Free & Inexpensive Resources to Strengthen Your Peter & the Wolf Lessons

Peter and the Wolf is a great piece of orchestral music to engage young listeners.  The music tells a story that is perfect for young learners.  Each character is represented by an instrument, so there are plenty of opportunities to become familiar with the names of these instruments.  When planning Peter and the Wolf activities, it can take some time to find resources.  Here's help!

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I would like to share some of the resources that I have used in my classroom along with a few tips for planning your unit.  

My own unit planning strategy is to include as many different modalities as possible. Hearing, seeing, moving, touching. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic.  My Peter & the Wolf activity toolkit includes a storybook, the recording, and a video.  Then, I add in other hands-on resources depending on the grade level.  Some examples of these resources will be linked at the bottom of the post.

What grade level? Peter and the Wolf fits into my kindergarten and first grade curriculum nicely. In kindergarten, we simply enjoy the story and learn about the characters.  In first grade, I spend more time with the instruments and their names and sounds. Then, I am comfortable leaving this video & activities as a sub plan for second and third grades.

Tell the Story

Using a read-aloud to tell the story will introduce the characters, setting, and plot.  This will help young students follow along with the musical version of the story, and as a bonus, will tie in with language arts standards for a cross-curricular connection. The book by Vladimir Vagin has beautiful, realistic illustrations and the re-telling of the story is very faithful to Prokofiev's version.  As you read, you may want to be sure that your students are familiar with the meanings some of the words such as meadow, lasso, and procession. This is the book that I used in my classroom. (Click on the images to find the books on Amazon.)


There are several other Peter & the Wolf books available. One of them will surely to suit your personal preferences. This next book is retold by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Peter Malone, and includes a full performance CD by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.  The realistic illustrations are beautifully done.  In addition to the story, this book also contains an introduction to the characters and their instruments.


Maria Carlson’s translation and Charles Mikolaycak’s illustrations in this book will pair with your recording.  Even if children can't read, they can look at the pictures as you listen to a recording. 

Alternate versions

Several books offer alternate versions of the story, providing opportunities to compare and contrast the versions.  This will bring in those higher-order thinking skills that are so important to our students. Here are a couple to check out.



You will find recordings on your favorite music streaming service and there are several on YouTube as well.  

Narration by Leonard Bernstein

Narration by David Bowie

Video Dramatizations

I thought I was just going to quickly gather the links for my old favorites, but as I began to search I found so many more versions of Peter and the Wolf than there ever used to be!  I thought I was going to put my favorite at the top, but as I watched these new versions, it was so hard to pick!  My new thought: using different versions with different grade levels would be a great idea.  

The Wakelet collection linked below highlights some of the video versions of the Peter and the Wolf story that are available on YouTube.  The purpose is to gather them together in one collection to help music educators preview and select an appropriate version for their class.  You will find animation, Ken Burns style story book images, combination of animation/live action, ballet, puppetry, along with some music & narration only versions.  Please explore these to find one or more to use with your students!

As with any video presentation that we plan to show to children, please take the time to fully preview your the videos to be sure they are totally appropriate for your specific group of students.

Once you select your favorite version, open the video on YouTube to copy the link to your lesson plan or sub plan.

Peter & the Wolf Wakelet Video Collection

Music Center Resources

In my classes, part of the purpose of Peter and the Wolf was to reinforce the names of orchestral instruments. The music and video helps to put the sound and visual image of the instrument together for students.  Using printed activities in music centers helps to put the names of the instruments with the visual. 



Choices, choices!

So many times we get stuck with no resources with which to teach.  Not this time! You have many quality resources on this list, both free and inexpensive. The beauty of choices is that we can customize lessons to meet the needs of each group of students.  

Peter and the Wolf provides an excellent opportunity to address both music standards and even coordinate with language arts standards.  These resources can make your planning a little easier!

Musically yours,



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