Themed Lesson: Villains

hero villain
Darth Vader · Pixabay

Age Range: Elementary (Some content might be a little scary for young children)

Learning Objective: Students will listen to music inspired by villains and make up their own villain characters.

The first lesson in this series was about heroes. In this lesson, think about villains and listen to some villainous music.

1. What makes someone a villain? What characteristics or attributes do villains have? What are some things that villains do? Make a list or draw a picture of five different villains. Here are a few famous villains from books or movies:

• Darth Vader
• Lord Voldemort
• Cruella DeVille
• The Joker

2. Listen to some music that might conjure up visions of villains. Here is an opera aria (or song) sung by the evil Queen of the Night, from Mozart's opera 'The Magic Flute':

Sometimes villain music might sound sort of sad or mysterious, or a little creepy, like "The Secret History" by Kerry Muzzey:

This music is about evil trolls! The beginning is quiet and slow -- don't let that trick you. Here's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Edvard Grieg:

Sometimes the villain in a story or a movie isn't a person. Here is music for an evil shark. It's the theme from 'Jaws' by John Williams:

And here is a little music that Phillip Glass wrote about a classic bad guy, Dracula:

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

• What is your villain's name?
• Does your villain have special powers?
• Does your villain have a weakness?
• What is your villain's backstory? How did your villain become evil? Did something happen to turn them evil?
• Does your superhero have a superhero nemesis?
• Design a costume for your villain. What special features does the costume need?
• Does your villain have a catchphrase? If so, what is it?
• What would your villain's theme music sound like?
• Draw a picture of your villain and share it with someone.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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