1. Write the following on the board: "List in order of priority the five most important things to have in life." Allow your students a few minutes to think about and write down their lists.
2. Ask for volunteers to read their lists aloud. Encourage the other students to agree or disagree with the items and their order. Ask the students why some items are placed in positions of more or less importance.
3. Explain to the students that they will be viewing a performance called "The Little Prince," in which a young boy meets some adults who value power and money. Explain that the boy does not understand the world of adults and their priorities.
4. Ask the students if they have ever felt as though adults did not understand them. Give them a few moments to jot down their recollections. Invite the students to share their ideas and experiences.
5. Explain that they will have an opportunity to create a piece of art that has meaning for them that others, especially adults, might have trouble interpreting without their help. Their pictures can reflect the way they see the world around them and can be done in a single medium or multimedia, for example, as a collage with drawings. Distribute paper, markers, crayons, magazines, safety scissors, glue, and any other materials they can use.
6. When the students have finished, invite volunteers to share their pictures with the class. The class will try to extract meaning from the work without help from the artist. Afterward, the artist can, if he or she wishes, explain the work's significance. Explain that in this performance, the main character, who is an adult, recalls his childhood when he drew pictures that adults did not understand.
1. Distribute a written summary of THE LITTLE PRINCE, which you can obtain online at http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/littleprince/summary.html or by having your students log on to the site. Conduct a shared reading with the students, stopping at significant moments in the text to ask questions and make observations.
2. Distribute the K-W-L Chart (What They Know; What They Want to Know; What They Have Learned). Divide the class into groups of four and ask them to complete the first two columns of the chart. The students will demonstrate their understanding of the summary by jotting down notes in the K column. They should then develop questions that the summary has raised in their minds and enter them in the W column. (For example, "What was the lie The Rose told to The Little Prince?") The students will complete the last column, L, after they have viewed the performance.
3. Explain to the students that they will be watching an operatic version of THE LITTLE PRINCE. Ask them if they can describe opera. Accept their responses and supplement their descriptions, where necessary, so that they understand the structure of this particular art form. (A drama, either tragic or comic, of which music forms an essential part; the drama is wholly or mostly sung, consisting of recitative, arias, choruses, duets, trios, etc., with orchestral accompaniment, preludes, and interludes, together with appropriate costumes, scenery, and action.)
4. Ask the students to name the people responsible for putting together a musical performance (composer, writer, director, actors, musicians, etc.). Write the following names on the board and describe each of their functions:
Rachel Portman (composer)
Francesca Zambello (director)
Nicholas Wright (playwright)
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (The Pilot)
Joseph McManners (The Little Prince)
Mairead Carlin (The Rose)
Sir Willard White (The King)
Lesley Garrett (The Fox)
Tome Randle (The Snake)
Timothy Robinson (The Lamplighter)
Richard Coxon (The Vain Man)
Richard Stuart (The Businessman)
Gweneth Ann Jeffers (The Water)
Explain that these individuals were involved in the creation and/or performance of the opera "The Little Prince."
1. Distribute "The Little Prince" Viewing Chart. Explain to the students that they should complete it as they watch the performance and take notes for the Culminating Activity. Review the chart with them and clarify the rating system. They will rate each aspect of the performance (actors, singing, costumes, scenery, and music) on a scale of 1 to 5, based on the given criteria. They will also need to support their ratings with comments and examples from the performance, in the space provided.
2. Watch the performance. If class time does not permit viewing of the entire program, select a portion of the tape to use.
3. Have the students meet with their groups and compare their Viewing Charts. Ask them to pay particular attention to opinions that differ. Encourage discussion and invite them to add new information to their charts after consulting with their group. Give them a few moments to review their charts again and make a final rating of the performance as a whole.
4. Invite volunteers to share an outcome from their group discussion. Ask, "Did anyone add information or change a reaction on their chart after meeting with the group?" Encourage active discussion by having them explain any differences of opinion.
1. Ask the students to return to their K-W-L Charts and fill in the final column.
2. Write any questions still unanswered on the board, as well as any for which answers are disputed or unclear. Invite the entire class to answer and clarify these questions.
1. Ask your students if they have ever read or heard a review of a movie or play. Elicit the characteristics of a performance review (usually appears in a newspaper or magazine; contains an opinion of the composer, director, performance, actors, set, costumes, music, etc.; includes a recommendation on whether to see it; includes highlights from the performance). List these characteristics on the board and ask the students to copy them into their notebooks.
2. Ask the students to imagine that they are theater reviewers for the school newspaper and have them write a review of "The Little Prince" for their peers. They should use the information they've recorded on their Viewing Chart to compose the review, and it should contain the elements listed on the board. Have them log on to http://www.littleprinceopera.com/reviews.html, where they will find various reviews of "The Little Prince."
3. Ask the students to scroll down to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE review. Read the excerpts aloud and ask them to identify language (words and phrases) that is descriptive, opinionated, and effective. Make a list on the board. (Answers should include "tantalizingly close to a major operatic success," "cunning skill," "unrelentingly appealing," "designs repeatedly provoked the child in the overwhelmingly adult audience," "attractive -- simple, communicative, touching.") Explain that while these reviews were written by professionals, theirs can be as effective by using the language they are familiar with.
4. Have the students return to their Viewing Charts and circle adjectives or descriptive phrases. Explain that good writers look for fresh ways to express themselves to make their writing interesting to readers. Have them find synonyms for the words they have circled and write them on a page in their notebook labeled "Synonyms/Related Words." Distribute a thesaurus to each student and ask them to enhance their list of synonyms and related words with new words.
5. Distribute the Review Organization Chart. Tell the students to complete the chart using the information from their Viewing Chart (including synonyms and related words). Explain that this chart will help them create an outline of their review.
6. Give the students time to write their reviews from the outline. Remind them to include the elements of a review listed on the board and in their notebooks.
7. Reconvene the small groups and have the students take turns reading their reviews aloud. Group members should actively listen to determine which characteristics of a review were included and to note the use of adjectives and descriptive language. Then they should provide feedback to the writer.
8. Provide time for the students to rewrite their reviews.
9. Distribute construction paper, safety scissors, glue sticks, markers/crayons, and other craft supplies. Ask the students to mount the final drafts of their reviews on construction paper and decorate them.
10. Post the class' work on a bulletin board that identifies the project. Download and print the standards from NCTE Standards and Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Standards and post them on the board.
11. Ask the class to come up with a name for a fictional newspaper that can feature their reviews, for example, THE I.S. 42 TRIBUNE.