Prep to Grade 6 children at Caulfield Grammar explored shadow and the principles of making stencils. Working with Anna Malin, the wonderful Art Teacher at the Wheelers Hill campus we made a shadow puppet theatre from a fridge box and the children performed with their finished puppets.


Anna and I chose a selection of the strongest shapes and I created two linked designs that were laser cut in mild steel and powder coated in black inspired by illustrations of The Musicians of Bremen


Quotes from Grade 5 students:

“We made shadow puppets with Colleen Berk. We learnt about how to do fine cutting. When we walked through the room it was all dark. I really enjoyed it because it was something different than to having lessons with the same teacher every 2nd week.”  Alexander  5F


“I really enjoyed this topic of shadow puppets especially working with Colleen and getting introduced to being a puppet maker and a puppeteer. I was surprised when the room was covered with a black tarpaulin. I was excited to see all the puppets that Colleen brought in and all the detail in it.”  Nathan  5F


“The first time we walked through that door at the start of the last lesson. I was curious because the windows were blocked with a giant cloth. We were working with an artist who has a speciality with shadow puppets. She thought us about how to make shadow puppets and how to perform while instructing them. It was very fun and I learnt a lot from it.”  Jay  5F


“I had an extraordinary time when Colleen was with us. She taught us all the wonderful things of puppetry and how our minds believe that all of the things that are happening are actually happening. We created shadow puppets which was absolutely amazing. This was definitely a highlight of the term for me.”  Vittoria  5F



“It was a fantastic experience to have a art session with Coleen Burke she is a great artistic person and we learnt lots about how to make the puppets and connect with them like they are alive. She showed us a few of her big puppets and small and they were all very fascinating I hope she comes back another time.”  Natasha  5F


“In art with the topic shadow puppets I was only here for one lesson but I learnt how to make shadow puppets like cutting with the scalpels and making sure not to cut yourself! I also learnt how to use cellophane to make colours. It was so much fun!” Sally  5F

“We had a great experience with Colleen. I really enjoyed making the shadow puppets, because there were so many things to choose from to make, and it was just really fun to do something different.” Riley  5F

“The experience that I had with Colleen was amazing. I really liked learning how to do shadow puppets. I really liked learning how to use the scalpel. Right now I have learnt a lifelong skill.” Noah  5F

“I’ve enjoyed learning and creating art with Colleen. She has showed me the different ways of doing and creating art with paper. I have learned the proper way how to use scalpels. I loved making a shadow puppet show with a buddy. I now know that puppetry can show lots of different emotions and feelings.”  Chloe  5F

“When I walked into the art room the windows were blacked out I became very interested. Once I heard we were making shadow puppets with Colleen I was so excited. I had great fun making them i even learnt how to use a scalpel. Also how to make the puppets move and incorperate colour. Colleen is a puppeteer and a puppet maker which I think is cool. Making shadow puppets have been awesome. I hope to work with Colleen again.” Senay  5F

“I was amazed when I walked into the room. It was very dark and the window was covered with black cloth. This term we are focusing on making puppets and today Colleen, a puppeteer and puppet maker, is showing us how to make shadow puppets. I learned lots of amazing things that day, for example I learnt how to use cellophane with shadow puppets.” Taige  5F/B

“When we were on our way to the art room, I saw black blinds down so the sun light couldn’t get in. At that point I was very excited! Next the puppeteer Colleen, and came to show us what she does. I was very interested! Colleen was very funny! She is one of the best puppeteers I have ever seen!” Brianna  5F

“A few weeks ago a puppeteer called Colleen Burke came in and talked to us about puppets. When I walked in to the dark room I was wondering why were there black sheets of plastic on the windows. On that day Colleen talked and showed us many different puppets. My two favourite things were making shadow puppets and seeing the variety of puppets she had made herself.” Olga  5F

“The first time I’ve met Colleen Burke was in the art room covered in black paper so the light won’t come in. I was pretty excited about it as we walk in and saw some puppet of hers. She was a puppeteer and puppet maker. I don’t know puppet much before that lesson, but she really taught us a lot about shadow puppets. Like using cellophane to do the colour. It was one of the most interesting lessons this term.” Peter  5F

“This term we made puppets I wondered what we were going to do. When I walk in the art room the room it was blacked out I felt strange because the art room was never like that before that wonder a bit more the teacher that us was not miss malin  it was a puppeteer  called Colline Burke. She show us the puppets she made. My favourite one was death the skeleton that makes people die. It. Was very interesting an than we made our own puppet i made Godzilla it was a good day.” James  5F

“My experience with the artist was great because I got to learn some of the backstage puppetry e.g. How they made all sorts of emotions happen on the puppets, and learnt a way of making puppets and some methods of making a puppet look interesting.”  Emma 5F

“Having Colleen here was an amazing experience.When the whole class walked into the blacked out room, we immediately knew that something amazing was about to happen. Colleen is a puppeteer and a puppet master. We learned to work with scalpels, to use cellophane for colours and how expressive puppeteering is. We each made two puppets and some background pieces. I would love to do this again.” Tanya  5F

“I wondered what was happening because there was black paper on the windows. When we entered we saw a woman called Colleen who was a puppeteer and she had brought in some puppets my favourite was death. We made puppets and I made King Kong for a shadow puppet play that we are doing.” Taine  5F

“We made shadow puppets with Colleen. I really enjoyed this experience because that we got to chose which topic we wanted to make our puppets. I learned skills like you put cellophane over a hole it creates light. I really loved this experience.” Sam 5F








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