Submitted by Gretchen Taylor, Illinois

Idea posted April 7, 2003

Here are my plans for my Carnival Of The Animals unit with my 2nds. The resources I use are:

  • Carnival Of The Animals(book & CD) by Barrie Carson Turner, Ill. by Sue Williams (can get from Plank Road Publishing, and check your public libraries too).
  • STM 2000
  • Denise Gagne's Complete Listening Resource Kit - Level 1 (a must-have). For each SQUILT, I play the excerpt from the accompanying CD or the one from the book. I don't do the curriculum connections activities.
Session 1:
Intro song "Two By Two" and include the 1st animal (lion). This is a song I've adapted. Here are the words I use:

We're goin' down to the ark with Noah 2x2, 2x2, 2x2

We're goin' down to the ark with Noah 2x2,

Rise water rise.

Let me see you make a (lion) motion 2x2, 2x2, 2x2

Let me see you make a (lion) motion 2x2,

Rise water rise.

Intro: Carnival Of The Animals & Lion
  • read the introductory pages from the book that tell about Saint-Saëns, as well as discuss the orchestra instruments used for the music.
  • show pictures of these instruments.
  • I may also ask the students what kinds of animals they might expect to meet through the music (I don't give any of the animals away, just say "we'll see").
  • SQUILT: "Royal March Of The Lion" (Listening Kit 1 p. 22)
  • I follow the kit's sequence of activities pretty closely, except I will read the page about each animal from the book at some point. I also have the students try to ID the instruments they hear depicting the animal and show the instrument pictures as well.
  • Additional: for movement activity #5, I will choose a leader to hold the piano picture who will lead the class (or small group) in a procession of lions around the room. Each time the lion roars (glissando), leader raises the picture up high and all pantomime roaring.
    Song: "Lion Sleeps Tonight" (CD: Singalong Songs tr 19 I got at Walmart. There are various other CDs with this song, too. STM has it for 6th).
  • I'll teach them the weeeoo part first, then a simple hand dance for the verses (pat pat clap clap, R flat palm down 2x over L flat palm down repeat with other hand, R fist 2x on top of L fist repeat L fist 2x on top of R fist, R hitchhiker thumb 2x over R shoulder L hitchhiker thumb 2x over L shoulder). I'm not expecting them to get the song learned to perfection, just have fun with it.
Session 2: "Hens & Roosters"
  • Review song "Lion Sleeps Tonight"
  • Sing "Two By Two" with Lion first, then add chicken.
  • SQUILT: "Hens & Roosters" (Listening Kit 1 p. 23)
  • I again follow the activities here pretty closely, but I don't do the finger puppets. Instead, I pass out scarves for students to move about as hens and roosters to the music.
  • Songs: "Chicken On The Fence Post" (STM 3rd p. 370) with accompanying game. Also, "I Bought A Little Chicken," and "Had A Little Rooster" (various sources).
Session 3: Personages with Long Ears
  • review song "Chicken On The Fence Post"
  • play game
  • sing "Two By Two" include Lion, Chicken, and add Donkey.
  • SQUILT: "Personages With Long Ears" (Listening Kit 1 p. 25)
  • Again, I follow the activities closely, but will read the page from the book and show instrument pictures in addition.
  • Song: "Donkey Donkey" (STM 2 p. 144)
    "Tingalayo" (I do this one on my guitar), or "Do Your Ears Hang Low" (Denise Gagne's Action Songs Children Love - Vol. 2 p. 9) I added the verse "Do your ears hang high," too.
Session 4: Aviary
  • review songs: "Donkey Donkey," "Do Your Ears Hang Low" or "Tingalayo."
  • Sing "Two By Two," include all animals above and add birdie.
  • SQUILT: "Aviary" (Listening Kit 1 p. 26).
  • Here I use my own cue cards (high/low, fast/slow, separated/smooth). With activities 3 and 4, I read from the book and show the instrument picture. As an additional activity after 4, I pass out scarves and sets of chopsticks for bird movements and steady beat playing.
  • Song: "Here Comes A Bluebird" (STM 2) and accompanying game (if time).
Session 5: Fossils
  • review "Here Comes A Bluebird" and play game.
  • Sing "Two By Two" and add Dinosaurs.
  • SQUILT: "Fossils" (Listening Kit 1 p. 27).
  • I follow all activities, as well as read from the book and show instrument picture or bring in my real xylophone.
With any time left, we review other songs from the unit that they desire.
Session 6: Carnival Of The Animals video (takes the entire class and is a great wrap-up for the unit).