Extra Fun for Peter & The Wolf

As a child, my elementary school had a visitor with puppets who acted out the story for us after teaching us about the instruments in the symphony. It’s a lovely memory! There is one thing they did differently, though: they used some music from Peer Gynt (which is a wholly different story) to fill out the saga of the little boy brave enough to deter a wolf. This music borrowing is actually a tradition–when the intended music is not available, ballet companies and other arts orgs will use whatever music is available and choreograph the desired story to fit the music. I once saw a production of Coppelia set to the music of Prokofiev’s Cinderella.

Science: Digestion

The Wolf eats the duck and falls asleep. We used to say that we get sleepy after we eat because all our blood rushes to our stomachs to give us extra energy to digest, but research has shown us it’s much more complicated than that!

Even if the science behind this aspect of digestion is overcomplicated for our 3-10 year olds, we all eat and experience digestion so here’s a practical exercise to do with your child to bring more awareness and intention to the workings of the body. This Pinterest Board has pictures and lesson plans, but, as usual. the homeschooling blogs take the cake with bottomless practical exercises. I like this blog best as it offers two practical exercises about the movement of food into the stomach (stand upside down and the food will still travel to the stomach!) and the amylase (enzyme) in saliva that breaks down starches.

Technology: Rope

Rope is a basic tool we have been making from strands, strings and a lot of creative things for centuries. This video from the Science network, shows an old fashioned rope factory making natural fibers into really thick rope. They use some big words but the most important thing about the video is what you can see with your eyes. You’ll notice the tools in the rope making facility may be big and different, but the process to make rope you see here, you can copy in your own home!

Follow this video to make your own rope out of yarn–and then, please email me a picture!

Engineering: Pulleys

Pulleys are the third and most complicated SIMPLE MACHINE in engineering, and Peter and his friends create a makeshift pulley to catch the wolf. All they do is hang a rope over a branch, put the wolf into a loop in the rope and then Peter holds the rope as he jumps out of the tree, pulling the wolf up off the ground.

Turns out kids love to make pulleys!

The following videos (created by a brilliant young YouTubers) shows how to make a wonderful pulley–however, the use of hot glue makes this a project best done with parent guidance. Both give great directions!

Art: Music

Sergei Prokofiev wrote this symphony to introduce children to the orchestra. When we hear the violins, we know Peter is in the story. When we hear the oboe, it’s the duck. When we hear the piccolo (which is a tiny, high pitched flute) we know the bird is talking. And we hear serious sounding, heavy brass horns when the wolf appears. Look at the following illustration. You can see the characters playing the instruments that represent them in the music. Clicking on the picture will also take you to the youtube link of David Bowie narrating Peter and the Wolf. Enjoy!!!

Coloring Book:

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