14th October 2005 at 01:00
KS1 Over a steady beat, one group can chant Tyrannosaurus, followed by another with Stegosaurus, another with Iguanodon and another with Triceratops. Clap the rhythms, overlap them, play them on different untuned percussion instruments (drum, woodblock), then on two or three chime bars.

Can children identify their dinosaur by its rhythm or tune alone? See also www.everythingpreschool.comthemesdinosaurssongs.htm

KS2 Working in small groups, compose dinosaur pieces for tuned and untuned instruments. Choose an instrument to lay down a weighty rhythm (bass drum, large cymbal) with a matching ostinato (repeated phrase) on a deep instrument (bass section of piano, bass xylophone). Change the speed and dynamic as the dinosaur moves across its terrain, but keep the sense of slow but hefty determined progress. Join the pieces into a Dinosaur Suite, linking them with a repeated theme.

KS3 Listen to some of John Williams's music for Jurassic Park, such as Raptor Attack, My Friend the Brachiosaurus and T-Rex Rescue. Try playing sections of the video with the sound turned down and a wrong track of music from the CD (eg Hatching Baby Raptor). What is the effect on how you perceive the film? See also www.geocities.comHollywoodLot9045jp-review.html

KS4 There's a famous sequence in Disney's Fantasia in which a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Stegosaurus engage in a fight to the death. It didn't please Stravinsky, whose ballet music, The Rite of Spring, was used in the film.

Watch the sequence, listen to a recording of the original ballet music (in the film it's been simplified by the conductor, Stokowski), find out about the true scenario and see whether you agree with Stravinsky that Disney created something "execrable" and "an unresisting imbecility."

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