Reading and Vocabulary PLUS ….

As the children are working on the opera – at any phase – allow them to have a copy of the libretto of their own to hold and to read. The challenge of reading their “own” words will increase their vocabulary, their reading and their spelling (be sure you have spelled everything correctly 🙂 , and you will find that the synergism between music and reading is amazing!

If your budget is limited, find a generous donor to “sponsor” your class opera to the amount of $100.00 to cover photocopies and cd’s for the class.

At the very least, write the words on butcher paper, poster board, or project them on the board for them to read. Even very early readers will begin to recognize words that they themselves have cleverly inserted into the opera libretto.

PLUS … next year try writing an opera in your classroom that supports another core objective. For instance, if you are studying local history, use that as a jumping off point for the opera. In Utah, Mountain Men and Native Americans are a great story beginning. Older children may be studying Eastern Civilizations … They may do research into Japanese culture and music and write their opera based around that research. Use YOUR imagination and then allow the children to use THEIRS. Use the opera as tool to teach, not as an extra curricular activity, and you will have support from parents and administrators alike.

Merry Christmas!

Susan Ames
Education Director, Utah Festival Opera


One Comment Add yours

  1. Pamela Gee says:

    Jean Irwin wanted us to remind teachers that they may apply to the Utah Arts Council (UAC) to receive additional funding for their classrooms. This is one very good option to recieve funding for the details of photocopying, costuming, paint, CD’s, etc. that it takes to produce an opera in the clasroom.Have a great time applying for funding with the UAC! They love Opera by Children. If you are applying for a matching fund grant and you are a first time teacher $2000 is the price tag we pay in order for your class to write and opera. This is free to you and that is why it is a grant for your classroom from Utah Festival Opera and the Utah State Office of Education POPS program. So, that is a real grant dollar amount you may use when writiing a matching fund grant. If you are a returning teacher, you are doing more on your own, so use the $700 amount we spend in your classroom in your matching grant proposal.This should help you in more than just photo copying and CD replication. you might be able to receive money to purchase a projector so that you may project the supertitles on the wall or a screen for your ENTIRE school to READ along as they watch the opera! There is another connection to reading! Self motivated reading is the very best tool a teacher has for the successful reading of his students! READ YOUR OPERA! Sing your opera! Act your opera! Have fun with you opera!


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