Earlier this year I shared 21+ Fantastic Free Resources for Peter and the Wolf, so I thought it was time for a follow-up post that gathers together some resources for another piece frequently used by educators: Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Saint-Saëns Biography

You can find a collection of composer biographies (including one for Saint-Saëns) written especially for children on the Classics for Kids website. There’s another collection on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids website, with the Saint-Saëns biography located here.  For more detailed information try the Saint-Saëns page on the Classical Archives site, or the Wikipedia article.

Information about the music

For information about the piece itself, there’s a Wikipedia article here and there’s also some written information on Classical Archives website.

Videos: James Bond Does Saint-Saëns

If you’re after a visual version to show students, there’s a Youtube video (below) with narration by Roger Moore which features the original instrumentaion – an 11-piece chamber ensemble which includes the rarely-seen glass harmonica.  Each movement is in a separate video.

And for something completely different, take a look at this claymation version (start with part 2):


My favourite place for beautiful clip art images is Philip Martin’s site which has an extensive collection of pictures grouped by subject area.  You can find images that suit many of the 14 movements – his collection of animals pictures includes a lion, elephants, kangaroo, and more – such as the aquarium image to the right.  There’s a picture of Beethoven sitting at the piano which would suffice for the piano movement.  To save on to your hardrive, right-click on the image and choose Save As.  His full list of clip art categories can be found here.

Alternatively, you may like to try searching for Creative Commons licensed photos on www.compfight.com.

Full Score

If you need a copy of the full score you can download a PDF version from the International Music Score Library Project.

Lesson Plans and Interactive Files

A number of teachers have made available their Carnival of the Animals interactive files and lesson plans.  The iLearnMusic website has a lesson plan and interactive  game in a Powerpoint file.  The Primary Resources website also includes a Powerpoint file created by teacher Lynne Dearlove (in the Presentations and Online Activities section) and there is a “match the theme” game on this site under the heading Files of Interest.

Colouring Book

Natalie Wickham of the Music Matters Blog (home of some excellent music resources) created a colouring book which can be downloaded from this page on her website.

And A Few Paid Resources

If you’re an Australian teacher looking for a locally-made recording, here are a couple of suggestions:
The Australian Chamber Orchestra with Peter Garrett as the narratorABC Classics also released a CD in 2009 featuring Play School presenters and Australian orchestras.  The CD includes the usual “kids classics”: Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, Sebastian The Fox and Babar The Elephant. Walker Books also released a beautifully illustrated book with accompanying CD in 2005, but it appears it may now be out of print. In addition, you can purchase each of the movements separately from the Classical Archives website.

Do you have any favourite Carnival of the Animals resources? Let me know in the comments below.

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