Carnival of the Animals: The Lion

Carnival of the Animals

We are going to visit the zoo!  A French composer named Camille Saint-Saens wrote several short pieces about different animals in the zoo.  As you listen to the music he wrote for different animals, notice how the music presents the way the animals sound and move. 

Lesson Objectives:

The learner will respond to musical selections from Carnival of the Animals.


Analyzing Music: MU:Re7.2.1a With limited guidance, demonstrate and identify how specific music concepts (such as beat or pitch) are used in various styles of music for a purpose.

Thank you to Debbie from Holcomb Elementary, KS, USA for this great lesson!

Supporting Resources

  • No Resources available for this module.


  • I can recognize fast and slow sections of music. (K-1)
  • I can identify loud and soft. (K-1)
  • I can identify smooth and separated. (K-1)
  • I can use the musical terms for the tempos (speed) of the music I hear. (2-3)
  • I can identify the loud and soft sections using musical vocabulary terms. (2-3)
  • I can identify smooth and separated using musical vocabulary terms. (2-3)

Teaching Procedure

1 Watch the Listening Map

Listen to the “Royal March of the Lion” from the Carnival of the Animals!

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2 Do you hear the roaring lions?

You will hear parts of the song that sound like the lion is walking, but some parts sound like the lion is roaring! When the lion is roaring, what direction do you think the notes are going? Does the music get louder in parts? Listen again!

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3 Draw your own listening map!

Draw your own listening map! Get a piece of paper, then fold the paper in half like a hamburger bun. One one side of the paper, make a row of 8 pawprints. To make a pawprint, draw one circle about the size of your thumb, then draw four smaller circles above the first one. On the other side of your paper, draw a shape that looks like a hill. This will be the line to trace when the lion roars! When you have finished your listening map, play the video again, and tap the beat when the music sounds like walking on the pawprints, and then trace the hill shape when the lion roars!

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4 Assessment Suggestions

Send your teacher a picture of your listening map, or a video of you tapping on it as you listen. If you have a folder or notebook you can use, you can also begin keeping all of your musical listening maps in one notebook that you can show your teacher.