15+ Fantastic Free Carnival of the Animals Resources

Note: this blog post has been updated (March 2016).  Some of the links and resources in the original version were no longer available, so they have been removed and a few new resources have been added in their place.

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

1.You can find a collection of composer biographies (including one for Saint-Saëns) written especially for children on the Classics for Kids website.

2. There’s another collection on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids website, with the Saint-Saëns biography located here

3. For more detailed information try the Saint-Saëns page on the Classical Archives site,

4. The Wikipedia article is also very useful

Information about the music

5. For information about the piece itself, there’s a Wikipedia article here

6. There’s also some written information on Classical Archives website.

Videos: James Bond Does Saint-Saëns

7. 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.

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


9. 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.

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

Full Score

11. 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.

12. Mrs Scola’s website has a lesson plan, videos and handout.

13. The Primary Resources website also includes a Powerpoint file created by teacher Lynne Dearlove (in the Presentations and Online Activities section)

14. Elementary music teacher Amy Burns has written about her Carnival of the Animals unit here

15. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has an extensive teachers’ guide available for download here


16. 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.

17. The Wise Owl Factory site has a great printable poster in English and in Spanish

And A Few Paid Resources: iPad app, books and recordings

18. Walker Books released a beautifully illustrated book with accompanying CD in 2005, but it appears it may now be out of print

19. If you have an iPad I can highly recommend this Carnival of the Animals app (beautiful!)

Which resources do you use?

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

Download a copy of this list

Click the button below to download a copy of this list of Carnival of the Animals resources.  I’ll also send you weekly updates which include my latest blog post and events news.

Download handout