The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux) is great fun to introduce to children. It is a humorous musical suite created in 14 movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. For me, the ideal way to introduce it would be to think about it in the context of a dance lesson! There are fourteen very different ways of moving to meet the style or animals for each section.
The movements are listed below with the French translation in brackets and a clickable time menu: (copied from YouTube)
00:00 1. Intro & Royal March of the Lion (Introduction et marche royale du lion)
01:44 2. Hens and Roosters (Poules et Coqs)
02:32 3. Wild Asses:Swift Animals (Hémiones:Animaux Véloces)
03:07 4. Tortoises (Tortues)
05:03 5. The Elephant (L’éléphant)
06:33 6. Kangaroos (Kangourous)
07:29 7. Aquarium (Aquarium)
09:59 8. Personages with Long Ears (Personnages à Longues Oreilles)
10:46 9. The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods (Le coucou au Fond des Bois)
13:12 10. Aviary (Volière)
14:20 11. Pianists (Pianistes)
15:27 12. Fossils (Fossiles)
16:43 13. The Swan (Le Cygne)
19:20 14. Finale (Final)
There is a The Carnival of the Animals scheme of work offered (and the pdf that accompanies the scheme) by the Cumbria Music Service looking at Mardi Gras and the procession, or carnival that Mardi Gras is! There is a new related task for each section of the suite which is a set of nice ideas. Each “page” or movement of the suite has a midi file so it could be shown on the whiteboard. The work is also linked to learning French in this instance!
This music could be linked with projects on animals, festivals, a dance project or build into a French language learning project.