into Ancient Japan," Fiona MacDonald, Lorenz Books, 1999, p. 48-49
"Chushingura:the treasury of loyal retainers"Columbia College Program of Translations, Wm. Theodore DeBary, Columbia University Press, 1971
*http://www.puppetbuilding.com/bunraku-table-toppuppets/in-conversation-with-a bunraku-master.html (Conversation with a Bunraku Master)
http://www.kobsd.org/default.htm (Kids on the Block of San Diego – Education with Puppetry)
http://www.answers.com/topic/bunraku (Bunraku: Definition and Much More from Answers.com)
http://www.fr.asiarooms.com/travel-guide/japan/osaka/entertainment-in-osaka/music-clubs-&-theatres-in-osaka/national-bunraku-theatre.html (National Bunraku Theater in Osaka)
http://www.japan-zone.com/culture/bunraku.shtml (Japanese Culture – Entertainment – Bunraku)
http://opb.org/education/atschool/lesson (Art Beat at School)
http://ncta.osu.edu/toledo/miller-japan.pdf (Michelle Miller - Japan Lesson Plan)http://www.ket.org/artstool/drama/ideafile/112.htm (Arts Toolkit Drama)
http://www.bridgewater.edu/ndhuffman/soc306/198grp10/ (Japanese Art Bunraku)
http://www.gis.net/~puppetco/ (The Puppeteer's Cooperative Home Page)
http://www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/schwww/sch618/japan/DanceDrama/Drama4.html (Horace Mann's website of Bunraku)
http://www.schoolperformancetours.com.au/TNPpuppetMROD.htm (Puppet Making Workshop ROD Teacher's Notes: Multiple Teachers')
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H.JSOirOse (The Sultan's Elephant, Grande Finale)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boT2VuLuU5k (Bunraku Play)
http://disney.go.com/theatre/thelionking/tour/ (The Lion King on Broadway)
Student materials needed:
paper
pencils
scissors
paper mache
glue
water
paint / paint brushes
fabric
paper
wood / dowelrods
yarn
found objects
balloons
paper strips
foam
digital video camera
iPods
any additional available art materials

Unit vocabulary: Bunraku, Shamisen, full-view manipulation, narrator, puppeteer, aesthetics, context, culture, traditions, Joruri chanting
Unit warm-up: N/A
Assessing Prior Knowledge: Review of proportions of human facial features.

Lesson 1


Topic
Instruction (Lesson plan)
Formative assessment
Introduction to Japanese Culture and Bunraku Puppetry
Show examples of culture and puppets with posters, handouts, and examples.

Students will view a teacher chosen video, video clip, or vodcast of Japanese culture and Bunraku puppetry.
- Verbal class discussion, questions and answers.
- Teacher will check for understanding during the discussion based on student participation.
Accommodations for special learners
Accommodations for ESL students
Enrichment for gifted learners
(Visual Impairment)
- Additional time to work
- Technology aides
- Provide preferential seating
- Check student frequently for comprehension
- Scribe or necessary support personnel

(Emotional Disturbance)
- Be sure students are aware of the "big picture."
- Avoid "triggers" that precede outbursts.

(Hyperactivity)
- Utilize a note taker if needed.
- Positive feedback for behavior control.
- Relate abstract ideas in concrete ways.
- Extra work time.
- Necessary support personnel.
- Translator or translated instructions.
- Work buddy.
- Have students create a podcast or PowerPoint presentation.
- Have students bring in examples of Japanese culture or puppets.

Lesson 2


Topic
Instruction (Lesson plan)
Formative assessment
Creating Puppet Personality
- Review elements of Bunraku puppetry.
- View video segments of contemporary puppets - discuss personalities.
- Class discussion on similarities and differences of Bunraku and contemporary puppets.
- Students will watch a vodcast using an iPod showing the use of symbolism in various cultures and how they can be applied to puppet making.
- Venn Diagram - Comparing and contrasting modern puppetry and historical Japanese Bunraku puppetry.
- Aesthetic discussion on development of meaning and symbolism in the creation of puppet personality.
- Venn Diagram.
- Verbal class discussion, questions and answers.
- Teacher will check for understanding during the discussion based on student participation.
Accommodations for special learners
Accommodations for ESL students
Enrichment for gifted learners
(Visual Impairment)
- Additional time to work
- Technology aides
- Provide preferential seating
- Check student frequently for comprehension
- Scribe or necessary support personnel

(Emotional Disturbance)
- Be sure students are aware of the "big Picture."
- Avoid "triggers" that precede outbursts.

