Rusty in Tuscany. Substitute the teacher… with a puppet!


Hi I’m Rusty the Puppet. I’m from England and at the moment I’m visiting my friend Thomas in Florence, Italy. Thomas is bilingual which is a good job as my Italian is not up to scratch. The other day he took me on the new Tram to the centre of Florence where we visited Piazza Santa Maria Novella. In the background you can see the Duomo, Florence’s largest Cathedral… WOWWW ..it’s nearly as big as my mouth!.


Ricky (the puppet) Explores Antarctica


Puppets can share joy or sadness; they can be naughty or good, cheeky or shy; and when a child is engaged by a puppet they can learn lessons and absorb messages without even realising they are.

For perfect example check out  http://antarcticapuppet.primaryblogger.co.uk/ .
A fabulous blog about how Ricky (the puppet) investigates science in the real world and “Explores Antarctica”. www.puppetsproject.com  also provide many ideas for science projects using puppets


Have no fear! Puppets are positive creatures that bring about positive responses.

We are extremely happy to finally go live with our new website GoGoGenius


My husband and I decided to set up GoGoGenius as we wanted to create a special place where parents, teachers and educators could find products, tips and suggestions to help their children learn English through fun and creativity .

We are based in Florence, Italy, and we sell puppets and educational products primarily, but not exclusively, dedicated to teaching English, using fun, unconventional methods and theatre techniques.

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more products and resources and we would love to receive any feedback from you.

Check out our puppet range as I believe they are a fantastic resource for any parent or teacher for use in educational activities such as storytelling, phonics, mathematics, and foreign language teaching.

As an English teacher, I use puppets in class on a regular basis because I have seen for myself that they work very successfully . Puppets are positive creatures that bring about positive responses. They fascinate and engage both children and adults in a special way. They capture a child’s attention and make learning fun!

Many educators shy away from using puppets not knowing really what to do with them apart from using them as a simple “doll”.

Fear not!!!!!!

I will try and give you some fundamental puppet tips and convey to you what wonderful teaching tools they really are.

Stay tuned!! Miranda’s back!!!


Teaching English and Drama in Guadeluope

Lorraine Rastogi  from Guadeloupe (french west indies) recently wrote to me sharing some of her creative ideas . Check out the wonderful puppet theatre she built herself!

View Lorraine Rastogi






“I built up a puppet theatre and created my own puppets . A puppet maker from Brittany has made some for me BOB an American rapper(black) from New York comes to Guadeloupe and meets Mrs SLow a turtle, Penny a criol girl ,an iguana BOOBOO and BARATA an ugly witch!!! and many other puppets.. and I build up some stories with the children in the tropical forest the volcano the sea etc….My future plan is to write stories add more characters and more puppets..but I need some practice with learning this art. Children love them and it is a great tool for teaching them English Along with this I use LET’s CHANT from Carolyn Graham…”


(available from www.amazon.com)

Let's Chant, Let's Sing Book 1 w/ Audio CD (Let's Go / Oxford University Press)


Using Esl Drama with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Using Esl Drama with

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar“



Young children love this story , it’s ideal for revising food and numbers and introducing days of the week. Why not add a simple creative improvisation to make it even more fun and memorable for children.


Here are a few suggestions on how to introduce the story:


1.     Tell the simple story using the book, get the children actively involved – show them the pictures bring to class some “real” fruit, elicit and count the fruit and food together. Ask them what they understand from the story in their native language.


2.     You could use this beautiful and very well made video that I came across on the web  to introduce the story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoYPLtqqVk


3.      For those more adventurous and creative you could make and use a simple sock puppet to tell the story  (I’ve used the following user-friendly site in the past to make great sock puppets http://www.daniellesplace.com/HTML/puppets.html ).

4.  For simple paper puppets the following blog has some interesting ideas http://babybilingual.blogspot.com/2007/04/very-hungry-caterpillar-very-hungry.html





1.      Tell the children that they are now going to re-tell the story of the “Hungry Caterpillar” themselves – and that they are going to “act” being the caterpillar.


2.      Make some space in the room free of tables and chairs.


3.       Put on some soft/slow instrumental music


4.      Ask the children to lay down on the floor and pretend to be a little egg laying on a leaf under the moon. Use the book to show the children the illustrations so they know where you are at in the story.


5.      Coax  the children to act and push themselves out of the egg and become a little tiny caterpillar. Ask the children how they think a caterpillar moves and get them to show you physically .  Ask how many legs and feet they think a caterpillar has. What does his face look like? Remember- he’s very hungry! Start to really wriggle and crawl like hungry caterpillar looking for something to eat.


6.     Get the children to imagine and mime how the caterpillar eats and crawls into an apple…munching away until he pops out the other side. Still hungry! Try not to let the children talk.. they should remain concentrated and really imagine that they are the hungry caterpillar.


7.      You don’t have to do go through all the fruits as it can get a bit long..but you could get the children to mime eating different foods like a “piece of cake” or “an ice- cream”. See how sticky and mucky their faces get!


8.      Get the children to mime “feeling ill” after the caterpillar eats too much.


9.     “The following day the caterpillar becomes big and fat”.. get the children to mime being very heavy and moving slowly.


10. For the caterpillar’s  “cocoon” use a large blanket and get all the children to crawl under and hide together. (kids find this part great fun)


11. Tell them to slowly come out from the blanket transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Get the children to flitter and fly around the room as beautiful brightly colored butterflies.