By Debbie Gonzales
- Digger (a dog)
- Small box
- Five bones
- Billy's living room
Digger the Palentolo-Pup
Billy: (Sad, petting Digger, the box beside him) Please…just give Digger one more chance?
Digger: (Panting happily)
Dad: (Reading the newspaper)
Mom: Oh, Billy…I'm sorry we have to give Digger away. But, he'll be just fine at Grandpa's farm. There's plenty of space there to run and jump and…
Billy: He doesn't mean to cause trouble. He really doesn't.
Mom: That's what you said after Digger destroyed Ms. Darling's dahlias.
Billy: I know…I know…but just look at the interesting bone Digger found in her flower bed. (Billy removes a bone from the box)
Mom: That's not the point. We've been through this so many times, Billy. We cannot allow your dog to destroy the neighbor's property.
Billy: (Pets Digger)
Digger: (Pants happily)
Dad: (Still reading the newspaper) And what about Mr. Rumberg's rhododendrons? They were torn to ribbons…
Billy: (Removes another bone from the box) But just look at this cool bone Digger found…
Dad: If I remember right, Mr. Rumberg didn't think that bone was too cool.
Billy: I know…I know…
Mom: But this last one, Billy…the churchyard. Digger nearly plowed all the way to the pulpit.
Billy: But look! (Removes two bones from the box) Look at the bones Digger found! They're incredible!
Mom: Oh…sweetheart. I know how much the dog means to you. We've been through this too many times. Digger simply cannot live with us in the city. Grandpa's farm is a better place for him. He's on the way now to pick Digger up. There'll be no more talking about this.
Digger: (Licks Billy)
Dad: (Excitedly) Wait a minute! Look at this!
Dad: (Shakes the paper) This article states that paleontologists have been discovered dinosaur bones in the church yard. It says that they have yet to locate five bones which would complete the skeletal structure of an ancient dinosaur.
Billy: Digger's bones!
Dad: Could be, son…could be. The paleontologist's phone number is listed in the article. Let's give him a call…shall we? I use the phone in the kitchen. (Leaves the room)
Billy: I'm coming, too. (Follows Dad)
(The door bell rings)
Mom: (Opens the door) Hi, Pop.
Grampa: (Steps inside) Hello, there. Is Digger ready for a ride to the country?
(Digger escapes out the door)
Grampa: Whoa, doggie!
Mom: (Shouts) Digger! Come back here!
Dad and Billy: (Returns to the room) Hurray!!!!
Mom: What are you cheering about? Digger just took off out the front door.
Dad: The paleontologist does want to research the bones Digger has dug up! They think that he may have found something special.
Billy: Does this mean that we won't have to send Digger away?
Mom: Oh… I don't know… Maybe not.
Grampa: We'll have to catch him first.
Dad: Well, here he comes now.
Digger: (Enters with another dinosaur bone in his mouth)
Dad: And that bone makes number five.
Mom: Looks like he did it again.
Grampa: Oh…I don't see that there's any rush to take this dog to the farm. He's a paleonto-pup, that's all.
Mom: I suppose you're right, Pop.
Dad: Yep…Digger's a palentolo-pup… hunting down bones in the name of science.
Billy: (Petting Digger) Good boy.
Digger: Yip! Yip!
Folded Paper Dog Puppet - Digger
- Construction paper
- Glue sticks
Fold one piece of construction paper lengthwise into thirds. Fold the long piece in half and then fold backward in accordion fashion. Place your fingers in one folded paper pocket and your thumb in the other creating a way to manipulate the puppet's mouthpiece. Use contrasting colors of construction paper and glue to fashion your puppet dog's eyes, a nose, a panting tongue, and floppy ears.
Paper Plate Puppets
- Paper plates
- Tongue depressors
- Construction paper
- String (optional)
To make Billy, Mom, Dad, and Grandpa puppets, cut and fashion the construction paper to create a face. Glue the construction paper to the paper plate. Secure the tongue depressor to the back of the plate to be used as a handle. Above is a photo of the "mom" puppet.
Cut five oddly shaped dinosaur bones from light brown construction paper and let the children assemble a dinosaur.
By Paula Ellis
- Digga (a dinosaur)
- Freddie (another dinosaur or any large animal)
- Peg (a girl dinosaur or a Texas animal like a prairie dog or armadillo)
- Rocky (a black dog)
- Ol' Rip (the Texas legendary entombed horned lizard of the Eastland County Courthouse)
Attach a wide sheet of brown paper shaped like a mound to the outside of the stage to create the illusion of a dig site.
