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English Lesson Plan on Maria Callas

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THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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Maria Callas was an American-born Greek opera singer, often regarded as the greatest ever soprano. She combined a wonderfully versatile voice with a natural ability for drama. She made opera popular with millions of people and her recordings are studied by budding opera singers today. Callas’ own life has been rich enough to be the subject of an opera.

Callas was born in New York and raised in Greece. Her mother recognized Maria’s singing talents early on. Callas said: "I was made to sing when I was only five, and I hated it." In 1937, a singing tutor in Athens described her voice as being “an amazing phenomenon” that should “shine with all its brilliance”. She studied and sang for ten hours a day.

Callas made her professional debut in Athens in 1942. A critic stated Callas was "an extremely dynamic artist possessing the rarest dramatic and musical gifts". Callas’ career took off in 1946 when she went to Italy. She got increasingly rave reviews. One famous soprano said Callas “opened a new door for…all the singers in the world”. She got the nickname ‘Divina’, the divine one.

In 1965, Callas ended her stage career in London’s Royal Opera House. She was adored by opera enthusiasts worldwide. A famous conductor spoke of her amazing talent: "If the public could understand, as we do, how deeply and utterly musical Callas is, they would be stunned." Callas spent her final years living in isolation in Paris.

245 words

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.


SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

regarded

a.

sensation

2

versatile

b.

teacher

3.

budding

c.

thought of

4.

raised

d.

up-and-coming

5.

tutor

e.

brought up

6.

phenomenon

f.

adaptable


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

critic

g.

amazed

8.

dynamic

h.

loved

9.

rave

i.

powerful

10.

adored

j.

totally

11

utterly

k

reviewer

12

stunned

l

excellent

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

a wonderfully versatile

a.

singing talents early on

2

budding

b.

enthusiasts worldwide

3.

Her mother recognized Maria’s

c.

an amazing phenomenon

4.

I was made to sing when

d.

off in 1946

5.

described her voice as being

e.

voice

6.

an extremely

f.

in isolation

7.

Callas’ career took

g.

I was only five

8.

She got increasingly rave

h.

opera singers

9.

She was adored by opera

i.

dynamic artist

10.

Callas spent her final years living

j.

reviews


LISTENING GAP FILL

Maria Callas was an American-born Greek opera singer, ________________ the greatest ever soprano. She combined a wonderfully versatile voice with a natural ________________. She made opera popular with millions of people and her recordings are studied ________________ singers today. Callas’ own life has been ________________ the subject of an opera.

Callas was born in New York and raised in Greece. Her mother recognized Maria’s singing ________________. Callas said: "I was ________________ I was only five, and I hated it." In 1937, a singing tutor in Athens described ________________ “an amazing phenomenon” that should “________________ brilliance”. She studied and sang for ten hours a day.

Callas made her professional debut in Athens in 1942. A critic stated Callas was "an extremely dynamic artist possessing ________________  and musical gifts". Callas’ ________________ 1946 when she went to Italy. She got increasingly ________________. One famous soprano said Callas “opened a new door for…all the singers in the world”. She got the nickname ‘Divina’, ________________.

In 1965, Callas ________________ in London’s Royal Opera House. She ________________ opera enthusiasts worldwide. A famous conductor spoke of her amazing talent: "If the public could understand, as we do, ___________________ musical Callas is, they would be stunned." Callas spent her final years ________________ in Paris.


CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Maria Callas was an American-born Greece / Greek opera singer, often regarded as the greatest ever / even soprano. She combined a wonderfully versatile voice with a natural ability for drama. She made opera popular with millions of people and her recordings are studied by budding / bidding opera singers today. Callas’ own life has been rich / wealthy enough to be the subject of an opera.

Callas was born in New York and risen / raised in Greece. Her mother recognized Maria’s singing talents early off / on. Callas said: "I was made to sing when I was only five, and I hated it." In 1937, a singing tutor / tutorial in Athens described her voice as being “an amazing phenomenon” that should “shiny / shine with all its brilliance”. She studied and sang for ten hours a day.

Callas did / made her professional debut in Athens in 1942. A critic stated Callas was "an extremely dynamic artist possessing the rarest dramatic and musical gifts / presents". Callas’ career took / taken off in 1946 when she went to Italy. She got increasingly rave reviews. One famous soprano said Callas “opening / opened a new door for…all the singers in the world”. She got the nickname ‘Divina’, the divine one.

In 1965, Callas ended her stage career in London’s Royal Opera House. She was adoring / adored by opera enthusiasts worldwide. A famous conductor spoke of her amazing talent: "If the public could understand, as we don’t / do, how deeply and utterly musical Callas is, they would be stunning / stunned." Callas spent her final years living on / in isolation in Paris.


