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The Puppet Co.

Sleeping Beauty: April 14 - May 29

Li'l Red & the Pigs: June 2 - July 17

Peter & the Wolf: July 21 - August 28

Enjoy a special day Glen Echo Park watching a unique puppet show and practicing communication skills! The Puppet Co. is a non-profit puppet theater that uses a variety of puppets to put on affordable children's shows. This spring/summer, they are putting on three children's classics: Sleeping Beauty, a modern remake of the Three Little Pigs, and Peter & the Wolf. Click here for tickets and showtimes. The theater also offers ASL interpretation for select shows (details can be found here).


EXPLORE: Expressive Grammar
ENRICH: Verb Tenses

ENGAGE: The ability to use future and past tense verbs



  • Before you see the puppet show, ask you child to tell you what s/he thinks will happen in the story to practice using future tense verbs (BONUS: your child will also be working on the literacy skill of predicting).

    • Remind your that there are two ways to form the future tense: using the WILL and using IS GOING TO.

    • Ask your child to predict two events in the story using future tense forms. For example, "The princess WILL fall asleep," or "The pig IS GOING TO feel scared."

  • After the show, help your child practice past tense verbs to talk about what happened (BONUS: s/he will also be working on the literacy skill of retelling.)

    • Remind your child that different words follow different rules when they are put in the past.

    • If your child is an earlier language learner, have him/her use any of the following early-developing irregular past tense verbs: hit, hurt, went, saw, gave, ate, took, fell, broke, found. For example, "Peter SAW the wolf."

    • If your child is a more advanced language learner, have him/her also practice regular past tense verbs, which are spelled with -ed but are pronounced "t" (eg. washed), "d" (e.g. smiled), and "ed" (e.g. visited). For example, "Little Red Riding Hood WALKED in the woods."


EXPLORE: Comprehension of Story Elements
ENRICH: Understanding oral comprehension questions

ENGAGE: The ability to respond to questions about what one has heard



  • The ability to identify and answer questions about they key elements of a story that one has heard is an important listening skill that also contributes to a child's success with literacy tasks.

  • Before you watch the show, talk to you child about the following story elements: the characters, the setting, the problem, and the solution to the problem. Ask your child to think about these story elements while watching the show.

  • You can use a visual support like this one to support your child's understanding of the story elements.

  • After the show, ask your child to answer the following questions about the elements in the story. Refer back to the above visual support as needed and offer your child verbal choices (e.g. "Does the story happen in the forest or at the beach?") if s/he has trouble remembering:

    • Characters: WHO is in the story?

    • Setting: WHERE does the story take place?

    • Problem: WHAT is the problem?

    • Solution: HOW is the problem solved?


EXPLORE: Bilabial Sounds
ENRICH: Correct Production of Speech Sounds for Clear Communication

ENGAGE: The ability to produce sounds that use ones lips



  • Bilabial sounds are speech sounds that are made using both lips: /p, b, m, w/. Help your child to practice these important, early-developing speech sounds using words found in the puppet shows.

  • Before the show, help your child practice each of the bilabial sounds on its own. Tell him/her, "Watch my mouth and say exactly what I say," then model each of the sounds: p-p-p, b-b-b, mmmm, w-w-w.

  • After the show, give your child 2-3 words for each of the bilabial sounds and have him/her practice them in isolation and then in a sentence. Here are some sample words that come from the three puppet shows running this spring/summer:

    • /p/: Pig, Prince, Princess, PuPPet, sleePing

    • /b/: Beauty, Big, Bad

    • /m/: Marionette, aniMal

    • /w/: Wolf, queen (pronounced "kWeen")


EXPLORE: Pragmatic Language Skills
ENRICH: Positive Social Interactions

ENGAGE: The ability use kind words



  • Fairy tales are excellent platforms to start discussions about kind vs. unkind, as they often have central themes of good versus evil. Each of the puppet shows running this summer have some variation of a villain and a hero. Your child can practice identifying kind and unkind words and actions, skills which will transfer to their everyday lives and friendships.

  • After watching the show, first ask your child to recall at least one kind action or statement from the story. Talk about why the character was being kind when s/he said those words or performed that action.

  • Next, ask your child to recall at least one unkind action or statement. Talk about why what the character did or said was unkind.

  • Finally, ask your child to think of an alternative to the unkind action or statement. What could the character have done or said differently to be more caring, sympathetic, or considerate of others' feelings?


BONUS: For a hands-on exploration of kind vs. unkind words, try this cotton vs. sandpaper words lesson when you get home from the show.

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