Assessment: Using Peter and the Wolf and Book Creator

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At the end of the winter trimester, the 1st graders learned about the instruments of the orchestra, story music, and the essential question of how music can affect a mood, through Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Experiencing Peter and the Wolf

The students experienced the story through movement, listening to the instruments, listening to the story narrated by Leonard Bernstein, drawing to the story, and watching the Disney version of the story. The students also learned how the certain instruments and their melodies evoked moods. For example, the low sound of the bassoon and its melody for the grandpa evoked a mood of grumpiness. However, the high sound of the violin and its melody for Peter evoked a mood of happiness.

Thinking Map

Once we finished the activities listed above, Ms. Cirelli’s (1C) class created a flow thinking map during their music class. This map helped the students recall the events of the story. From making a flow map, the students in 1C knew how to place their original pictures in the proper order for their ebook. We took a picture of each drawing and placed them into Book Creator.

Book Creator to Create an Ebook

When Ms. Kinney’s class came to music class, they were one class behind. Therefore, they did not get the chance to draw pictures to the story. Instead, using Book Creator’s audio tool, they recorded the musical excerpts that went with each character. In addition, using Book Creator’s text tool, they told me the words to type on each page to go with 1C’s pictures. Once finished, we published their ebook to their Seesaw journals (Seesaw is a digital learning journal). Book Creator easily app smashes with Seesaw.

We did this as a class and the students were very engaged. The first graders loved their ebook and we hope that you enjoy it as well.

1st Grade’s Ebook: Peter and the Wolf from Amy M Burns on Vimeo.

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Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website:

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