SPELLING

The underlined, jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1
 

1.

rdergdea as the greatest ever soprano

2.

a natural ltibyia for drama

3.

her sogndrreci are studied by budding opera singers

4.

the jcubets of an opera


Paragraph 2
 

5.

born in New York and iseadr in Greece

6.

singing urtot

7.

an inazmag phenomenon

8.

shine with all its liclbeainr


Paragraph 3
 

9.

Callas made her professional udbte

10.

an extremely miyadcn artist

11.

She got increasingly rave vsrieew

12.

She got the anceknmi ‘Divina’


Paragraph 4
 

13.

Callas ended her stage errcae

14.

She was eoddar by opera enthusiasts worldwide

15.

they would be nsutden

16.

Callas snpet her final years living in isolation


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

adored by opera enthusiasts worldwide. A famous conductor spoke of her amazing talent: "If the public

(    )

 

soprano. She combined a wonderfully versatile voice with a natural ability for drama. She made opera popular with

(    )

 

In 1965, Callas ended her stage career in London’s Royal Opera House. She was

(    )

 

Callas was born in New York and raised in Greece. Her mother recognized Maria’s singing talents early on. Callas said:

(    )

 

own life has been rich enough to be the subject of an opera.

(    )

 

Callas made her professional debut in Athens in 1942. A critic stated Callas was "an extremely dynamic artist possessing

(    )

 

millions of people and her recordings are studied by budding opera singers today. Callas’

(    )

 

could understand, as we do, how deeply and utterly musical Callas is, they

(    )

 

singers in the world”. She got the nickname ‘Divina’, the divine one.

( 1 )

 

Maria Callas was an American-born Greek opera singer, often regarded as the greatest ever

(    )

 

being “an amazing phenomenon” that should “shine with all its brilliance”. She studied and sang for ten hours a day.

(    )

 

would be stunned." Callas spent her final years living in isolation in Paris.

(    )

 

"I was made to sing when I was only five, and I hated it." In 1937, a singing tutor in Athens described her voice as

(    )

 

the rarest dramatic and musical gifts". Callas’ career took off in 1946 when she went to Italy. She got increasingly rave

(    )

 

reviews. One famous soprano said Callas “opened a new door for…all the


SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

regarded   the   ever   often   as   greatest   soprano

2.

people   of   millions   to   popular   opera   made   She

3.

early   talents   singing   Maria’s   recognized   mother   Her   on

4.

when   only   was   sing   was   I   to   I   five   made

5.

a   sang   day   for   She   ten   studied   hours   and

6.

off   in   1946   when   she   went   to   Italy   Callas’   career   took

7.

opened   Callas   world   the   in   singers   the   all   for   door   new   a

8.

one   the   ‘Divina’   divine   got   the   She   nickname   ,

9.

talent   amazing   her   of   spoke   conductor   famous   A

10.

final   her   spent   Callas   isolation   in   living   years


MARIA CALLAS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Maria Callas?

2.

Would you like to have met Maria Callas?

3.

What would you like to know about Maria Callas and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Maria Callas?

2.

What questions would you like to have asked Maria Callas?

3.

What would her answers have been to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________


MARIA CALLAS SURVEY

Write five questions about Maria Callas in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


WRITING

Write about Maria Callas for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Maria Callas. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MARIA CALLAS POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Maria Callas. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Maria Callas. Include an imaginary interview with her. Write about what she did every day and what she thought about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Maria Callas. Ask her three questions about her life. Tell her how important she is in today’s world. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Maria Callas expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.


ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

regarded

a.

thought of

2

versatile

b.

adaptable

3.

budding

c.

up-and-coming

4.

raised

d.

brought up

5.

tutor

e.

teacher

6.

phenomenon

f.

sensation


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

critic

g.

reviewer

8.

dynamic

h.

powerful

9.

rave

i.

excellent

10.

adored

j.

loved

11

utterly

k

totally

12

stunned

l

amazed

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a wonderfully versatile

a.

voice

2

budding

b.

opera singers

3.

Her mother recognized Maria’s

c.

singing talents early on

4.

I was made to sing when

d.

I was only five

5.

described her voice as being

e.

an amazing phenomenon

6.

an extremely

f.

dynamic artist

7.

Callas’ career took

g.

off in 1946

8.

She got increasingly rave

h.

reviews

9.

She was adored by opera

i.

enthusiasts worldwide

10.

Callas spent her final years living

j.

in isolation

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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