Philanthropic Puppets on Parade
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.

Young people perform their puppet plays in order to teach others about environmental issues. They reflect on this project by writing an answer to some essential questions of the unit: What does it mean to be a philanthropist? What does it mean to be an environmentalist?

PrintOne 45-Minute Session, plus performance time

The learner will:

  • perform a puppet play for others.
  • reflect on being an environmental philanthropist.
  • Puppet stage and performance-audience space
Home Connection: 

Young people write thank-you notes to volunteers and family members that include their reflections on their environmental issue.


Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997. ISBN: 0374325170

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss how their puppet plays can be an act for the common good.

  2. Include the young people in deciding who to invite to their puppet shows so they can share their time and talents with others in order to raise awareness of taking care of the environment. They help design invitations and get the word out. 

  3. Allow sufficient time to practice their puppet show and script. Teach puppet techniques such as holding their puppets upright and facing the audience. Show how to walk puppets on and off the puppet stage rather than simply appearing from the bottom. Demonstrate some methods for portraying feelings and various expressions. If your puppet stage has curtains or lights, teach how to use these. If you have invited a puppeteer, these things can be demonstrated by your guest.

  4. The day before the performance, the groups perform a "dress rehearsal" for each other. Make sure you are ready for the performance with the sound system and seating for the audience.

  5. Perform the puppet plays for the audience(s).

  6. After the performances, give the young people time to reflect and answer these questions:

    • Are you an environmentalist? If so, how? Why?
    • Is an environmentalist always a philanthropist? Why or why not?
    • What changes can you make in your own life to help your environment?