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Fall 2016 Children's Concert Lesson Plans

Peter and the Wolf

Click here to download a PDF version of these lesson plans.

About the Composer

Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953)Prokofiev

Prokofiev was born in Russia and later moved to several other countries, including North America. In the 1930s, the Great Depression in America led Prokofiev to move back to Russia. Most of his professional life was spent either composing new music, or touring as a concert pianist. He is sometimes called “The Children’s Composer” because of the influence of his music for children.


About the Music

The music and the story of Peter and the Wolf was written by Prokofiev in 1936. The composition was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow. Prokofiev stated that we wanted to use this music to instill a love of classical music in children. The music tells the story of Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, and other animals, using narration and instruments to represent the characters in the story.


Lesson Ideas

  • Use any of the high quality video or audio recordings on YouTube, TeacherTube, or other online resources to teach students about the music and the story.
  • Reading and Writing Connection:
    1. Onomatopoeia: A sound-effect word (like buzz, cuckoo, sizzle, and many others). In Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev uses instruments to represent the characters in the story and each instrument was selected for its very specific sounds

                                                              i.      Bird = flute

                                                            ii.      Cat = clarinet

                                                          iii.      Duck = oboe

                                                          iv.      Wolf = horns

                                                            v.      Peter = strings

                                                          vi.      Grandfather = bassoons

  • Play the introduction of Peter and the Wolf (this is where the narrator introduces the instruments and the characters) and invite children to describe each character based on the way the instrument sounds.
  • Before students listen to the recording, discuss the questions of Who?, What?, Where?, When?, and Why? (the five main questions to ask to understand a story) to introduce them to the basic components of the story. After students listen to the recording, ask these questions again to teach and/or reinforce listening comprehension.
  • Use any of the commercially produced children’s books to teach the story. This version is based on Prokofiev’s instrumentation: ISBN-10: 1455825441, illustrated by Peter Malone

Special Artwork Invitation (for schools participating in the Monday Children's Concerts)

This Children’s Concert will be a special multi-media event featuring a visual presentation by Clarksville’s own team of artists, Black and Jones. The artists have requested artwork from the children that they will animate and turn into a short movie that will be shown as the orchestra plays Peter and the Wolf at the Children’s Concert.

We need your children’s artwork!

We would like for your children to draw and color their favorite scene from Peter and the Wolf (select a scene from the list below). Ideally, there should be one picture of each scene so that every part of the story will have a picture. You may either assign different children or classes to draw specific scenes, or let children select their own. You may also either use the drawings in class as a part of the music lesson, or collaborate with your campus’ art teacher to create a cross-curricular lesson:

  • Peter opening the gate and walking into the meadow
  • Peter watching the bird who is sitting in the tree
  • Duck swimming in the pond
  • Bird and Duck arguing (the duck is in the pond, the bird is on the shore)
  • The cat sneaking up on the bird as he argues with the duck
  • Peter shouting “Look out!” as the bird flies into the tree, away from the cat
  • Peter’s grandfather coming out to find Peter
  • The wolf coming out of the forest as the cat climbs the tree to escape, and the duck hops out of the pond.
  • The wolf chasing the duck
  • The wolf just ate the duck, the bird on one branch of the tree, and the cat on another
  • Peter getting rope from his garage or barn
  • Peter climbing a stone wall next to the tree where the bird and cat are hiding from the wolf
  • The bird teasing the wolf as Peter lowers the rope to catch the wolf
  • Peter’s rope around the wolf’s tail as the wolf jumps and pulls
  • The hunters coming out of the woods as Peter sits on the tree, and the wolf with a rope around his tail.
  • Peter telling the hunters not to shoot the wolf.
  • The parade at the end: Peter, the hunters with the wolf, Grandfather and the cat at the end with Bird flying overhead
  • The duck inside the wolf (in one piece)


Specific Instructions

  • Draw and color on a standard sheet of white, unlined, 8.5 x 11” paper
  • Make sure the drawing takes most of the page
  • While we understand the nature of children’s artwork, we ask that you encourage students to take their time and submit only their best artwork (the audience needs to be able to tell what is on the picture).


Before you collect artwork:

  • Please include the following information on the back of each painting / drawing
    • Title of Picture (what scene is shown)
    • Student’s name
    • Campus name
    • All art-work will be returned to the campus music teacher after the performance.The deadline for artwork submissions is October 4 as Black and Jones need time to scan and animate the children’s artwork.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (931.221.7811) or e-mail and I will be glad to provide any additional information.