Objectives:       To introduce children to the experience of puppet theatre.

To introduce the concept that everyone is different and that is what makes     

each one of us special

                        To reinforce the phonics lesson (b, f, g, r, w, ar, ow).

                        To involve the students in a sing-along.


RUFUS features moving-mouth, rod style puppets.  Rufus the dog has been rejected because he looks different from other dogs.  Throughout the course of the story, everyone he meets tells him that he can’t be a real dog because of the way he looks.  He goes to dog school to prove that he really is a dog.  Eventually, the wildflowers talk to everyone and remind them that, just as every flower is different, so too is every dog and person.  The difference is what makes us all special, not bad.  The point is made that you should not make fun of someone just because they look different from you.


Pre-Show Discussion Topics

1.  Discuss the nature of puppets.  What kinds have you seen?  How is a puppet used?

2.  Discuss the nature of a theatre production.  How is a puppet play different from live

     plays?  How is it the same?

3.  Discuss the basic elements of a story.

4.  Discuss the things in nature that are the same, yet different (i.e. flowers, snowflakes,



Pre-Show Activities

1. Read a play or short story, having different students read each part aloud.

2. Read books about puppetry and puppet theatre.


*Special Note:  Due to staging design, the puppeteers prefer to set-up on the floor instead of on a raised stage.  They will need a cleared area of approximately 15x15 feet and access to an electrical outlet.  Students may be seated either on the floor, in chairs, or at tables.


Post-Show Discussion Questions:

1.   What is a puppet?  What kinds did you see? 

2.   What other kinds of puppets have you seen?

3.   Why was Rufus rejected by everyone?

4.   Why did Rufus have to go to school?

5.   In what way was Rufus different from Bucky?

6.   What did Rufus learn in school?

7.   Have you ever made fun of someone because they were different from you?

8.   Has anyone ever teased you?  How did you feel?

9.   What did the wildflowers tell us?

10. Was Rufus bad because he was different?

11. Why was he called a red-nosed raindog?

12.  How can you help Rufus with his job?

13.  What song were the dogs barking?

14.  How is each of us different?  How are we the same?


Post-Show Activities

  1. Draw pictures of the puppet show to use in an art display.
  2. Write letters to the puppeteers telling them what you thought of the show.
  3. Have students participate in role-playing situations about rejection.  Have them discuss their feelings afterward.
  4. Make simple hand, sick, or finger puppets.
  5. Develop puppet skits using your puppets.
  6. Make a list of the ways that you and your friends are different and alike.



Magic of Puppetry…Peggy Davis Jenkins

Puppets for Play Production…R. Renfro

Making Easy Puppets…Shari Lewis

Hand Puppets…L. Ross

Do It in a Day Puppets for Beginners…M.W. Adair

Let’s Start a Puppet Theatre….B.E. Anderson