Carnival of the Animals

Carnival of the Animals
Introduction lesson
– Show students pictures of 4 animals/groups of animals: sea animals, wild horses, tortoise and lion.
– Discuss what type of music yu might expect for each animal. Talk about tempo etc.
– Play one of the pieces and have students decide which animal – talk through reasons etc.
– For each piece of music there is an accompanying movement activity to break up session.
Aquarium – students in a circle. Teach ‘jellyfish movement. Girls in the middles, boys in the middle.
Wild horses – all have to find a way to move around the space to suit music but must not run.
Tortoise – slowly moving on all fours, neck movement, when they hear a tapping signal (or music stops) they stop (back into shell)
Lion – marching around space

Carnival of animals – Aquarium Session
– Students offer words they think described the music (before playing it again)
– Up in circle – remind them of Jellyfish. Play music and practice.
– Introduce movement for : shark (slow and with intent), little fish (fast, sharp darting movement), sting ray (arms out swooping).
– Four groups – use stickers so they don’t forget.
– Call group and movement – have turns in the circle
– Use soft material to have students swim under.

Carnival of the Animals – Elephant Session

–       Students listen to three of the pieces of music (choose slower ones – including Elephant)

–       Ask students to vote on which piece they thought was the Elephant – discuss the elements of tempo, etc

–       Read an appropriate elephant picture book.

–       Place students in groups and place in lines along different sides of the room.

–       Using beat sticks, to tap a rhythm, teach students this poem (one line per group)

Right foot, Left foot see me go

I am grey and big and slow

I come walking down the street

With my trunk and four big feet

–       Help each group come in with their line, changing order etc

–       End with movement: Each line moving across the room (tagging the next group) as they become elephants to the mosic.

Carnival of the Animals – Kangaroo Session

–       Similar structure as Elephant session.

–       Book: “Josephine Wants to Dance” by Jackie French

–       Poem

The brown Kangaroo is very funny

She leaps and runs and hops like a bunny

And on her stomach is a pocket so wide

Her baby can jump in and go for a ride

In groups then teach movement for “Kangaroo”.

Carnival of Animals – One off Sessions

If you don’t want to teach a series of lessons based on this music, then the following is an ideal lesson or two…..

–       Students form groups on 5-6.

–       Play a piece of music from Carnival (Elephant or Kangaroo is good) with students listening silently. Do not tell students what the piece is called.

–       The student’s challenge is to

  1. Discuss which animal the music could best represent. All give their opinions in their groups, then the group must decide on one.
  2. Students then prepare a movement piece using common movements of the animal they have chosen to go with the music.
  3. In the movement piece they will perform in a line, a circle and show some form of levels.
  4. Present to class, have the audience guess which animal they are presenting.
  5. At the end of the lesson, tell class what the piece of music was called.
  6. Works very well with “Elephant” and “Kangaroos”




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