Peter and the Wolf

Suzie Templeton

Poland, 2007



Childhood, nature, animals


• Film Education
• Languages
• Social Education



 Confrontation with an unfriendly world

The main character – Peter – has an overprotective Grandfather, who does not allow him to go out to the nearby forest or to the city, wanting to protect him from danger. “His (Peter’s) world is a neglected rural farm, a small Soviet block-of-flats town and a forest. The forest is behind a high fence, full of wild animals and danger – the Wolf. This is the world, where a lesson of life will be given. Grief after the loss of a friend transforms Peter’s heart, it provokes the desire for revenge. Negative emotions will allow him to overcome the fear of the Wolf. Young Peter becomes a man when he discovers empathy and strength to oppose Grandpa, but also to oppose himself. Peter-the-adult will give the Wolf freedom.”



 Confrontation with an unfriendly world

The main character – Peter – has an overprotective Grandfather, who does not allow him to go out to the nearby forest or to the city, wanting to protect him from danger. “His (Peter’s) world is a neglected rural farm, a small Soviet block-of-flats town and a forest. The forest is behind a high fence, full of wild animals and danger – the Wolf. This is the world, where a lesson of life will be given. Grief after the loss of a friend transforms Peter’s heart, it provokes the desire for revenge. Negative emotions will allow him to overcome the fear of the Wolf. Young Peter becomes a man when he discovers empathy and strength to oppose Grandpa, but also to oppose himself. Peter-the-adult will give the Wolf freedom.”



1. Cartoon can also be a work of art. “Peter and the Wolf”.

Lesson topic: Cartoon can also be a work of art. “Peter and the Wolf”.
Authorship: Paulina Krześniak
Educational level: Primary school, grades: IV-VI
Time: 1 hour (plus film viewing)

After the classes a student can:

  • present an outline of the history of animation and animation techniques;
  • explain that an animated film, like a feature film, can convey important emotions and interesting, inspirational ideas;
  • discuss the story of Peter and his maturing to self-reliance, presented in the movie;
  • present their own views and take part in a discussion;
  • provide a basic information about Sergei Prokofiev.

Teaching methods:

  • lecture,
  • discussion,
  • conversation,
  • making a storyboard,
  • a method of getting into character
  • notes made by the teacher,
  • experience-based learning.

The course activities:

  1. Introduction – a conversation. The teacher asks students to share their views about the film. Questions: What distinguishes the “Peter and the Wolf” movie from other animated films? Does the lack of dialogues make it difficult to understand the movie? What is the role of music in this movie?
  2. The teacher gives students basic information about the “Peter and the Wolf” movie: It is an adaptation of a musical fairy tale by Sergei Prokofiev: “Peter and the Wolf”, composed in 1936. The film is a result of cooperation between a Polish film studio SE-MA-FOR and British BreakThru Films. “Peter and the Wolf” was awarded Oscar for the best short animated film of 2007.
  3. A discussion based in students’ experiences. The teacher asks children if they like animated films, what they like about them, and what they dislike? Students are invited to list their favorite cartoons, favorite characters. Discussion: Are animated films intended only for children?
  4. The teacher gives students the most important information about animation:
    • History: 1906: Humorous Phases of Funny Faces – the first animated film recorded on the film reel;
    • 1930s: opening by Walt Disney (an American director and producer) a cartoon-producing film studio, whose characters became pop-culture icons, A huge increase in popularity of animated films, their entry into mass culture.
    • opening of large animation film studios: Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bross, Dream Works,
    • the most famous Polish animated film studio: SE-MA-FOR in Lodz (two films produced in SE-MA-FOR were awarded Oscar for the short animated film: “Tango” in 1983 and “Peter and the Wolf” in 2008). The studio employs different animation techniques, and films produced there (such as “Miś Uszatek”) are what several generations of Poles have been brought up on.
    • animation techniques: traditional animation, rotoscoping, live-action/animation, stop-motion animation (puppet animation, clay animation, cutout animation, model animation, object animation, pixilation).
  5. The teacher asks students what technique of animation is used to make “Peter and the Wolf” movie? In case of doubts, the teacher explains that computer technology was only a supporting tool, while the film is a classic puppet animation.
  6. Individual work: a storyboard. The teacher asks students to create an illustrated plan of events in “Peter and the Wolf” moviethe task is to draw the most important moments in the movie story.
  7. Reconstruction of the plot. After the drawing task, students give titles to pictures. Then the teacher asks students to present the events happening in the film. The teacher writes the event plan on the board.
  8. Talking about the movie. Questions: How are we able to reconstruct the plot of the film, in which not a single word is spoken? By what means is the story told? Teacher draws students’ attention to two issues: 1) the great precision of making and animating puppets, whose gestures and facial expressions perfectly reflect their emotions; 2) Prokofiev’s music, which is the axis around which the narration is built. The teacher talks about Prokofiev and gives the students cards with a short biography of the composer and asks them to paste them into their notebooks.
  9. Individual work. The essence of this part of the lesson is to encourage students to verbalize everything that the film shows by means of pictures and music. The students’ task is to present the story from the point of view its individual characters, in the form of several sentences expressed in the first person. The teacher asks pupils to count to six. Each group prepares a statement from a different perspective: “ones” – Peter’s perspective; “twos” Grandfather’s perspective; “threes” – Duck’s perspective; “fours” – Bird’s perspective; “fives” – Cat’s perspective; “sixes” – Wolf’s perspective. The task of each student is to arrange and write a short speech on behalf of their character. The speech should include emotions of the character, his/its perspective of what they watched/experienced. Then selected students present their work to the whole class.
  10. Discussion: What is the meaning of the “Peter and The Wolf” movie? Can this movie be interesting also for adults?


