Animal Crackers - Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Animal Crackers - Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Animal Crackers - Starter & Plenary Activities

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Animal Crackers from Musical Contexts provides a range of fun and exciting music activities and learning opportunities combining singing, performing, composing and listening and appraising with all of the resources you’ll need in one place!  Ideal for non-specialist music teachers (with a wealth of supporting media files to model tasks and a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans) and a wealth of fresh inspiration for music specialists.  If you’re exploring the topic of Animals, then there’s something within this unit that will hopefully inspire both you as a teacher and your pupils

​This unit takes, as its starting point, Saint-Saëns’ programmatic suite “Carnival of the Animals” as a musical starting point to explore how composers have created descriptive music based on animals.  Pupils begin to explore birdsong as a type of music, listening to “bird-related” movements from “Carnival of the Animals” and performing different birdsongs.  They then move on to explore “The Aquarium” and create their own descriptive movement based on a fish or sea animal.  Pupils then explore another descriptive and programmatic work, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” where different animals and characters are represented by different instruments of the orchestra, each with a unique timbre.  Pupils then explore the “March of the Royal Lion” and other movements from Saint-Saëns’ suite investigating how the composer has used timbre and other elements of music to create descriptive pieces before creating their own “class Carnival of the Animals” suite, linked by Saint-Saëns’ “March of the Royal Lion” theme.  There are a range of “animal-inspired” songs to accompany the unit, which can be sung as rounds and pupils are also given the opportunity to listen to other “non-animal related” pieces of descriptive music from different times and places by other composers.

Element Focus - Pitch, Texture, Timbre & Dynamics, Melody & Harmony

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Scheme of Work

Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

Click here for the latest version of WinZip.

Lesson 1

Exploring Birdsong

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring The Aquarium

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring Peter and the Wolf

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring The March of the Royal Lion Theme

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Composing a class “Carnival of the Animals” Suite

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

Performing a class “Carnival of the Animals” Suite

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worksheet 1

Animal Crackers Composing Cards

Worksheet 2

Listening to Descriptive Bird Music

(uses Audio 3)

Worksheet 3

Aquarium

Composing Cards

Worksheet 4

Carnival of the Animals Composing Sheet

Worksheet 5

Evaluating the class ‘Carnival of the Animals’

Worksheet 6

Animal Detectives Listening Sheet

 

(uses Audio 8)

Worksheet 7

Exploring Descriptive Music

 

(uses Audio 11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worksheet 8 - Listening to ‘Peter and the Wolf’

 

(uses Audio 14 or Video 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Sheet 1 - “Animal Crackers Songpack

A selection of 17 “Animal-themed” songs suitable for singing in unison, rounds and as partner songs, together with ostinato instrumental accompaniments. 

MIDI 1 - Algy (song melody in unison then as a 4-part round); MIDI 2 - Algy - (ostinato accompaniment repeated 8 times)

MIDI 3 - Lady, Come down and See (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 4 - Lady, Come Down and See (ostinato and chords accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 5 - White Swans (song melody in unison then as a 4-part round); MIDI 6 - White Swans (ostinato and chords accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 7 - Cuckoo’s Gone Away (song melody in unison then as a 3-part round); MIDI 8 - Cuckoo’s Gone Away (ostinato and chord accompaniment repeated 12 times)

MIDI 9 - Why Shouldn’t my Goose? (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 10 - Donkeys and Carrots (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round)

MIDI 11 - Why Shouldn’t my Goose? and Donkeys and Carrots performed together as “partner songs” (repeated twice)

MIDI 12 - Why Shouldn’t my Goose? and/or Donkeys and Carrots (chords and bass ostinato accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 13 - Softly Sings the Donkey (song melody in unison then as a 4-part round); MIDI 14 - Softly Sings the Donkey (chords accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 15 - Morning Mister Blackbird (song melody in unison then as a 4-part round); MIDI 16 - Morning Mister Blackbird (ostinato and chord accompaniment repeated 12 times)

MIDI 17 - Thirty Purple Birds (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 18 - Song of the Frogs (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round)

MIDI 19 - Frogs Festival (song melody in unisons and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 20 - Frogs Festival (ostinato and chords accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 21 - Kookaburra (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 22 - Kookaburra (recorder/vocal ostinatos repeated 16 times)

MIDI 23 - Brown and Yellow Keskidee (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 24 - Brown and Yellow Keskidee (ostinato and chord accompaniment repeated 16 times)

MIDI 25 - Three Blind Mice (song melody in unison and then as a 4-part round); MIDI 26 - Poor Fly (song melody in unison and then as a 2-part round)

MIDI 27 - Baby Sardine (song melody in unison and then as a 3-part round);

MIDI 28 - Mister Rabbit (song melody in unison and then as a 9-part round); MIDI 29 - Mister Rabbit (ostinatos and chord accompaniment repeated 12 times)

 

 

Score 1 - March of the Royal Lion from ‘Carnival of the Animals’ - Saint-Saëns

Audio example on Audio 1

Theme example on MIDI 30

Score 2 - Birdsongs to Perform

 

Modelled on MIDI 31-35

MIDI 31 - The Cuckoo MIDI 32 - The Robin MIDI 33 - The Song Thrush

MIDI 34 - The Rooster MIDI 35 - The Nightingale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio 2

The Aviary from ‘Carnival of the Animals’ - Saint-Saëns

Audio 4

The Cuckoo

- Daquin

Audio 5

Extract from ‘On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring’ - Delius

Starter/Plenary 1

Fish Bowl

 

(uses Audio 6)

 

Audio 7

Introduction and March of the Royal Lion from ‘Carnival of the Animals’ - Saint-Saëns

Audio 9

Tiger - Henry Cowell

Starter/Plenary 2

 Descriptive Music Picture Matching

 

(uses Audio 10)

 

 

 

 

 

Starter/Plenary 3

Animals and Characters in ‘Peter and the Wolf’

 

(uses Audio 12 or Video 1)

 

Starter/Plenary 4

Instruments and Sections/Families of the Orchestra

Audio 13
Finale from ‘Carnival of the

Animals’ -

Saint-Saëns

Starter/Plenary 5

My Animal Crackers Learning