Many of the activities in my post today can be used for both a literature-based unit and music appreciation. The Tortoise and the Hare is great as a stand-alone literature-based unit, but it’s even better when it’s combined with the Maestro Classics CD or MP3/PDF music for The Tortoise and the Hare.
Either way, here are a number of ideas that will work well to create hands-on activities to go with Aesop’s fable of The Tortoise and the Hare.
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The Tortoise and the Hare Reader/Booklet
This activity uses a free printable: Folk and Fairy Tale Readers: The Tortoise and the Hare from Scholastic. The activity is simple to prepare and just requires the printable, a tray, scissors, and stapler. Children who are able to read can use the booklet as a reader while younger children can use the activity as cutting practice and booklet preparation. I would always add one or more book versions of the story to any Tortoise and the Hare unit study, but this is a wonderful supplement.
Children with advanced cutting and assembly skills might also enjoy putting together the free The Tortoise and the Hare Box Picture Book from Creative Park.
The Tortoise and the Hare Jigsaw Puzzles
This is another simple-to-prepare activity. I just printed out the puzzle, laminated it, cut it out, and placed the puzzle pieces in a basket. This printable even has two options for level of difficulty.
You’ll find the free puzzles at DLTK’s Crafts for Kids: The Hare and the Tortoise Printable Jigsaw Puzzles.
The Tortoise and the Hare Finger Puppets
DLTK’s Crafts for Kids also has free Tortoise and Hare Finger Puppets. Children with advanced cutting skills could use scissors, but even younger preschoolers (those who are safe to use a puncher) could use Montessori Services’ wood handled puncher and a felt pad to punch out the finger puppets.
The Tortoise and the Hare Masks
Tortoise and Hare Mask Set by Crafterina ($4.00) is another fun activity to use to act out the story or music version of The Tortoise and the Hare. The masks are very cute and just require printing on cardstock. A younger child could use Montessori Services’ wood handled puncher and a felt pad to punch out the masks as long as the child is safe using a sharp object. Children with advanced cutting skills could use scissors, of course.
There are three different ways to assemble the masks: attach the earstems (included with the printable) to wear as glasses, punch holes on each side of the mask and tie with ribbon, or glue a straw to the side and use as a masquerade mask. If you use the masks to act out the written story or musical version, I’d recommend using the ribbon to securely attach the masks. Of course, for children who don’t like to wear masks, you might want to use the masquerade version.
I love that there are both children’s and adult’s masks in the set. If you or an older child of yours want to help act out the story, you can make your own mask.
The Tortoise and the Hare Music Appreciation Tray
You could have a separate tray for each activity, or you could have one tray with the activities that are specifically music-related. Any of the activities in this post could be used along with the music, though. For example, preschoolers could put together the jigsaw puzzle or act out the story while listening to the musical narrated story. The instruments and card sets on this specific tray work with the fun “Pretzel Vendor of Paris” song and sing-along in the Maestro Classics’ CD/MP3 of The Tortoise and the Hare.
Musical Instruments Cards and Replicas
The Maestro Classics CD is generally recommended for ages 5 and up, but even three year olds (or two year olds with plenty of supervision to prevent choking) could enjoy listening with other family members while using some miniature musical instruments. Although the Safari TOOB Musical Instruments contains 8 instruments, I featured the clarinet and trombone because they’re easy to identify in the the “Pretzel Vendor of Paris” song and would be fun for children to pretend to play at appropriate parts of the song. If you have the MP3/PDF version, you could print out the music for the sing-along for any readers.
Montessori Print Shop has Musical Instrument Cards ($0.99) and Musical Instrument Cards Set 2 ($0.99). There are 23 instruments in set 1, and 20 instruments in set 2. I used the instruments that were featured in the Dixieland band. You could focus on the orchestral instruments from the narrated classical Tortoise and Hare piece if you prefer. You’ll find links for information on laminating and presenting the materials in my Peter and the Wolf post. I used Montessori Services’ large hemmed work rug for the layout.
Drum Set Nomenclature Cards
Drum Set Nomenclature Cards ($2.49) from Montessori Print Shop go perfectly with the Dixieland band materials. In addition to the nomenclature cards, the set contains a black-line master page so that a child can color the individual parts and label them to create a booklet.
The Musical Note and Symbol Cards ($2.59) and Musical Notes and Symbols Book ($2.59) would also go well with the information in the Maestro Classics Tortoise and Hare booklet (with the CD) or PDF (with the MP3).
You’ll find more ideas for a Tortoise and Hare unit study at Maestro Classics.
You can find more Montessori-Inspired ideas for activities to use with Maestro Classics CDs/MP3s at Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation: Peter and the Wolf, Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation: Swan Lake, and Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation: Carnival of the Animals.
Disclosure: In the past year, I’ve received a Maestro Classics CD Collection, Montessori Services materials, Montessori Print Shop music materials, and Crafterina mask set that I used to write this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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