(Hearing Impaired)
- Teacher's use of a hearing appliance.
- Teacher's face visible to students.
- Minimize background noise.
- Necessary technology.
- Extra work time.
- Necessary support personnel.
- Translator or translated instructions.
- Work buddy.
- Students create a collage of puppetry from Bunraku to modern puppetry showing various personalities.
- Students make a PowerPoint showing the use of symbolism in various cultures and how they can be applied to puppet making.
- Visit museums, puppet shows, or Broadway performance.

Lesson 3


Topic
Instruction (Lesson plan)
Formative assessment
Planning and Design
- Review similarities and differences of Bunraku and contemporary puppets.
- View examples of puppets that display various personalities and discuss qualities.
- Review proper human facial proportions.
- Students begin design of puppet by creating multiple sketches that explore the creation of a distinct personality, incorporating the use of facial proportions (realistic, exaggerated, etc.).
- Teacher circulates throughout room, conducting one-on-one critiques to track student progress and provide feedback on sketches.
- After exploring multiple designs, students select elements from several drawings) create a final drawing that will be used for the transformation into their 3-D puppet.
-One-on-one critique
-Multiple design sketches
-Application of human facial proportions
Accommodations for special learners
Accommodations for ESL students
Enrichment for gifted learners
(Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Provide lesson outline and handouts.
- Review facts.
- Increased one-on-one instruction.
- Aide or peer assistance.
- Time extensions.

(Orthopedic impairment)
- Additional time to complete project.
- Adaptive equipment for student's use.
- Aide or peer assistance.

(Emotional Disturbance)
- Be sure students are aware of the "big picture."
- Avoid "triggers" that precede outbursts.
- Extra time.
- Visual examples.
- Work buddy.
- Provide visual aides, oral, written documents, and translation in native language.
- Students will do a vodcast, music video, or PowerPoint of facial expressions.
- Students design a Bunraku puppet and a modern puppet.
- Students design a life-size puppet manipulated by more than one student

Lesson 4


Topic
Instruction (Lesson plan)
Formative assessment
Puppet Construction
- Teacher will have an example of a completed puppet.
- Teacher will demonstrate the steps to making a Bunraku-style puppet, and provide a handout showing the steps.
- Teacher will go over proper use and application of materials.
- Students practice using supplied materials.
- Students employ demonstrated techniques to make puppets.
- Assessment is the summative assessment. See rubric.
Accommodations for special learners
Accommodations for ESL students
Enrichment for gifted learners
(Orthopedic impairment)
- Additional time to complete project.
- Adaptive equipment for student's use.
- Aide or peer assistance.

(Hearing Impaired)
- Teacher's use of a hearing appliance.
- Teacher's face visible to students.
- Minimize background noise.
- Necessary technology.

(Serious Emotional Disturbance)
- Work in structured environment.
- Begin and end class on time.
- Accentuate strengths when possible.
- Avoid "triggers."
- Let student know what is expected.
- Extra time.
- Visual examples.
- Work buddy.
- Provide visual aides, oral, written documents, and translation in native language.
- Students will build an exemplary puppet with movable eyes and mouth to create added expression and personality.
- Hair/wigs, costume and face will add dimension to the puppet's personality.
- Write a puppet skit to use with their puppets.
- Perform the skit to a target audience.

Lesson 5


Topic
Instruction (Lesson plan)
Formative assessment
Puppet Manipulation and Unit Closure
- Students will view PowerPoint, vodcast, or video demonstrating puppet manipulation.
- Handouts on puppet manipulation.
- Compare and contrast manipulation of Bunraku puppets and modern puppets.
- Teacher models puppet manipulation.
- Student manipulates puppets expressing individual personality.
- Student or teacher critique.
- Assessment is the summative assessment. See rubric.
- Write a script and perform a play.
Accommodations for special learners
Accommodations for ESL students
Enrichment for gifted learners
(Orthopedic impairment)
- Additional time to complete project.
- Adaptive equipment for student's use.
- Aide or peer assistance.

(Emotional Disturbance)
- Be sure students are aware of the "big picture."
- Avoid "triggers" that precede outbursts.

(Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Provide lesson outline and handouts.
- Review facts.
- Increased one-on-one instruction.
- Aide or peer assistance.
- Time extensions.
- Extra time.
- Visual examples.
- Work buddy.
- Provide visual aides, oral, written documents, and translation in native language.
- Students will create videos or PowerPoints of student puppet manipulation.



