This book is meant to be an interactive experience between readers and listeners, the story, and the music the story is named after. It’s a perfect tool for elementary school teachers, music educators, and parents to use to bring a piece of classical music to life for children, while engaging their visual, gross motor, and listening skills. A three-step process is suggested.
- Read the story aloud.
- Listen to the music as you act out the story, walking your fingers across your lap to represent Peer on his adventure. “Tiptoe” your fingers during the soft music. As the music increases in volume (and Peer grows more confident) start to walk, march, sway, spin, and slide your fingers as Peer explores the castle. When Peer encounters the Mountain King (the music becomes louder and more dramatic) clasp your hands to your face as in shock and fear of having run into the King. Begin to “run” with your fingers on your lap. With each “door slam” clap your hands together. “Run” with your fingers between each “slam. ”Run, jump, and slide your fingers through the final door—and a final loud clap! Breathe a sigh of relief when Peer escapes.
- Listen to the music again. This time pretend to be Peer with your whole bodies by tiptoeing, walking, marching, swaying, spinning, sliding and running in place during the appropriate music. Make sure that you have plenty of room for whole body movement.
- Enjoy this great adventure and the opportunity to teach more about Edvard Greig, Henrik Ibsen, Norway, and the elements of music. (Click the “Teachers & Librarians” tab for sample lesson plans on these topics.)
A coloring sheet that can be used to make stick puppets of the book’s characters is available by clicking here: Coloring sheet for puppet making
Additional lesson plans for teachers are available here.