I absolutely love Peter and the Wolf as a way to introduce young children to classical music. I’ve talked before about the importance of music appreciation in Montessori education, and Peter and the Wolf activities fit in perfectly at home or school.
Many children from about age 4 on will fall in love with Peter and the Wolf. It’s an engaging story with beautiful music that brings orchestral instruments to life. There are many versions of Peter and the Wolf. I especially enjoy the Maestro Classics versions because of the high-quality music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. You’ll find more about Peter and the Wolf along with all the Maestro Classics CDs in my review and giveaway (with the giveaway open worldwide through Thursday evening!).
Here’s an interesting video about Peter and the Wolf by Bonnie Simon, Creative Director at Maestro Classics:
“Bonnie Simon introduces – Peter and The Wolf – Maestro Classics CD for Kids”
Montessori-Inspired Activities for Peter and the Wolf
Phil Tugg has some Peter and the Wolf musical themes (online links that show the instrument and play the musical theme from Peter and the Wolf … a great introduction to the story)
Beginning Montessori has Peter and the Wolf painting and puppet show.
Maestro Classics has many links to Peter and the Wolf resources for a number of levels. Many of those activities would work well with Montessori-inspired orientation to Peter and the Wolf. Montessori continent boxes with a focus on Russia would also fit in perfectly with Peter and the Wolf.
I put together some Montessori-inspired Peter and the Wolf activities using the Peter and the Wolf CD ($16.98) the Peter and the Wolf PDF booklet (that came with downloadable MP3s) ($9.98 for Mp3s and booklet), Montessori Print Shop Musical Instrument Cards ($0.99), Musical Instrument Cards Set 2 ($0.99) and Musical Composers 3-Part Cards ($3.49). I also added a Peter and the Wolf book we had in our home library.
Because Peter and the Wolf can be used with many ages of children, you’ll have to adapt the activities for your child’s level (or your classroom’s general level). I designed the activities here for 4-7 year olds, especially ages 4-5. I used a page from the booklet with an activity matching the featured instruments in Peter and the Wolf to the instruments for each character. This was an extremely easy activity to prepare. I simply printed and laminated the page, cut out the miniature characters, and glued the characters to craft sticks from the hobby store. The miniature stick puppets can be used to act out the story and match to the 3-part instrument cards.
There are 23 instruments in set 1, and 20 instruments in set 2. I used some cards from both packs to match the featured instruments with the character puppets in the layout. With young children, I would just introduce those instruments with the story of Peter and the Wolf rather than trying to introduce a large number of orchestral instruments. There are also 24 composers in the composer cards. I introduced 8 composers in this layout (some of the most well-known composers), featuring Sergei Prokofiev, the composer of Peter and the Wolf. I used a large rug from Montessori Services for the layouts.
For readers, the picture and word cards would be matched with the control card brought in at the right as a way for the child to check his or her work (How to Use Montessori Nomenclature from Montessori Print Shop). Younger children could just match the stick puppets to the instrument cards with pictures and words or to the instrument cards with pictures only.
Montessori Print Shop materials are always high-quality and easy to work with. You’ll find ideas for preparing and using the materials in the “Learn How To” section of Montessori Print Shop. As much as I love laminate edges and always left laminate edges as a Montessori teacher, I used the simpler Method #3 as a homeschooler. You know your own children and which level of cutting/laminating preparation is necessary for your homeschool. I use a method similar to Little Schoolhouse in the Suburbs to make folders for the 3-part cards, although Montessori Print Shop has a good storage method as well.
I always liked to have a listening area in my classroom when I was a Montessori teacher and in our homeschool classroom later on. With a CD player or MP3 player (depending on which version of Peter and the Wolf you use), you can give children the choice to listen to Peter and the Wolf and act out the story with puppets whenever they wish.
Disclosure: I received free copies of the materials used in this post, although my opinions are completely my own.
Circle Time Ideas for Peter and the Wolf
Sarah Jane has a lovely Peter and the Wolf Puppet Theater Set available through an inexpensive download. It takes time to cut out and assemble, but it would be a wonderful material for circle time or for a group of children who want to go through the story together during individual work time.
I always enjoyed using props with music at circle time. I would show the pictures to a Peter and the Wolf book while the children were listening to the story, or I would have some children hold the puppet characters while other children held instrument cards. When a child’s character was highlighted, he or she would hold up the puppet or instrument card. For larger groups, I would use duplicate sets of the instrument cards.
UPDATE: See my Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation: Swan Lake post!
Maestro Classics Special and Montessori Print Shop Giveaway!
The giveaway is now closed, but you can always find great Montessori materials at Montessori Print Shop! Here’s a great giveaway sponsored by Montessori Print Shop! Jennifer from Montessori Print Shop is sponsoring a giveaway of all the culture/music materials (9 items) in the Montessori Print Shop store (ARV $21 for the set) to 2 lucky winners! (open worldwide)
The Montessori Print Shop giveaway is open to anyone 18 and older worldwide. The first entry is mandatory. You must leave a blog post comment telling why you want to win the Montessori Print Shop music materials (and be sure to click the green “ENTER” on the Rafflecopter form to let me know you left your blog post comment and to open up the optional entries)! After you’ve completed your mandatory entry, there are lots of optional entries. You have many chances to win! (Note: For the extra entries, you may count ways of following that you already do. For example, if you previously “liked” Living Montessori Now on Facebook, you may still count that for your “like” Living Montessori Now on Facebook entry!)
It’s easy to enter giveaways with Rafflecopter! Just follow the directions to enter.If you still have questions about the Rafflecopter form, here’s a 52-second video with quick directions for entering through Rafflecopter.
You must complete the Mandatory Entry to qualify for any additional entries. The giveaway closes 10:01pm MST on Thursday, September 6. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s Friday morning, September 7. I really appreciated the 714 entries!
Two lucky winners have been selected using Random.org through Rafflecopter!
The winners of the 9 Montessori Print Shop music materials are Molly R. and Amy L. S.! (Note: Molly and Amy, you each have 48 hours to respond to my email, or a new winner will be chosen.)
I’m so happy for Molly and Amy, who both had multiple entries!
The comment for Molly’s mandatory entry (why she wanted to win) said:
“I am the one who teaches music to our 3-6 group. This would be great to use with our kids (and my own at home)”
The comment for Amy’s mandatory entry (why she wanted to win) said:
“would love to win this as it is important for my kiddos to appreciate classical music.”
CONGRATULATIONS, Molly and Amy!!! Thank you SO MUCH to Montessori Print Shop for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway – and thank you to everyone who entered!
As always, thanks so much to all my blog sponsors!