This is a simplified version of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf taught in a developmental delay program for special needs students and English language learners, ages 3 to 6 years. It is easily adapted to meet the needs of older children with the same educational needs. The purpose of the lesson is to provide the students with a variety of experiences performing and telling the story of the fable that Sergei Prokofiev has set to music, and to introduce the students to various instruments of the orchestra.
Students will identify the character, setting, and plot of the story of Ballet of the Elephants and listen to Circus Polka: For a Young Elephant, composed by Igor Stravinsky for the ballet. Students will then listen to a piece of unidentified music to create their own character, setting, and plot diagram. They will use this diagram to create their own story that includes characters, a setting, and a plot (beginning, middle, and end).
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to listen to music and express their feelings through describing words, as they learn how to express themselves verbally. Using Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, we compare the music of two characters at a time and complete a Venn diagram of describing words. Students select their favorite character, draw a picture of the character, and write a sentence or two about the character, using the descriptive language from our Venn diagrams, as they develop vocabulary and enhance their writing.
Students study the elements of story, idea and voice in writing, and listen to the story and music of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Students will re-write the story of Peter and the Wolf by changing the setting to the desert habitat. Students will understand that they need to change the characters to those which would inhabit this setting.
Students will understand how three famous people made a significant contribution to the performing arts. They will read a timeline, demonstrate map skills, learn and perform a simple rhythmic pattern using various percussion instruments. Using adjectives and verbs, students will describe the animal that they have selected for their ballet performance. They will listen to an historical account of the event as well as listen and dance like elephants to Stravinsky’s Circus Polka: For a Young Elephant.
Students will recognize and identify the sounds of different orchestral instruments; learn and use the tempo markings from the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; research the similarities between adaptations in nature and variations in music/visual art; and create visual art which illustrates the connection among natural adaptations and music variations.