If you were Peter, would you free the Wolf from the cage? How do you think – why did Peter do it? Answer in writing.


  1. Scenario of the lesson and educational materials for “Peter and the Wolf” movie


      : Marcin Skorek

Educational level:  primary school; grade VIII (age: 13-14 years)

Time: 45 minutes (plus film viewing)

After the classes a student can:

      • define the conflict of generations, identify ways to resolve such conflicts
      • explain the importance of interpersonal relationships
      • define terms: friendship, responsibility, motivation to act, sense of freedom, boundaries of freedom
      • present a plan of events taking place in the movie
      • describe the film characters taking into account their appearance and personality
      • describe the places where action takes place along with their characteristics
      • describe the emotions that occur between the characters of the film
      • divide the film into parts: exposition, commencement of a plot, development of action, subsequent events, climax, falling action
      • analyze the emotional relations between the heroes including the following pairs: Peter – Grandfather, Peter – The Duck, Peter – The Wolf, Peter – city people (hunters), city people (circus director, butcher, hunters) – animals
      • use the concepts of positive and negative values and define attitudes related to them, e.g. mature behavior – immature behavior, tolerance – intolerance, beauty – ugliness
      • assess the behavior of Grandfather, Peter, Wolf, including concepts such as: justice, good, evil, responsibility, love.

Teaching methods:

      • conversation, discussion
      • work in small groups
      • guided film analysis


The course activities:

 Family Life Education

Lesson topic: Building a positive relationship with the family.

“Peter and the Wolf” movie can make us reflect on intentions of what family members do. Grandfather does not allow Peter to go outside the fence – into the forest. There is a Wolf in the forest – a deadly threat. Grandfather, limiting Peter’s freedom, wants to protect him – offering him care and security. Students may analyze these intentions during the lesson. It may be assumed that Grandpa forgets how old Peter is. Likewise, parents should remember that their relationship with children and their motivation should change as the children grow to maturity.

 Language education

Lesson topic: Analysis and interpretation of the “Peter and the Wolf” movie

 Scenario # 1

Exposition: a forest filmed from the perspective of an animal. Hidden behind the fence, Grandfather shoots a shotgun into a snow storm – one can hear the howling of wolves.

Exposition of the first plot: Peter misses the sunny world behind the fence – he uncovers a hole in the fence. Grandfather guards Peter’s security – he pulls Peter away from the fence and sends him to the city with a rough gesture.

Development of action and following scenes: Peter in the city. From the behavior of children in the city we can conclude that Peter does not have any friends. On his way to a store Peter meets the owner of the circus. Peter receives from him an “invitation” to the circus – a blue balloon. In another shot we see a hunter’s shop with a bear skin in the display window. An image of this animal has been shown several seconds earlier on a poster. A hunter comes out of the shop and collides with Peter. The hunter pushes Peter and throws him into a trash can. The juxtaposition of the setting (the poster and storefront) and the events allows the filmmakers to build the second level of film content – thanks to that the human-animal relation is clearly presented.

Climax, falling action: People from the city: hunters, the circus owner, the butcher and the skin dealer make animals the subject of commerce, entertainment. For Peter animals are friends, in their presence he experiences good emotions. Relations with people are much more difficult for Peter.

Scenario # 2

Before the film viewing, the teacher divides the class into four groups. The teacher describes the tasks that each group is supposed to do. While watching the film, the pupils make notes which will be used to complete their task.

Group #1 is trying to watch the movie, describing emotional relationships between pairs of heroes. The description takes into account the point of view of both heroes: Peter – Grandfather, Peter – Townspeople (hunters), Townspeople (hunters) – animals, Peter – The Goose, The Magpie, The Wolf.

Group #2 is characterizing heroes: Peter, Grandfather, The Wolf, Townspeople.

Group #3 is describing the settings of the action, including colors, props, the role of music, describing the elements of the decoration.