Rubric


Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic
Planning and Design
-planning sketches show exploration of many and varied expressive ideas
-expression, meaning, and symbolism are well-ingrained in final sketch
-proportions are modified to magnify the personality
-planning sketches show exploration of several ideas
-final sketch establishes expression, symbolism, and meaning
-proportions are modified to create the personality
-student makes minimal use of planning sketches
-final sketch shows the beginning seeds of expression, symbolism, and meaning
-proportions suggest personality
-sketches are missing or seem disconnected
-idea appears undeveloped
-proportions are inadequate to create personality
Puppet Construction
-exceptionally transformed 2D sketch into 3D form
-extensive and unique applications of media in construction
-successfully transformed 2D sketch into 3D form
-exhibits successful use of media in construction
-some success in building 3D form from 2D sketch
-exhibits some successful applications of media
-limited success in building 3D form from 2D sketch
-shows limited use of media
Puppet Personality
-highly developed facial features incorporate multiple techniques (e.g., exaggeration) to express an original personality
-manipulation and movement is so refined the puppet appears alive
-facial features clearly express a distinct personality
-manipulation and movement enhance the believability of the personality
-some facial features express a personality
-manipulation and movement suggests the personality
-facial features lack recognizable personality
-manipulation and movement lacks control and detracts from personality


Unit accommodations for students not proficient on summative task:
- Additional time to work.
- Technology aides.
- Provide preferential seating.
- Check student frequently for comprehension.
- Scribe or necessary support personnel.
- Be sure students are aware of the "big picture."
- Avoid "triggers" that precede outbursts.
- Utilize a note taker if needed.
- Positive feedback for behavior control.
- Relate abstract ideas in concrete ways.
- Teacher's use of a hearing appliance.
- Teacher's face visible to students.
- Minimize background noise.
- Provide lesson outline and handouts.
- Review facts.
- Increased one-on-one instruction.
- Aide or peer assistance.
- Adaptive equipment for student's use.
- Work in structured environment.
- Begin and end class on time.
- Accentuate strengths when possible.
Unit enrichments:
- Encourage higher complexity.
- Provide more extensive resources.
- Provide materials for additional projects.
- Allow alternative applications.
- Suggest and encourage embellishment.
- Suggest and encourage exploration and experimentation.

Student Work Samples and Teacher Reflection


Jayne Sweet - I teach middle school and high school art in an urban setting. Most classes are taught in the art room, although I travel to two different locations for two middle school classes and have art on a cart. Aside from art, I also instruct a character education class to eighth grade students. This class deals with character building, citizenship, study habits and exercise. Because this class meets in the art room and the need to develop their personal character, it seemed like a natural fit for this unit of study.

The 26 to 29 students were divided into teams and each team given a bunraku style puppet to develop and create. Our theme was to develop a play to encourage PSSA test taking skills for the elementary students. As a basis for our play, The Wizard of Oz was chosen and a parody was written with the Oz characters. Each team then created a 5 foot bunraku puppet operated by two students from paper mache. Each group developed their characters personality and character traits based on their character. ( For example, the Cowardly Lion became 'Fraidy Cat" - a personality afraid to take the PSSA tests .) Each character was developed and created with their individual personality traits in mind.

All students were familiar with the Oz story, so the basic concept of their puppets and personality traits were easy to identify. I instructed students as groups and individuals in basic construction, costuming and hair and facial features. Some found this more challenging than others.

Although the students were motivated by the opportunity to miss classes and perform at the elementary school, they loved the entire puppet unit - learning about puppets, how to construct and paint puppets, how to costume puppets and how to use vocal intonationations to develop a character's personality.

We had to really work to get the students to work as a team to manipulate the puppets bunraku style, which is a challenge in our classroom settings.

This was an excellent character building unit, not only for the puppets, but for the students as well.

Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic
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Lucille Chamberlain - As an elementary (K-4) art teacher, I see the students on a 6 day rotation. My students have art class for 40 minutes every 6 school days. I completed this project with my third grade students using puppets around the world for motivation. I modified this unit of study to accomodate the younger age than the lesson was written for. Each student experienced the Japanese Bunraku puppetry through video and performance. They also experienced a local German Marionette artist and American Sesame Street Puppets. Each student developed a character and then designed a hand puppet after experiencing the many cultures.

My students used felt as the beginning front and back of their puppets. They had the option of craft glue and/or sewing the puppets together. The more proficient and advanced students chose to sew. The students were offered various media to decorate their puppets (fabric, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, jewels, feathers, etc...). Many of my students found it challenging to express the characteristics and personality of their puppet. Some students advanced themselves to making mouths that would open, while others kept their puppet rather 2-dimensional.

As an extension of this project, Each of my classes wrote puppet plays, some did this within their classrooms while othershave performed for the school.

