Talking Heads

Children travel through time bringing portraits or historical figures to life. Through reflection, research or analysis children decide what portraits or figures from history would be saying to us. Life size puppets are created by small teams working alongside an adult volunteer. The process can be applied to historical or fictional figures as well as issue based drama in PHSE where the puppet character becomes the mouthpiece for young people discussing challenging issues.

This project has been adapted for 'Pandemic Lockdown' situations.  We supply 'DIY video conference kits' so that teams of children can discuss, build and present their puppet character with support on-line. Presentations will involve 'Zoom calls' between different historical or contemporary characters with just puppet heads on the screen voiced by children..


These workshops explore

  • Looking at art
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Visiting art galleries and museums
  • Historical research
  • Creative writing
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
  • Drama
  • PHSE

A Pandemic Lockdown Moment



  1. Pre event materials are sent to the school for teachers to explore how we interpret feelings faces and the symbols and meanings in paintings
  2. A visit to a gallery or museum to look, research and generate ideas or pictures are brought into school
  3. Children will build and decorate a life size puppet to as the character from history or the person in the portrait using ingenious card templates and children's creativity
  4. Performances to peers or wider audiences of parents
  5. Short films can be produced

The event works online with -

  1. Puppet parts sent to school 
  2. online tuition for teachers and children.
  3. Options to discuss characters with historians and university students to develop conjecture about how characters could respond to each other
  4. Options within this include pre-prepared resources that decolonise historical narratives 
  5. Presentations are held as 'Zoom calls' with just puppet characters online 





Outcomes for your pupils:

Using an art gallery or museum to research and analyse paintings

Understanding facial expressions 

Construction skills

Communication and performing skills 


Puppets to take away and use again 

Decolonised curriculum topics