Group #4 is reflecting on the meaning and morals of the film on the basis of the findings of the other groups.


  1. Scenario for the music fairy tale “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev

Lesson topic: The music fairy tale “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev

Authorship: Irena Jaszczyk

Level of education:  primary school, grades: I-III

Time: 45 minutes (plus film viewing)

After the classes a student can:

  • recognize the instruments playing in the musical composition;
  • interpret a piece of music;
  • play the indicated role in a musical performance;
  • collaborate on creating a musical performance;
  • communicate emotions and experiences through body language and dance.

Teaching methods:

  • role playing,
  • interpretation of music,
  • educational activities with music.


  1. The course activities:

    Scene 1: INTRODUCTION (2:30) a piece of music from CD (Children dressed up in costumes – fairy heroes – are waiting for a presentation)

    Narrator: This is the story of Peter and the Wolf.

    Each character is represented by one of the instruments in the orchestra.

    • The Bird is represented by a flute (pupil-The Bird is dancing, imitating a bird by motion, in the background – flute CD),
    • The Goose is represented by an oboe (pupil-The Goose is dancing, in the background CD-oboe, at the same time The Bird stands in front of the scene, on the side),
    • The Cat is represented by a clarinet (pupil-Cat is dancing / CD-clarinet / and after a while s/he joins The Goose and The Bird on the side of the stage),
    • The Wolf is represented by three horns (The Wolf presents themselves / CD-horns /)
    • Peter is represented by string instruments (Peter is dancing / in the background CD plays strings/)
    • Grandfather is represented by a bassoon (Grandpa is dancing),
    • The Hunters’ shots are represented by kettledrums and a bass drum (Children – the fairy characters – are scattered at the sound of the kettledrums.)

     Scene 2: BEAUTIFUL MORNING (3:55)

    Narrator: Early in the morning, Peter opened the gate and went out into a large, green meadow. (Children dressed in green are dancing, imitating a meadow. At the same time Peter comes out of the gate and starts dancing. Several children may act as a fence with the gate. At the end of the musical phrase Peter crouches among the meadow).

     Narrator: A small bird was sitting on a branch of a big tree – a friend of Peter. “What peace around” the bird sang cheerfully.

    (Presentation of The Bird. During this time children – The Meadow and Peter – crouch on the stage, looking at The Bird. During the new musical phrase The Bird is dancing with Peter and The Meadow).

     Scene 3: THE GOOSE AND THE BIRD (1:20)

    N.: Then The Goose came with its swaying steps. The Goose was delighted that Peter left the gate open. Seeing a deep pond in the meadow The Goose decided to swim a little and dive into the water. (The Goose is dancing swaying slightly. The Meadow sits on the side. Children dressed in blue form the Pond, lying on their backs and shaking legs and hands in the air. There is The Goose swimming in the middle of the Pond).

     N.: Seeing The Goose, The Bird flew down and sat on the grass nearby. (The Bird joins The Goose in the dance in the Pond).


    N.: What kind of bird are you, if you cannot fly?” The Goose answers: “And what kind of bird are you, if you cannot swim?” … and jumped into the pond. (The Goose swims in the middle of the Pond, The Bird stays out of the Pond).

     N.: They argued for a long time – The Goose swimming in the pond, and The Bird jumping on the shore. (Children forming the Pond stay in a line – they spin around slowly. The Bird on one side of the Pond’s edge, and The Goose on the other).

     Scene 4: THE CAT (1:20)

    N.: Suddenly something caught the attention of PeterIt was a Cat sneaking in the grass. (Children – The Meadow – are raising their legs up in a lying position. The Cat is dancing between their legs. The Goose and The Bird are standing back to back).

    N.: The Cat thought: “This bird is busy quarreling … I’ll catch it!” (The Cat is creeping in the grass). He approached on his velvety paws. (Cat’s dance among The Meadow).

     N.: “Watch out!” – Peter shouted. The Bird immediately flew to the tree, and The Goose indignantly quacked at The Cat from the center of the pond. (The Meadow moves to the back of the stage, and The Pond forms a semicircle, dancing without moving the legs, bending to the left and to the right, waving hands. On the one side of The Pond is The Cat, and on the other The Goose. (the Cat dances).

     N.: The Cat was walking around the tree and thought: “Is it worth climbing so high?” “Before I get there, this bird will fly away.” (the Cat dances)

     Scene 5: GRANDFATHER WARNS PETER (1:55)

    N.: Grandfather came. He was angry that Peter went out to the meadow. “This is a dangerous place. What if The Wolf came out of the woods – what would you do? (Grandfather dances with his walking stick. The Pond and the Goose crouch).

     N.: Peter would not listen to the advice of his Grandfather. Boys like him are not afraid of wolves. (Musical theme – The Meadow enters the stage, and Peter is dancing in it).

