What is OPERA? (Part Two)


Age Range: Elementary

Learning Objective: Students will create and perform a personal 'mini-aria.’ Students will use opera to express themselves and to share personal stories. 

Note to teachers: This is the second in a series of two lessons introducing the art form of opera to young learners. In this lesson, the focus will shift from introducing and defining terms to helping facilitate student expression through singing and storytelling.

The aim of these lessons is to promote student engagement and ensure comprehension. A few tips to make this second lesson successful:

  • In the first part of the second lesson, Victoria engages with some call and response singing, inviting students to sing along, or "fill in the blank" through singing. Please participate along with children. You will be a great role model and encourage their participation and engagement by example.

  • In the second part of the lesson, Victoria helps facilitate student creation of a ‘mini-aria.’ Victoria gives prompts for both verbal and written responses. Based on the age and development stage of your young learners, there are two options for students:

    1. Respond verbally to Victoria's prompts in real time- no reading and writing necessary!

    2. Complete the creation of a "mini-aria" using a combination of direct response and reading/writing skills. A worksheet template is shown on the screen to help facilitate those doing the lesson as a written assignment. The worksheet template is pictured at the bottom of this lesson and available for download as well.

If choosing to do the verbal response: Support and encourage young children to engage by pausing the video at any point to give them additional time to think about and answer question prompts. Feel free to repeat the sequence after the lesson for additional reinforcement.

For emerging readers/writers: Begin by responding to Victoria's prompts in real time without utilizing any reading/writing skills. After students have sung their mini-aria, use the sample worksheet at the bottom of this lesson and fill in the blanks. Complete the worksheet using words, sentences, and illustrations as appropriate. Once the worksheet is complete, use it to sing the mini-aria.

Please adjust all material and approach to align with classroom literacy goals.

Free Downloads:

ENGAGE students

REVIEW KEY VOCABULARY. “Remember, opera is storytelling with music and singing, and an aria (AH-ree-ah) is one little story that's a part of an opera.”

EXPLORE stories

PREPARE. Prepare students to watch the video: “Victoria is going to use opera to tell two stories: one story/mini-aria about what she likes to eat for lunch, and one story/mini-aria about a special event she likes to celebrate with her community. Start thinking about both your favorite lunch foods and some important events you celebrate with your community.”

WATCH. Watch the Class Notes Video Opera, Lesson Two. (8 minutes)

EXTEND learning

Choose one or both of the following activities to extend learning.

REVIEW. Try these questions for discussion, reflection, or journaling:

  • “You sang mini-arias about lunch and a community event that is meaningful to you. Name three other topics you might use to create a mini-aria.”’

  • “In opera, performers wear costumes to help tell the story. What costumes would help tell the story of your mini-arias?”

  • “In an opera, the performance takes place on a set. A set is scenery, furniture, and other objects designed to help tell the story. How would you design a set to help tell the story of your mini-arias?”

SHARE. Use the printable opera worksheet to help students remember the structure of the second mini-aria about community celebrations.

Opera worksheet
Logo YourClassical Class Notes

YourClassical is a public media organization and your support makes it possible.

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

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

©2024 Minnesota Public Radio. All rights reserved.
Facebook icon
YouTube icon
Instagram icon