This project went very well and I am pleased with the results. I loved the process of using a unit of study, not just thinking of each class as an individual lesson. This process has changed my curriculum planning and I am thankful for this experience.

Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic
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Scott Sprengel - I am a regular classroom teacher who is art certified. Therefore, I completed this project with my fifth graders in the context of an interdisciplinary unit on Japan. I modified this unit of study to incorporate a study of character traits and motives in the subject of reading. Each of my students read a novel at their instructional level, whose central character exhibited strong positive character traits. Each student identified two or more of the strongest traits and wrote a brief essay describing how and why the character from the novel exhibited these qualities. Then, each student designed a puppet, using one of the character traits to drive their visual interpretation of the puppet’s facial features and overall appearance.

Within each lesson of this unit, I started with large group instruction of the concept or standard. Then, especially during the design and construction phases of the project, I met with each student individually to ensure that they understood the process. Some of my students found it challenging to convey the personality of their puppet, while drawing the features of the face with the correct proportions. Other students, who had never done paper-mâché, needed additional guidance in creating even layers and accurately adding the eyebrows, nose, and mouth.

As an extension of this project, my students will be writing puppet plays in groups of three or four. They will then perform the plays, complete with props and settings. After they have “perfected” their performances, they will film the puppet plays using a digital video camera. Next, they will create an iMovie of each play, adding titles, credits, effects, soundtracks, and transitions. Finally, they will upload their iMovies onto the district podcast web space. I expect this process to take several months, and it will be integrated into my language arts and technology curriculum.

In completing this project, I had my students create puppets with realistic skin tones, hair, and clothing. The next time I teach this unit, I will probably allow my students to explore more stylized or exaggerated puppet personalities. I think it would be interesting to have the students study the effects of color on mood and personality. Therefore, the puppets may have “nonstandard” skin colors. They could also explore the use of caricature in both Japanese and contemporary art to further emphasize a personality trait. The students would then be required to justify their use of color and other features in the creation of their puppets.

Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic

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Cora Mariae Artim - I was placed in a new school this year and had no prior knowledge of my students abilities. Therefore, I chose the smallest of my 8th grade classes, which consisted of nine students to introduce this unit to. I only met with these students once a week which made continuity a problem. Also, all my upper grade classes met on Mondays, which were affected by many school holidays, in-services and delays/snow days, again affecting continuity. Luckily, the students in this class were very talented and many of them attend art lessons outside of school which is reflected in their puppets.
The students enjoyed learning about the Japanese culture and the art of Bunraku. We spent a great deal of time discussing character and how to create a puppet character. I worked very closely with this small group and was able to offer them various methods and media to create their puppets. The process was very lengthy, and took almost three quarters to complete.
The results were excellent, and I have to report there were no Below Basic puppets. There was one Advanced, six Proficient and two Basic. The students were terrific with planning and designing their puppets. The Advanced puppet worked as a true Bunraku would be operated. The head is fully articulated and the head and right arm are operated by the artist. The left arm is operated by a second operator and the legs by a third. All of the Proficient puppets, also used three operators but the heads were stationary and did not move, only arms and legs moved. The Basic puppets only used one operator, the artist, and the head did not move, it was stationary, and only the right arm moved, they did not have legs, this area was hidden by the costumes.
These students wrote monologues for their puppets and chose a fellow student to be the narrator while they and their operators brought their puppets to life. Some of the performances were comical. The students realized how difficult it is to co-ordinate movement with two other operators. Although, they fully enjoyed the experience. This unit is rich in learning and these students had a wonderful educational experience.
If I repeated this Unit again, I would again select a very small class, for many reasons. Some of these are: storage space of materials and puppets, time constraints, complexity of puppets and media involved. I believe if I did this with a large class, which my other classes have 27 to 30 students, I would have to water down the unit too much and would have to have the students work in groups of five or six to design and build the puppets. I don’t feel that would allow for the rich learning experience to occur.

Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic

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Diana Ludwig - My Sixth Grade students completed their Bunraku puppets during five weeks of art classes. Through the use of video introduction, students gained insight into the wonders of puppetry and how we relate to these fictional characters so easily. Students found the process of creating puppets faces through papier mache, paint, yarn hair and regular clothing to be challenging and fun. The most proficient students were able to create a definable personality. Many students found they needed to create the "normal" or "pretty" look and that was that! After our puppets were completed in class, each of the nine classes used their puppets in a dialog or skit in Language Arts class. It was a stretch to include Japanese culture into our unit of study but the idea of the puppets fit in beautifully and knowing that Japan has some of the best in the world made it all work.

Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below Basic

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