STEAM Activities: Light Detectives Part 3

Defining the Big Hypothesis: We can create a shadow puppet performance in a dark space with a light source.

Hi Parents / Educators!

In this activity, we will:

  1. Design and create our own paper puppet.

  2. Tell a story through a shadow puppet show.

Equipment you need!

  1. Torchlight (or Mobile phone with light)

  2. Wax Paper (A4-A3 size) or White Cloth

  3. Drawing Block or Congregated Board

  4. Shadow Template (Activity Sheet)

  5. Black Construction Paper

  6. Sticks or Straws

  7. Tapes

Preparation: Preparation of backdrop or screen using wax paper and cardboard or white cloth (thin).

Experiment Time!

1. Ask children if they have seen a performance or play in the dark before? Check out this shadow short film The Hungry Monster by Becca Barnes on Youtube:

2. Discuss how the performers tell a story using light and paper puppets in darkness. Discuss on:

  • What did you see in the video? What colours were the characters/images in the show presented in? How do you think this show was created? (explain how this was created)

  • Who are the characters in the story? What happens in the story? Where did it happen?

3. We are going to tell a story using shadow puppets now. As a class or a group, decide on a story and the characters and the images (eg. Trees, house) that are in the story. In a story, we must know the characters in the story, which means, who is in the story. We must think about the setting, which means, where does the story takes place.

4. Children can start drawing and cutting out the characters or places from the story. You may also use the animal template given in the activity sheet.

5. Children to present their respective stories using the shadow puppets that they have created behind the screen and in front of a torch. You can get someone to hold the torch or leave it on a stand! Explore the following:

  • What happens when the paper puppet is further away from the light and nearer to the screen?

  • What happens when the paper puppet is closer to the light and further away from the screen?

  • Were the characters able to stay inside the screen?

P.S. Remind Explorers not to shine the torchlight straight into their own or their sibling/friends' eyes for safety reasons.


Reflect on the activity and what they enjoy the most!

Check out other Light Detectives activities here:

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