Carnival of the Animals

Block C - British Birds

Be inspired by Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals! Learn about the fascinating creatures that feature in the movements of the music. Learn about the formation of an orchestra, the range of instruments involved, and Saint- Saëns himself. Learn about mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and fossils around the world. Round the topic off with an animal Olympics and a carnival!

Go bird watching and learn about British birds. Paint observations about birds, respond to classical music and build simple nests out of natural materials. Monet will inspire children’s artwork. Introduce new musical terms. Create a swan ballet and design cuckoo collages and masks in preparation for a grand dance finale!

This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.


Supporting documents for topic
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01: Bird watching

Arrange a visit to the local wood to excite and engage children in finding out more about birds. Use the painting `Path in the Woods´ as a source of inspiration for practical work. Children can let their senses guide them into making observations and new discoveries.

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02: The colour of birds

Children will go on a visualisation journey, becoming birds of all shapes and sizes. They will read `Birds´ by Kevin Henkes and use paint as a tool of expression.

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03: Bird movements

Children will listen, describe and respond creatively to the music `Aviary´. They will then compose and perform their own dance compositions.

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04: Nest building

Children will explore a range of natural materials creatively then make birds´ nests.

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05: The Swan in Monet's Garden

Children will examine the work of the artist Claude Monet and use some of his techniques as a source of inspiration for their own artwork.

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06: Staccato and legato

Children will listen to the music `The Swan´ and `Hens and Cockerels´. Then will use musical terminology to describe and compare the pieces, working to create a group musical composition.

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07: Swan ballet

Children will feel the magic of the ballet, listen to the poem `Dying Swan´ by Alfred Tennyson and create their own ballet dance.

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08: The cuckoo

Children will Listen to the music `The Cuckoo´ and learn a dark secret. They will predict bird calls and describe them using all the musical terms that they have learnt so far.

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09: Cuckoo masks

This session children will make masks, learn how to move like a cuckoo and create a cuckoo dance.

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10: Rehearsing our performance

Children will celebrate the work they have done so far by creating a class assembly.