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Peter and the Wolf | Music Listening Lesson and Worksheet
from The Lesson Zone

Grade 1-4

Students will become familiar with Serge Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf by drawing a comic strip that tells the story. This lesson is designed to fulfill Standard #6 of the National Standards for Music: listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

Peter and the Wolf | Comic Strip Lesson and Worksheet
Peter and the Wolf Recording
Crayons (Optional)

Step 1
Tell students, "Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev used a special technique to write the music for Peter and the Wolf called "leitmotif". A leitmotif (or leitmotiv) is a melody associated with a person, place, or idea within a story. For Peter and the Wolf Prokofiev wrote a leitmotif for each of the characters to help us understand them better. Peter's melody is light and happy. The cat's melody is sneaky, while the wolf's melody is dark and scary."

Step 2
Tell students, "Let's listen to the melodies for the characters in Peter and the Wolf. As you listen, try to come up with your own words that describe the melodies and the characters they represent." Stop recording in between each melody played during the introduction and validate the ideas of the students by writing as many as you can.

Step 3
Tell students, "We are going to draw our own comic strip that tells the story of Peter and the Wolf. When I say "Go" I like you to go to one of the three spots around the room to collect your Peter and the Wolf Comic Strip Worksheet, a pencil and a few crayons. When everyone is back to their place Ill start the recording."

Step 4
Tell students, "As we listen Id like you to think about how each character's leitmotif helps to make to story better." Start recording. Draw pictures for the comic strip as the recording progresses. If you feel comfortable, you might consider drawing your own pictures on the white board. It may help some students with initial ideas.

Step 5
Stop recording. Ask students questions about the themes. Questions might include:

"Did Peters theme help you to like him, and root for him to catch the wolf?" "Why?"

"Did the birds melody make you think the bird was big or small, or slow or fast?" "Why?"

"Did the wolf's melody make you want Peter to catch him?" "Why?"

Step 6
Send those beautiful Peter and the Wolf comic strips home with your students.

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