Jingling Jester

Jingling Jester lesson plan

In Medieval times, a jester’s job was to make people laugh. Create your own jovial jester. Your friends and family are sure to smile at its antics, especially on April Fool’s Day!

  • 1.

    Read The Jester Has Lost His Jingle or a similar story. How did a jester’s humor enrich people’s lives? Why does laughing keep people healthy?

  • 2.

    On a large piece of paper, use Crayola® Colored Pencils to draw the head of a jester wearing his three-point hat. Color him using Crayola Multicultural and Regular Markers. Cut out the head with Crayola Scissors. Trace it to make the back of your puppet. Color and cut out the back.

  • 3.

    Cover your art area with recycled newspaper. Place the head pieces back to back. Seal the edges of the head (not the neck) with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the head flat.

  • 4.

    Stuff your puppet with crumpled newspaper.

  • 5.

    Paint a section of cardboard gift-wrap roll with Crayola Washable Tempera Paint and Paint Brushes. (You would use the whole long roll and make an almost life-size puppet.) Air dry.

  • 6.

    Glue the top of the tube into the jester’s neck. Air-dry.

  • 7.

    On a large piece of construction paper, draw a pointed collar. Color it with markers. Use your imagination to decorate the collar. Add small craft bells if possible. Cut out the collar and glue it to the jester’s neck. If you used a long gift-wrap roll, dress the rest of your puppet.

  • 8.

    Retell the story you read. Make up your own jester tales and tell jokes with your Jingling Jester.


  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • LA: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: A Medieval Feast by Aliki; The Jester Has Lost His Jingle by David Saltzman
  • Working in small groups, students investigate jokes for jesters to tell. Students write their selected jokes into a "laugh" book, keeping in mind the purpose of a jester telling jokes. The group prepares to tell the jokes before a classroom audience using their jester puppets as props.
  • Students read a story such as The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo F. Buscaglia. Students create puppets for role playing situations such as change and loss.
  • Set aside a school day as a medieval celebration day. Students dress in self-made costumes appropriate to the era and prepare a short skit for their jester puppets. Students present their skits to a small group audience.