Making puppets was so fun. It was amazing.” 

I really liked learning how to move puppets with others.”   

-Metis Beach School grade 3 students

At Metis Beach School, the only English school in the Lower Saint Lawrence, students from kindergarten to grade 6 experienced the art of puppetry literally hands-on!

Maggie Winston, a puppeteer, clown, educator, and community engaged artist, believes that by exploring themes with ‘inquiry-based learning methods’, students can create meaningful live performances using puppetry.  Students learned that any object can be a puppet. They first discovered character through physical exploration and created original stories. Basic ideas of puppetry were then introduced, and the student Puppeteers worked in groups to improvise scenes between their objects and present them at an informal class performance. 

Every day for one week, Maggie led the students in age appropriate puppeteering activities. Kindergarten students created short puppet scenes with found objects and story making with play dough. Grades 1 and 2 focused on pop-up puppets and dress-up drama. Students in grades 3 to sec 2 explored puppet manipulations with paper, and explored teamwork to create short scenes. 

Metis Beach teacher Lynn Fournier wrote of the experience, “We absolutely enjoyed having Maggie at our school. All the teachers loved the way she interacted with the students. She made everyone feel confident and encouraged us to move out of our comfort zone, be creative, explore and have fun.”

Metis Beach School’s ArtistsInspire Grant experience was made possible by an ELAN Quebec/LEARN partnership for students from Quebec’s English-speaking communities to participate in arts and culture experiences, thanks in part to funding from the Government of Canada.

#elanqc #elanarted #elanace #artistsinspire #TeachLearnHelp

Maggie Winston with pop-up puppets created by Metis Beach grades 1 and 2 students.  (Photo by Sylvie Gagnon)

Maggie with grades 1 and 2 students at Metis Beach School. (Photo by Lynn Fournier)