     N.: Grandpa took Peter home and closed the gate. (Grandfather dances, taking Peter home).

     Scene 6: THE WOLF ATTACKS (3:25)

    N.: As soon as Peter left the meadow, a great gray Wolf came out of the woods (Grey trees appear on the stage, among them The Wolf – in the background horns’ music, menacing. The Wolf dances).

    N.: The Cat climbed the tree in the blink of an eye! (Cat’s dance, then The Cat sits beside The Bird).

    N.: The Goose quacks and jumps out of the pond, not thinking clearly out of fear. (Th e trees make way. The Goose dances).

     N.: The Goose tried to run as fast as it could, but it could not escape The Wolf. It was getting closer and closer, then it caught up with her! Then The Wolf caught the Goose and ate it! (The Pond separates The Goose from The Wolf, then The Wolf chases The Goose, swallows it, feathers fly (The Wolf catches the Goose and they hide behind the scenes). The Pond forms a circle, surprised expressions on the children’s faces. The Wolf returns on the stage, a few feathers in its mouth. It stands proudly, spits out the feathers. The Pond dances sadly, the Wolf stands there and chases the Pond away).

     Scene 7: AFTER THE ATTACK (1:45)

    N.: Here was the situation: The Cat sat on one branch, The Bird on the other, not too close to The Cat. (Cat and Bird dance, flute and clarinet play).

    N.: The Wolf circled the tree looking at The Cat and The Bird hungrily. (Wolf’s dance).

     Scene 8: PETER HAS AN IDEA (4:25)

    N.: During this time, Peter stood by the fence watching the situation without a trace of fear. (Peter’s dance).

    N.: Peter ran to the house, took a rope and climbed a high stone wall. One of the branches of the tree under which The Wolf was lying reached the wall. Grabbing a branch, Peter jumped on the tree. He said to The Bird: „Fly down and circle over the head of The Wolf, but be careful so it doesn’t catch you (The Bird’s dance over a lying Wolf. At the time trees come on stage).

     N.: The Bird almost touched The Wolf’s head with its wings, and The Wolf tried to catch it. The Bird infuriated The Wolf. Oh, how much did The Wolf want to catch it! But the Bird was very clever and The Wolf could not harm it. (The Bird and The Wolf dance).

     N.: Meanwhile, Peter made a loop from the ropeHe carefully lowered it down, grabbed The Wolf by the neck and started pulling as strong as he could! When the Wolf felt trapped, it started jumping to free itself. (The Wolf, Peter, the Bird and the Pond dance with the rope).

    N.: Peter tied the other end of the rope to the tree, and as The Wolf jumped, the rope caught even more tightly on its tail... (The Pond hides fearfully in the corner, children standing on shaking legs. Wolf struggles with the rope).

     Scene 9: THE HUNTERS (2:19)

    N.: Just then, the Hunters came out of the woods (grey trees appear on the stage, and the Hunters march rhythmically) and they were shooting, following the trail of the Wolf. (Hunters dance)

    N.: “Do not shoot!” Exclaimed Peter. “The Bird and I have captured a wolf!”Help us take it to the ZOO (The Bird and Peter dance around the tired Wolf).

     Scene 10. A TRIUMPHAL MARCH (6:28)

    N.: Now, imagine the triumphant march! Peter goes first, followed by the Hunters with the Wolf.

    (Hunters are dancing with the Wolf). Grandpa and the Cat walk at the end of the procession. And if Peter did not catch The Wolf? Then what?” (dance: Grandpa + Cat + Meadow + Grey trees + Peter leading the Wolf on the rope + Hunters). The Bird flew above them, twittering joyfully. “Peter and I are heroes! Just look at who we caught!”. (Everybody dance) And if someone listened carefully, they would hear the Goose quacking in the Wolf’s stomach, as it was swallowed hastily as a whole. (The Pond forms a semicircle, sitting down. Behind it are the trees, Meadow, Hunters kneeling on one knee, with guns, Peter at the front. The Grandfather is at the back, centrally, the Bird is on a tree. Grandfather goes to the forefront, turns his back to the audience, covers the Wolf with a cloak. Everyone on stage gather around them. Suddenly the actors move back and The Goose jumps out unharmed.).


    1. Jaszczyk, Scenariusz do baśni tanecznej “Piotruś i wilk” wg Sergiusza Prokofiewa,
    2. Hałgas, „Piotruś i Wilk”,

    Jak powstawał “Piotruś i Wilk”,


    Piotruś i wilk. reż. Suzie Templeton, MATERIAŁY DYDAKTYCZNE DLA NAUCZYCIELI, Nowe horyzonty edukacji filmowej,

    M. Skorek, Scenariusz lekcji i materiały edukacyjne do filmu „Piotruś i wilk”



European Films For Innovative Audience / Designed by Freelance Creative