- Small plastic shovel
- Small plastic Longhorn horns or one made from cardboard
- Reading logs
Digga, the Dinosaur Digs Reading!
Digga: (Enter Digga) Hi Kids, I'm Digga the Dinosaur and my SPE-CI-AL-I-TY is digging up knowledge. When I'm not digging up knowledge, I'm kicking back all summer and reading the books that I've dug up from the rich Texas soil. Summer is a great time to dig deep into your favorite book. Now, come with me to the EX-CA-VA-TION site where my friends are already knee deep in reading and a lot of dirt too! (Exit Digga)
Freddie: (Enter Freddie with a small plastic shovel. He begins digging.)
Freddie: Hi Digga!
Digga: Hi Freddie! How's the digging going today?
Freddie: It's great Digga! We just found a pair of horns from a Texas Longhorn. (Set a pair of horns on the stage)
Digga: Cool! I used to have a pair of those. How can we use those to teach the boys and girls about reading?
Freddie: Well, that's easy! Like this! Texas Longhorns are a breed of cow that is kept all over Texas. Kids might like to read a book about Longhorns for Summer Reading. Then they can write the name of their book on their reading logs.
(Enter Peg excitedly)
Peg: Digga! Oh My Gosh! I just uncovered some summer reading logs and a map of the old cattle trails. Who wants a reading log to start entering your books on the lines?
(Peg waves the reading logs at the children in the audience)
Digga: (Speaks to Peg) How many books will you read this summer?
Peg: Well, there are 15 lines on my reading log, so I guess I'll read 15 books.
Digga: Why stop at 15, Peg? You can go back to the library and ask for another reading log. Fill in as many books as you read! I'm going to take home at least two reading logs to start. Your library may have online reading logs, too. You could try entering your books online!
Peg: I also like to write down facts that I learn in the books I read and show my parents, caregivers, teachers, friends - anyone who will go over them with me, really! I like sharing facts I learn.
Digga: I like that, Peg, but I have a question for you. Where is Rocky today? Rocky is one of our best diggers. He's great at telling us the names of all the great rocks we find when we are a busy digging up good books.
Peg: Rocky will be here any minute. He found so many cool rocks this year that (Anytown) Elementary School invited him to bring his rock collection to the Geology Fair and nominated him for first prize in the show!
(Rocky enters wearing a blue ribbon)
Rocky: Well, I'm back! I won first prize, too.
Digga: Rocky! That's great news! Tell me, something. How do you know how to answer all those questions?
Rocky: It's not hard when you read as many books as I do on geology - that's the study of rocks, don't you know. My grandparents take me to the library and I can check out a whole bag of books. Then I write the titles on my summer reading log and hand it in at my library.
(Ol' Rip enters from the bottom of the stage)
Peg: I usually win a prize there, too, for all the reading I do over the summer.
Ol' Rip: (In a small voice) Prizes! Did I hear someone say prizes?
(All three animals start looking around.)
Peg: Where did that voice come from?
Freddie: I don't know but voices that come from nowhere are usually pretty creepy.
Digga: Being that it's a small voice, maybe it comes from a small animal. Everyone look down and carefully remove the dirt with your digging brushes. Ah! Here he is. How are you little fella?
Ol' Rip: Hi there! I'm Ol' Rip and I'm not that little. I'm the most famous horny lizard in Texas History! Once upon a time, I lived in a cornerstone of the old Eastland County courthouse for 31 years!
Digga: A famous horny lizard! What are you doing in our dirt pile?
Ol' Rip: Why digging up good books, of course. I have always done my digging alone, but this summer I found you all - my new friends. It's nice having friends to dig with, learn with, and friends that read - like me! Now, where's this library with prizes?
Peg: Oh! The (insert the town or county name) Public Library is right here in (insert city). If you like reading, you could go there with me and pick up your first summer reading log. That's how you earn the prizes. All you have to do is read.
Ol' Rip: Can we go now? I've been digging since sun up in the hot Texas Sun. I could use a nice cool trip to the library to get a new book.
Peg: I think we can leave for the library right now, Ol' Rip! Come on Digga and Freddie. Let's go!
(All sing these lyrics to the tune of "Old MacDonald" as they walk around and then leave the stage.)
Come to the (insert name of town) Library.
You won't want to leave.
You'll find everything you need.
And you'll learn to read.
Read a good book here.
Read a good book there.
