Monday, February 13, 2017

Peter and the Wolf

This week I decided to expand my concept of art beyond the visual arts, so we talked a little bit about the symphony with Peter and the Wolf. As is my custom, I did not go into great detail, but instead introduced the idea and gave the children room to explore. 


Opening song: Put your hands up high 

Opening rhyme: Hands go up 

Movie: "Peter and the Wolf" in Make Mine Music 

Song: Fairy Tale Song   
Tune: Jingle Bells   

Once upon a time   
In a land so far away   
A princess kissed a frog,   
Well that just made his day  

Far across the town   
Red Riding Hood took fright   
She found a wolf in Granny's bed   
When she told her good night!   

Fairy Tales! Fairy tales!   
Read them every day!   
Oh what fun it is to hear   
How Goldilocks got away!  

Fairy Tales! Fairy Tales!   
Full of joy and laughter   
Do you know how this one ends?   
Why it's happily ever after!   

Source: First Grade W.O.W.   

Story: Peter and the Wolf by Chris Raschka 

Coding Word: MUSIC

MUSIC in ASCII Binary using light green music notes to represent 1 and dark green music notes to represent 0.

Game: Peter and the Wolf memory matching game
Craft time: Make your own musical instruments 

Goodbye Song 

How it actually went: 

This children were amazed and excited to walk in and see the tv cart in the room (Remember those? How fun it was to see it in your classroom? Yeah, we still have one). I explained that since we were studying music this week I wanted them to be able to see and hear how each character was represented by the various instruments. Since my library owns Make Mine Music, it was pretty convenient to show a clip from the disc. If you don't own it, there are several Peter and the Wolf clips online.

We've been singing the "Fairy Tale Song" for a few weeks now, so the kids are getting the hang of it, and are no longer slipping into "Jingle Bells" by mistake.

Next I read Chris Raschka's Peter and the Wolf. This one had some mixed reviews online, but I gave it a shot because I wanted something that was a little different. This is a good one to read after showing or reading the kids the fuller, traditional version. It might not make sense to them otherwise. It's also one that you'll want to make sure you practice a bit before reading to a group because the speech patterns can be a bit difficult. At least the kids got a kick out of it, they were chuckling a bit, as I read the lines from the bird and the duck. 

After writing MUSIC in binary on the board, we played a memory match game. I've done these with the kids before, but it's been awhile. When I make these I just find a bunch of pictures related to whatever theme we're doing and glue them to card stock. This time, instead of having the kids match two identical pictures, they had to match the character with the instrument. So for example, if the first card they turned over was a picture of Peter, then the match they were looking for was the violin. I kept an answer sheet handy, just in case I forgot who went with what instrument. 

For craft time, the kids made musical instruments. Specifically, they made guitars with tissue boxes, rubber bands, and duct tape. My original intention was to give them a few instruments to choose from (there are so many awesome options online), but well, I know my kids. I know that if I told them to pick just one, they wouldn't do it. Nope. They would insist on making one of each, and unfortunately storytime is not long enough for that. 

The start of one child's guitar. They opted to tape the rubber bands side to side instead of long ways down the center. 

The guitars turned out good. I was a little worried for the potential for snapping rubber bands. Personally, I had some issues with that myself when I made my sample. Thankfully, this did not seem to be a problem, at least not while they were with me. 

This is the completed and fully decorated version of the same guitar above.

Normally I would end things with a final story before singing goodbye, but because of the movie showing, and the time the children took with their guitars, there really wasn't any time for another story. We sang goodbye together, and the kids walked out playing their new guitars. 

This child opted to wrap the rubber bands rather than cut and tape them. This turned out to be a lesson in what happens when thin cardboard is put under pressure from multiple rubber bands. Nevertheless, they were happy with it. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or concerns in the comments below. I love to hear from others about what worked for them and what didn't, as well as any ideas for future storytimes. 

*Disclaimer* This post contains links to Amazon, but I am not an Amazon affiliate, and I do not receive any compensation for any sales which may result. 


  1. I LOVE this guitar craft... what a great idea! So simple and I can see kids really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing!