Pre-Prep children enjoy music and theatre during their introduction to The Carnival of the Animals.
The new Creative Curriculum topic for Thornton’s Years 1 and 2 is The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. The girls discussed the French composer’s life history and work and what inspired him to write the music. They also looked at how poets wrote poems to accompany the music and listened to some of them in between hearing extracts of the music.
To begin, the classes focused on the elephant section of the musical suite. They looked at a globe and a map to find out where elephants live, recited the verse together and made a bank of words, ready to start their own poems. Another group listened to the music again and moved to the rhythm, playing the part of that particular animal. They discussed how the music reflected the type of animal. The elephant and the tortoise, for example, are represented by slow, low, deep, heavy music.
Thornton was also delighted to welcome Aesop’s Touring Theatre Company to school. Two storytellers performed one of their productions, The Story of Aesop’s Fables, retelling eight of the writer’s best-known fables through music, masks and comedy, plus plenty of interaction with the children.
The hour-long play began with Aesop, having just been released from slavery, relating the tales to Babrius, the young boy. Among them the girls heard about The Fox and the Stork, The North Wind and the Sun, The Tortoise and the Hare and, finally, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It was a wonderful presentation and thoroughly enjoyed by the girls and the staff. They followed it up in class by acting out their favourite fables and writing them down.