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Papier Mache Marionettes

Posted by on March 1, 2013
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You’re RIGHT! We’re definitely up to SOMETHING! The COOL thing is … it fits SO beautifully with Social Studies, Science, Art AND writing! Bet you CAN’T wait to find out MORE!

What are we UP to, you may be wondering? Well … we’ve been on another incredible adventure over the past two weeks! We’ve been making MARIONETTES! It’s been AMAZING to see how paper towel tubes, newspaper and MASKING tape can be transformed into something like this:

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Okay … we’re not QUITE there yet … but … once we decide which of our four countries we would each like to dress our marionettes in, we will upload THOSE photos TOO!

In Science, we’ve been exploring “Testing Materials” and “Building Stuctures”. And, while they are CERTAINLY not as sturdy as the Golden Gate Bridge, these marionettes have been built to last for YEARS! Below is a small snippet of our thoughts about the process SO far:

“When I went in the classroom, Mrs. Renton was explaining about making a marionette. She explained that we had to start collecting paper towel tubes and newspaper and jugs!” ~Elijah

“Click, clack, click, clack … our shoes said as we walked into the school. HEY! What are all those paper towel tubes? We’re making marionettes, our teacher explained!” ~Nick

“Hmmm … OH! A visitor! You want to learn how to make a marionette? Listen to me closely, for it is VEERRY hard. The materials are: newspaper, paper towel tubes, (the long type, not the toilet paper), lots and lots and lots and lots of masking tape, brown paper towels, water, flour and salt. (I think that’s it.) ~AJ

“People of the world, you’ll never guess what we did as an art project! My marionette’s name is going to be Lily. Now, I’ll take you on a marionette process adventure! Those of you who don’t know how to make a marionette … listen VERY carefully!” ~Jayden

“Do you know how to make a marionette? Well, to start a marionette, you need a paper towel tube and newspaper. First, you need to cut up the paper towel tubes. Take every piece of paper towel and roll it into a cylinder. Then, take a newspaper and roll it until you can’t roll it anymore. Then, take a small piece of tape and gently place it around the newspaper.” ~Ella

This newspaper will help us to attach the head and the shoulders to our marionettes.

This newspaper will help us to attach the head and the shoulders to our marionettes.

“We started with paper towel tubes and newspaper. First we taped the cut paper towel tubes to make the joints for the arms. Then, we taped a full sized paper towel tube cut down the side of it to make the body. We rolled up newspaper to extend the body. MORE newspaper! Next, we had to crumple up two whole newspapers in a head shape, to obviously make the head! Time for a mushy mess!” ~Tommy

“Do you like or love papier mache? I don’t. If you’re wondering what papier mache is, it’s French for paper mache. We used papier mache for our marionettes. It smells bad. I can STILL smell it! Papier mache (glue) is made of flour, water and that’s all I can remember about the recipe. I am going to dress my marionette in Ukrainian traditional clothing because I like their traditional clothing. We still aren’t finished. Some marionettes already have their hair on.” ~Tre

“Do you know how I made my marionette? Here is how I made it. First, get one paper towel tube, (you need a paper towel tube that is cut on the side). Next, you use tape to stick to the side that is cut. After that you have to get a piece of newspaper, roll it up until it looks like a stick, bend it until both sides touch together evenly. Use one newspaper and crumple it to a face (shape). Then, do the same thing with another newspaper (for the back of the head).” ~Joyce

This is the basic form for the body ... before we crumple the "head" shapes.

This is the basic form for the body … before we add the “shoulders” and crumple paper to make the “head” shapes.

“If the newspaper is too fat, it doesn’t work because you have to fold it and put it in the biggest tube when you’re done rolling. Next step, put the smaller tube through the newspaper. Next step, put the head on, eyes, now and mouth … then papier mache!” ~James

“One day at school we made marionettes. First we put the head together. I missed the head part and the body part so Zubayda did mine. I wasn’t here. My marionette will be from Peru.” ~Cemre

“At the beginning of the papier mache, we dipped the papers into the glue Mrs. Renton made for us, which I didn’t like at first. But, it got more fun as I got to the fact part.” ~Lauren

“Then we made hands and then papier mached the hands to it. After we started to put the eyes on, with some paper towel because our eyes are not round, right? (To make the eye lids). After that we started to do the hair and started sewing the hair. Oh. One hint … when you papier mache it is so gooey. I loved making marionettes. You should really try it.” ~Davis

We used plastic eyes, (from the craft store), to make them look REALISTIC. We had to papier mache eyelids so they looked REAL!

We used plastic eyes, (from the craft store), to make them look REALISTIC. We had to papier mache eyelids so they looked REAL!

