Age Range: Elementary
Learning Objective: Students will understand that opera is storytelling through music. Students will receive an introduction to the art form through listening.
Note to teachers: This is the first in a series of two lessons that introduces the art form of opera to young learners. These lessons promote engagement and comprehension of several key literacy-related concepts. Throughout the lesson, teaching artist Victoria Korovljev gives prompts for both verbal and written responses. Read the following tips to help support both emerging readers/writers and pre-literate students.
For pre-literate students: Victoria will ask questions directly to the camera during the lesson. Support and encourage young children to engage by answering the questions yourself. This modelling helps students engage with the material and promotes active learning. Press pause at any time if you need to repeat a question, or allow a child to expand on an answer.
For emerging readers/writers: Have a writing utensil and paper ready. Press pause, or direct children to pause, as time is needed to write down answers. Encourage the use of both words, sentences, and drawing pictures as appropriate. Feel free to adjust all material and approach to align with classroom literacy goals.
INTRODUCE. “Raise your hand if you've heard of opera.” (Pause.) “Today, we will watch a video about opera.”
WATCH THE VIDEO. Be prepared to pause if children need more time to respond to questions. During the video, Victoria will ask students to guess the ‘story’ in three short excerpts, sung by three different singers. (8 minutes)
WRITE. Use the Mini-Aria Worksheet to organize thoughts and ideas while listening to each short singing excerpt. Adapt the activity to various ages by encouraging full sentences, describing words, and drawings as appropriate. Ask students what clues they heard in the music that helped them come up with their guess.
REVIEW. Try these questions for discussion, reflection, or journaling:
What is opera?
Do you remember the name for a little "mini story" that is part of an opera?
What is an aria (AH-ree-ah)?
Describe the voice of someone who sings soprano (suh-PRAN-oe).
Describe the voice of someone who sings bass (base).
PREVIEW. In Class Notes Opera Lesson #2, we will be telling our own stories. What story do you think you might want to tell through singing and music?
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