Read, read everywhere.
Take your shovels, hats and gloves.
Dig up a book today!
Libraries are lots of fun.
Reading's here to stay.
By Debbie Gonzales
This puppet show can be performed in a portable puppet theater or any other structure suitable for the use of hand puppets. Another effective performance format is to allow the children puppeteers to hide behind a 6-foot long table that has been turned on its side.
Scene 1 requires a dark background to represent the darkness of soil. To dramatize this mood either turn out the lights, create a dark tent-like structure behind the puppet theater, or suspend dark fabric behind the puppet stage.
Scenes 2 and 3 require brightness to represent the light and warmth of the sun. To dramatize this mood either turn on the lights, remove the dark tent-like structure behind the puppet theater, or suspend light, bright fabric behind the puppet stage.
In advance, make the finger puppets.
- Variety of colors of water-proof markers
- Construction paper
Using a pinkie finger as a prop, draw an oval on the finger's upper pad with a brown marker.
Beneath the oval seed drawing, draw the sprout by extending a wavy green line down the back of the finger.
Cut several pieces of green construction paper in small leaflets. Tape the construction paper leaflets around the top of the pinkie finger puppet.
Draw petal shapes on construction paper to be cut out using scissors. Tape the petal cut outs all around the tip of the pinkie finger puppet. Accentuate the petal cut outs with contrasting colored markers. Add construction paper leaves to the finger puppet stem by fashioning leaf shapes with green paper, then tape the leaf to the stem.
The Pansy Party
Scene 1: The Dark Soil Beneath a Garden
Narrator: A tiny pansy seed lay buried in the dark, warm soil all alone.
(Enter Seed- Lift up your pinkie finger)
Narrator: With nothing but darkness all around, the pansy seed lay quiet and still in the warm, moist soil beneath the flower garden. For several days storms clouds released rain drops on the flower garden above, causing the soil around the tiny seed to become wet and moist. After the rains, the sun warmed the soil. And, oh did the moist warmth feel wonderful to the tiny seed.
It was very dark inside the tiny pansy seed. It could see nothing at all…just lonesome darkness. The seed's hard, protective outer skin kept out even a sliver of light. Soon the stiff outer seed coat began to soften. Inside the seed a small, yet very strong sprout pushed against the inside of the seed. The sprout pushed its way out of the inside of the seed to take root in the warm, moist soil beneath the flower garden.
Scene 2: The Upper Level of the Soil
(Enter Sprout in the same spot on the puppet stage)
Narrator: Though growing all alone, the sprout was brave and strong, pushing to find its way in the dark, moist soil. With the seed coat still attached, the sprout could feel how gloriously the sun had warmed the moist soil. It stretched and strained upward to reach the sun's light.
As it strained, the sprout grew longer and longer, becoming a sturdy root. The sprout worked very hard, rooting itself in the soil beneath the flower garden.
(Slowly move Sprout from side to side and gradually move it upward as if growing.)
Narrator: Up, up, up the little sprout pushed. Brave and strong, all alone, growing longer and longer, stronger and stronger, until it pushed its way through the soil all the way to the warm sunshine bathing the flower garden.
The sprout could feel a breeze gently feathering against its tender new stem. But, with the seed coat still attached to the upper part of the sprout, the tiny plant would remain in the lonesome, dark protective seed shell for a little while longer.
After a few days even more changes began to take place. All alone, from inside the seed atop the sprout tiny flower bud shaped like a tiny cup pushed through to stretch toward the sun.
(Enter Bud in the same spot on the puppet stage)
Narrator: All alone, the plant's brave sprout became a firm stem, standing straight and strong. Inside the cup-like bud layers of small petals grew. Soon the tiny petals filled the cup-like bud, forcing it to open. The petals grew, filling out, opening wide.
(Enter Blossom in the same spot on the puppet stage)
Narrator: As the flower opened its petals wider and wider, getting stronger and stronger, it became something beautiful - a flower blossom opening wide to face the spectacular light of the sun. And if meeting the light of the sun wasn't exciting enough, the Blossom discovered something else truly wonderful
Scene 3: The Upper Level of the Soil
(Enter Flowers 1, 2, 3, and 4 positioned near the Blossom)
Narrator: With its petal face open wide and full, the flower discovered that it was not alone at all. The blossom was surrounded by colorful pansies…red ones, purple, pink, and violet ones…enough to have a party full of pansies.
(All flowers move back and forth happily)
Narrator: And that's just what they did!