“Mrs. Renton poked holes under the eyebrows so we could put eyes in those holes. After that we did the eyelids. Also, we did the mouth. We also did a second and third layer. Soon, we will be bringing our marionettes hoe and we will be putting clothes on our marionettes. By the way, my marionette will be from India.” ~Chelsea

“Have you made a marionette before? I think that I am going to dress my marionette in Ukrainian traditional clothing.” ~Tyler

“I made little balls for the nostrils. Then, I cut out small squares, rolled them up and then I curved them a little bit so they can look like real eyebrows. After, I taped them. Next I cut out two small squares for the cheeks. You should fold it a few times. Then, you papier mache. ~Amro

“Take Β one full sheet of newspaper and crumple it so the front is flat … this will be your head. Make a nose by rolling newspaper the same way you did before, however it’s small. Fold it so it is the shape of a nose. Simply crumple up a tiny bit of newspaper to make the nostrils. Just stuff them into the sides of your nose and you have nostrils. To make an eyebrow you take some newspaper and use the same folding motion as the last time. Then, you tape them onto where your eyebrows would be. Get prepared for some extreme gloop!” ~Ben

Yup ... that's what it IS ... EXTREME gloop! Woo HOO!

Yup … that’s what it IS … EXTREME gloop! Woo HOO!

“Have you ever made a marionette? It’s really hard to make a marionette but it’s fun. The only thing I think is gross is putting the papier mache on! The hardest part is putting the papier mache on. The second hardest part was rolling the eyebrows. But, I liked making the eyebrows.” ~Constantine

“The first time I started papier mache it was very gross but I got over it! Have you ever made a marionette? You should try it too if you haven’t! I am going to dress my marionette in Peru’s traditional clothing because I am most interested in Peru’s culture and clothing. I want to learn more about where they live. Have you ever had experience in Peru? I think all countries are awesome!” ~Rayann

“Last but not least we made hair. This is what we did: we got wool and wrapped it around our desk trays. Then, Mrs. Renton took out her sewing machine and sewed the hair together and we put our hair on our marionettes. My marionette is going to be from Tunisia because I am interested in Tunisia’s desert clothes.” ~Chris P.

The hair was probably the EASIEST part of this adventure!

The hair was probably the EASIEST part of this adventure!

“You should try to make a marionette. I am doing Peru because I am really interested in it!Β Good luck!” ~Zubayda

“We made marionettes and we chose one of the four countries: India, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine. I chose Ukraine because they have different schools. I want to learn about the Ukraine. I want to learn more about how they dress. I don’t like putting my fingers in the glue. It felt slimy and gooey!” ~Dimitri

“Ewww! This stuff is SO gooey and gross, I complained. We were making marionettes but I NEVER thought that we would have to touch this stuff! If you ever wondered how to make a HANDMADE marionette, well then you’ve Googled the RIGHT thing! Try to focus on your marionette and what country you want. I chose mine to be from Peru, because I am SO intrigued with it! Now … I should introduce you to MY marionette! Gasp! Her name is Lily Faithel Maria, (isn’t it a BEAUTIFUL name?)!” ~Rebecca

“Hmm … I wonder how you make marionettes? Now I know how to make a marionette and you do too … so you should go try making one!” ~Danny

It took a LOT of team work and cooperation to make this a successful experience. We have a LOT more work to do. Once they are “dressed” in their traditional clothing, we will take some digital photographs and share them with you! We are SO excited to take these pictures, upload them into comic life and write about some of the amazing discoveries we’ve made about our four countries! Below is a “slideshow”. We sure hope you enjoy seeing a “part” of the process:

We wonder:

  • Have you ever made a marionette?
  • Where did marionettes ORIGINATE from?
  • Is there anything about this process that you still wonder about? Let us know and we will answer back!

13 Responses to Papier Mache Marionettes

  1. Ava

    Dear global grade three,

    Wow marionette making sure looks fun! hmm, i didnt know that you needed flour and salt for paper mache. No I have never made a marionette but I might now after reading your post! the marionette or puppet idea was originated in areas of china, but as the word spread, it visited Italy, france and germany! nowadays marionettes and pupets are everywhere. did you know marionettes are also a big part of ukrainian history? I really enjoyed this post.

    Pre global grade three, Ava

    • Ben and Danny on behalf of the Battalion Hawk Bloggers

      Hi Ava!

      Thank you SO much for your WONDERFUL comment. You’re right … marionette making was REALLY fun, (if you’re up for the mess and goo). We recommend you making one. πŸ˜‰ Cool, we didn’t know that marionettes were made in China. WE were kind of hoping our blog would make it’s way around the world like the puppet/marionette idea did. πŸ™‚ Danny here is Ukrainian and he didn’t even know that marionettes were part of Ukrainian history. You’re just full of cool facts about puppets and marionettes. Thank you for ALL of your compliments.

      Ben and Danny on behalf of The Battalion Hawk Bloggers πŸ™‚

  2. Eric

    Was up Global Grade 3?
    Wow Mrs. Renton I must say you like these grade threes more than the previous… even though you still might like what I what to say. In Grade four you will know what this means, or Mrs Renton can just TELL you, I can imagine her sitting in her chair telling you! Back to buisiness. What I think the anagogic(last level of interperatation) Back in 2012 we made these amazing, fantastic…. PERVIAN masks! Not reall!!! sorry. We had so much fun! Like with what you were doing right now! You should read shredded by Eric Walters, why? Because it is a book about how ONE person can change the world!

    Sorry to leave thins comment short, mt older brother is telling me to get off!

    May the force be with you!


    • The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

      Hi Eric!

