Bayang (“Shadow”) Fables

Nancy East


Stir sticks/skewers
Pre-made shower curtain screen for students to be shown
1. how shadow puppets work/are successful
2. Test out their own shadow puppets to see if they’re successful
Tape (masking and packing)
Drawing paper
Teeny hole punches


Day 1
Students walk in to hear has great pictures and facts
Indonesia: 17, 508 islands; 4th most populated country in the world; hot/humid/tropical; 3x the size of texas; (this is all about the art of

What did you notice? How are these Wayang/Shadow puppets different from the puppet on my hand before we flew to Indonesia? Fill in other side of the t-chart

How can we create a flat shadow puppet so it doesn’t look like a blob? How can
we create details without coloring our puppet? (discuss and demonstrate
shape/size/eye cut outs/details/cat whiskers/feathers/etc.) Maybe have 3 demo puppets to demo behind screen. Ask what makes them successful/unsuccessful.
Puppet 1: beautifully drawn/textures/details but not great shape for shadow
Puppet 2: Better shape so you can tell what it is
Puppet 3: Same shape as Puppet 2 but with details and textures cut into it to take it to the “next level”

With remaining time, have students begin drawing their characters (assigned by classroom teachers) onto plain drawing paper. Remind them to do hand checks multiple times. If character is smaller than their hand at any point then they need to make bigger.

As a wrap up ask what they learned about Indonesia/Wayang today.

Day 2
Open with: ( This is about Westernized shadow puppets of today.Stop at 2:50 because they get into 3D shadow puppets)
Review term: Wayang
New terms: Dalang/ Bayang
Have students fininsh drawing (on drawing paper) their characters from last time. Students will be cutting and tracing these onto cardstock. Before having students cut: Discuss and demonstrate how to take away paper to create
details, but also how to add paper for parts/details

Day 3: Discuss how to finish these and take them from drawing/cutouts to shadow puppets. How did we hold up original puppet? (Hand) Can we put our hands inside of these? (No) Demonstrate how to attach skewers/stir sticks with masking tape. Students can go over throughout the class to the screen/stage to see if their puppet was successful and if not, problem solve for the why and the how to make it more successful.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Students that are struggling:
– Could help struggling fine motor with the cutting of the card stock
– Could simplify project but having them do simpler/basic shapes to create animal
– Could have students focus on creating the animals head rather than whole body


Students can do demo of puppet behind screen for the class, going up behind
screen to quickly show off their hard work. Or come stand up while I hold it up to the screen? This way they can self assess: Was their puppet sucessful? Is the viewer able to tell what it is with cut outs and added paper details? Did they add
paper parts and have cut outs to show details? Is it large?

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

How could you make it a more sucessful puppet/shadow? What parts could you add (paper or detail cutting)?
How could we make this have moving parts? Students could cut in half/add brads to early-finished puppets.

Additional Details

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