Opera Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Students will explore the different types, styles, and parts of an opera with your guidance and some help from this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity, and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what an opera is
  • identify two types of operas
  • discuss the important parts of an opera
  • use content-specific vocabulary appropriately


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1.a

Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1.b

Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6

Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.



  • Begin by asking students if anyone has attended an opera or seen one on television or in a movie.
  • Allow students to share their responses.
  • Now explain that this lesson explores an opera in detail.
  • Distribute the What Is an Opera? - Opera Terms and Key Parts lesson, play the video, pause at 01:46, then start the following discussion:
    • Define an opera.
    • What is a recitative opera?
    • Explain the aria opera.
    • Compare and contrast the recitative and aria operas.
  • Now start the video, pause at 02:58, then pose the following:
    • Explain an opera seria and identify its characteristics.
    • What is an opera buffa?
  • Next play the video until the end, shoulder pair students, then ask them to define and discuss the following terms:
    • libretto
    • supertitles
    • overture
    • acts
    • scenes
    • cadenza
    • leitmotif
  • Now ask the class are they more compelled to attend an opera after watching this lesson? Why or why not?
  • Now show the lesson quiz and asks students to write down the answers, then review.

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