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Carnival of the Animals Crafts

One of my favorite units of study is Carnival of Animals by Saint Saens.  I love the music and the way it sparks students' imagination.  I love the way they listen so intently on hearing the musical secrets and "finding" the animals in the music.  Often I like to have students listen to one of the pieces repeatedly.  That is not easy for little listeners to do, so often we will color a picture of the animal we are listening to and with some groups we will make Carnival of the Animal crafts.
One of my favorites is to create a beautifully colored fish while listening to "The Aquarium". 
In this version I used googly eyes that I had on hand, but I really like letting students draw their own fishy faces.  They always crack me up!  This craft takes 20-25 minutes.  This time may be less if you are working with a small group or if you have done lots of prep work (like cutting out all the circles or hearts, the fish, etc...).  I've also trained students how to quickly get supplies and get back to their seats by the time we do this project so that makes it flow a little easier too.
I am a scrapbooker so I have several different kinds of paper punches at my disposal.  For this example I used a heart punch (about an inch or so wide), but in previous years I've used a 1 inch circle punch.  I usually sit and punch shapes while watching TV.  I love magazines and have plenty to use for projects like this.  I just choose fun, colorful pages and punch out as many shapes as I can.
Often in class we will use glue sticks for projects like this, but I've found that regular school glue works best.  Sometimes with the glue sticks the scales will fly off before students leave the room.  I don't have drying trays or an abundance of flat space to lay student projects to dry so I send them marching down the hall carrying their projects.  Most teachers don't mind if they leave them on their desks to dry for an hour or so which is what it takes if you use glue instead of glue sticks. 
Okay...we glue like gluing maniacs in my room, so if you have more conservative gluers you may be fine.
Occasionally I'll save these gorgeous creatures for a large display in the hall.  I use pieces from my Carnival of the Animals bulletin board to hang with them.

I also do crafts for "Fossils", "Tortoises" and "Royal March of the Lion".  You can get the fish template and instructions as well as templates and instructions for the other three HERE.
You might also like to check out these Carnival of the Animal resources:
Coloring Books-I use these instead of the crafts some years.  The kids LOVE to color these and take them home and tell their parents about the activities we've done in music class.  I LOVE that they go home talking about music!
I like to mix up what we do each time and I love to review the Carnival of the Animals music in 3rd and 4th grade.  I have a variety of listening logs that I use.  Some ask students to identify musical opposites like loud/soft, high/low.  Others ask students to identify instruments that they've heard and some ask them to guess what animal they think Saint Saens wanted them to hear.  You can get all of these listening logs HERE.
I usually do Carnival of the Animals with second grade, but am working on a plan to it with K-4 to some degree.  For example Kindergarteners might listen and explore the "Elephant", 1st graders may do the "Aquarium", "Fossils" and "Royal March of the Lion", 2nd graders may do the complete unit and 3rd and 4th graders may do short review activities as their music vocabulary and understanding increase.
I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to teach Carnival of the Animals.  Let me know in the comments or find me on Facebook.  If you are a Pinterest fan you might be interested in my Carnival of the Animals Pinterest board.   
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