The English-language production of Franz Lehár's popular operetta "The Merry Widow," from the San Francisco Opera, allows the viewer to appreciate the composer's humor about 19th-century culture and the mores of the day. This lesson explores the plot of the opera and addresses 19th-century themes and the meaning and usefulness of stereotype as a plot device. |
Six class periods plus homework time, not including time viewing the video.
Literature, History, Writing, Technology
1. Synthesize information from a variety of sources.
2. Express an understanding of the plot of the opera and the conflicts characters face.
3. Understand the use of stereotype as a plot device in the opera.
4. Create a song, poem, and/or dance to describe a problem, and perform it.
5. Create a story written from the point of view of one of the main characters in the opera.
6. Create a model of a 19th-century opera set, design a unique 19th-century costume, or create a concrete example of something related to their research.
Standard 4; Benchmarks 1, 2, and 4
Gathers and uses information for research purposes, uses appropriate research methodology, uses a variety of print and electronic sources to gather information for research topics, and uses a variety of criteria to evaluate the validity and reliability of primary and secondary source information.
Standard 6; Benchmarks 8 and 9
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts; understands relationships between literature and its historical period, culture, and society; and makes connections between his or her own life and the characters, events, motives, and causes of conflict in texts.
Listening and Speaking
Standard 8; Benchmarks 5, 6, and 8
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes; makes formal presentations to the class; makes multimedia presentations using text, images, and sound; and responds to questions and feedback about own presentations.
Standard 9; Benchmarks 1 and 5
Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media, uses a range of strategies to interpret visual media, and uses strategies to analyze stereotypes in visual media.
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Standards 7, 8, and 12
Conducts research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems; uses a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge; and uses spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
This lesson was prepared by Courtenay Carmody.