      Thanks for the great comment! Yes, she does love us more. Just kidding. πŸ˜‰ How’s Grade 4 these days? What do you like best about it? Yes, papier mache is VERY fun! Thank you for the recommendation of Shredded. We are looking forward to reading it. We are jealous of YOU doing the Peruvian masks. We want to make them too. BUT, instead of making just Peruvian masks, we’re going to make a plaque from one of our four countries.

      We love that, as one of last year’s Global Grade Threes, you are still checking back!

      The Battalion Hawk Bloggers πŸ™‚

      P.S. May the force be with you too!

  3. Jocelyn

    Hi Mrs. Renton and all the Battalion Hawk Bloggers! πŸ˜‰
    All you guys are lucky that you are in Mrs. Renton’s class as you share this beautiful blog with our global audience.:) I am so excited to see Lauren’s marionette to come home. Enjoy the sunshine before it gets cold again…

    Jocelyn xoxo ~~~ ^-^

    • AJ

      Hi Jocelyn!

      Thank you for the AWESOME comment! We ARE lucky to have Mrs. Renton as a teacher! Did you know, that our blog is the only in C.B.E. ? Cool, Right? The fact is, blogging is fun. REALLY fun! You should try to start your own blog. (With parent approvement!) πŸ™‚ Just to tell you, Lauren’s marionette is pretty good. By good, I mean AMAZING! (That goes for the other marionettes, too.) πŸ˜‰

      AJ πŸ™‚

      • Laurie Renton

        Hi AJ!

        I am really IMPRESSED by how much you love to respond to the comments left behind by our readers!!! I actually think YOU might be a great candidate for creating your own blog. It would, of course, have to be with parent permission πŸ˜‰ and you would have to figure out what you wanted to write about … but … I can’t see THAT being a problem!!! If you are interested, talk to your Mom about it … and we can talk more about it during Student-Led Conferences next week. I think about the young boys who have a “reading” blog and how they share “book reviews”, of sorts, on their blog. Think about it because I know how much you LOVE this blogging journey!

        Mrs. Renton πŸ™‚

  4. christopher

    Hi Ms. Renton and class,

    I can’t believe that there is only two weeks of school left!

    When I brought my marionette home my parents said he had bulging eyes! I’m very impressed with the
    work we all did. Thank you Ms.Renton for teaching us how to make marionettes πŸ™‚


    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Christopher!

      How lovely that you left a comment on the blog again! Shh … don’t remind me of how little time there is left in the school year … it makes me SAD!!! I have LOVED my year with you guys. Time goes by TOO quickly!

      I think it’s funny that your parents thought your marionette was bug-eyed! That’s what give EACH of our marionettes their own personalities! Some of them have HUGE noses … some have tiny ones. Some have HUGE eyes … some don’t! I LOVE the way they all turned out so differently! Together they are FABULOUS! I am GLAD that we made marionettes together this year. You were SUCH a fun class to do them with … and you did them SO well.

      I wonder if you will make ANOTHER marionette, on your own sometime, now that you know how to make them!

      Mrs. Renton πŸ™‚

  5. Ella

    Hello Global Grade Three! Miss Renton is an AMAZING teacher. You will have a great year! with her. What is YOUR favorite subject? Mine is art. What is your least favorite subject? Mine is math!
    have a great year! From Ella p.s. I am from last year!

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hello Ella!

      Thank you for leaving a comment for us! We think Mrs. Renton is an amazing teacher too, (she was blushing when you said that). πŸ˜‰ Ella, Mrs. Renton thinks SHE is the lucky one!!! We are all looking forward to our year in Grade Three. We think it is cool that YOU asked US questions … and tried to “reel us in”!!! That means that YOU are a GREAT comment writer!!! About HALF of the class feels the SAME way as YOU do about art, Ella. We LIKE that you left QUESTIONS for us! Some of us like WRITING best. A FEW of us like MATH best. A handful of people like Science or Social Studies best … and SOME of us love it ALL!!! (Guess how Mrs. RENTON feels?) Gosh … we wish we could help you like Math more!!! We wonder WHY you don’t like math? πŸ˜‰

      Did you read any Roald Dahl last year? Are you having a good year in Grade Four? We wonder what the BEST part of Grade Four is this year? When you made your marionette last year, what country did you dress her in?

      Have an awesome year, Ella! We hope you check back with the blog! We LOVE it when the OLD bloggers check back and leave comments!

      The Battalion Bloggers πŸ™‚

  6. christopher

    Hello Mrs.Renton and class

    Sorry its bin so long!

    I have bin bizzy with school lately.

    I was so sad when we did NOT come back to school.

    I hope you and your class will have a AWSOME year! πŸ˜‰


    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Christopher!

      Thank you for leaving us a comment! It’s okay that you haven’t been leaving a comment … life gets busy … especially once school starts again! We felt sad, also, about the floods in June and not being able to come back to school to finish the year. Some of us were also scared because we had friends and family whose houses were flooded.

      We hope you have a good year in Grade Four, Christopher. We know we will have an awesome year! Thank you for wishing us a good year!

      The Battalion Bloggers πŸ™‚

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