Themed Lesson: Heroes

hero villain
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Age Range: Elementary

Learning Objective: Students will have opportunities to create, perform, respond and connect to pieces of music representing heroes.

Note to Teachers: As opposed to a sequential lesson plan, themed lessons are a pick-and-choose model. Select repertoire and activities from the lists below based on your time and needs.

1. What makes someone a hero? What characteristics or attributes do heroes have? What are some things that heroes do? Make a list or draw a picture of five different heroes. Your heroes might be real people that you know or characters from a movie or a book.

2. Listen to some heroic-sounding music:

• 'Ride of the Valkyries' by Richard Wagner. What makes this music sound heroic?

• The finale from 'William Tell Overture' by Giacomo Rossini. Can you picture what a hero might be doing when you listen to this music?

• 'Hedwig's Theme' by John Williams. This music might make you think of a certain hero from a very famous book series.

• 'The King's Row Main Title' by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Does this music make you think of another movie theme song? Maybe you thought of the Main Theme from 'Star Wars.' Composer John Williams admitted to being influenced by Korngold's piece when he wrote the 'Star Wars' music.

3. On a piece of paper or out loud, create your own superhero. Use the following questions to help develop your character.

• What is your superhero's name?
• Does your superhero have an alter ego?
• What are your superhero's special powers?
• Does your superhero have a weakness?
• How did your superhero get his or her powers?
• Does your superhero have a nemesis or archenemy?
• Design a costume for your superhero. What special features does the costume need?
• Does your superhero have a catchphrase? If so, what is it?
• What does your superhero's theme music sound like?
• Draw a picture and share it with someone.
• If you feel really inspired, try to create your hero's costume.

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