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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Puppet making & performance

Use puppets to create and perform a narrative based on a classic Persian story, either in part or in whole.

This activity is linked to the Love and devotion – the stories inquiry unit and targeted at VELS Level 4 students (except the digital options, which are for VELS levels 4 and 5). Refer to the curriculum outcomes to see how this unit aligns with VELS.


  • Choose a story from the Story summaries.
  • Choose the corresponding puppet-making template and print, preferably to A3.
  • Paste the template to thick card. Create holes where indicated, and cut out individual body parts.
  • Decorate with chosen media to create unique characters.
  • Use paper fasteners to attach head to body, to connect segmented arm parts together and to secure arms to body.
  • Make rods out of appropriate material eg craft sticks or pencils.
  • Attach one rod to the character's head and a second rod to the segmented arm. When manipulating the puppet's head or arm with a rod, use your other hand to stabilise the body.
  • Print a manuscript background image as a backdrop for the puppet show, or alternatively, project a digital background.
  • Assign roles to students within small groups eg puppet-handling, narrating, providing sound effects.
  • Plan, compose and edit a script.
  • Perform the puppet show in front of an appreciative audience.


  • Puppet-making template – to make rod puppets based on characters in the story summaries
  • Manuscript background image – print a backdrop for your puppet show
  • Story summaries – read synopses of the Love and devotion stories
  • Paper fasteners
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Cardboard
  • Rods eg craft sticks or pencils
  • Media to create and decorate puppets eg paints, pastels, pencils, charcoal, crayons
  • Useful websites – find more information on the story summaries. Also find information on online puppet-creation and animation tools.

Digital options

  • Puppet Pals: iPad/iPhone puppet animation app. Note: a small fee is required to enable image importing.
  • Create a stop motion movie. Take photos of puppets against a manuscript background and move characters slightly for each photo to simulate movement, using stop motion software such as SAM Animation. Or import photos into Windows Movie Maker and alter picture and duration. 
  • Alternatively in PowerPoint, use digital character cut-out images placed over manuscript background images, moving characters slightly between slides to create the same effect. Use 'rehearse timings' to alter slideshow speed.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000