The Gruffalo composition

Compose a piece of music using a story as a stimulus and write as symbols on a score.

Learning Objectives

  • Select, organise and order sounds to perform within a simple structure. Suggest how they should be played and discuss effects achieved (P3)
  • Read and respond to chanted rhythm patterns, and represent them with stick notation (crotchet, quaver, crotchet rest) (U3)
  • Recognise dot notation and match it to 3 note tunes played on tuned percussion (U3)
  • Use graphic scores to reflect pitch and dynamics (C3)

Learning Outcome

All pupils will be able to select sounds to use, and follow a score.

Most pupils will be able to organise the sounds they want to use and use symbols to represent the sounds.

Some pupils will have progressed further and will be able to organise the sounds they are using and make suggestions as to how they should be played to create a particular effect.

Lesson Activities

Play the Stand Up Sit Down game that was introduced in Lesson 3.

Recap the Human Bar game from Lesson 4.

Write some rhythms on the board using the three different pitches, using a 3 line stave and either dot or stick notation and ask individual pupils to play them.

Recap the story of The Gruffalo. This is represented in a video below

Make a list of the different animals met by the Gruffalo on his way through the wood.

In small groups the pupils are to create a Gruffalo composition which is to be played on tuned and untuned percussion instruments. As the Gruffalo walks through the wood they are to create and play a four beat rhythm which will be played in-between each of the animals met. Notate this rhythm as they did for Goldilocks' phrases in Lesson 4.

Pupils need to select a sound for each of the animals that the Gruffalo meets. They need to notate this in some way showing the pitch and and deciding on an appropriate symbol for their score. This score can be a graphic score, it does not need to use stick or dot notation. 

Extension Activities

Pupils could be asked to combine several sounds together (to create a thicker texture) for a specific animal. This would contrast well with individual sound that they might create for a another one of the animals.


Have children created a 4 beat rhythm?
Can they use symbols to represent sound and pitch?
Can some pupils demonstrate how sounds can be combined together for an expressive effect?

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