Encouraging students to speak more English in the classroom

Charlies Liverpool passport....

Charlies Liverpool passport....

For your puppet character to be effective in the classroom it's advisable to create a backstory for your puppet, or a 'puppet legend' (the word legend is often used in spy novels, the the Spy Museum's language of espionage define it as "A spy's claimed background or biography, usually supported by documents and memorized details")

One of the waysyou can do this is to use a puppet passport. The one that I use is the one below - it's from the 'The Peoples Republic of Merseyside' and it looks like a real passport and inside the details have been filled in, there is a photo of Charlie and even stamps from the places he's visited. This really helps to develop the puppet's backstory.

To fill out flesh out the backstory  - here are some things to think about (and possible questions that your students might ask you about your puppet) 

Basic Details                                                                                           Age, birthday, job - though normally when working with primary students I say that Charlie is the same age as they are.        Personality traits                                                                                   Is s/he shy, outgoing, happy, enthusiastic? Does your puppet have any catch phrases? One of my puppets Dudley loves chocolate and when he doesn't know what to say, then he answers "Chocolate" to every question.                                                                                             Family Details                                                                                       Does your puppet have a mum or dad / brothers and sisters? If s/he does, do you have any family photos.                                                 Living Details                                                                                     Where is your puppet from? (I usually choose an English speaking country to encourage the class to speak English to it) Where does your puppet live now? With you? At school? Who does the puppet live with? What type of building does it live in? A flat? A house? Hobbies / likes and dislikes                                                              Does your puppet get up early/late? What does your puppet like to eat? What does your puppet love? What are your puppet's hobbies? What does s/he watch on t.v?

Here is some links for play passports you can print off https://es.pinterest.com/explore/passport-template

Filled in with his details and his photo too.

Filled in with his details and his photo too.

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