A couple of months ago, I discovered a fantastic educational website for children. And since I am a music teacher, I knew right away that I wanted to review this website. It sounded exactly what I wished I could have had when I was an elementary music teacher.
The site is Rockford's Rock Opera. It is subtitled "The Creatures Have a Secret." I am enthralled by it! It has an interactive portion of the site where students age 11 and under (and possibly even older--it depends on the child) can play the story, read along, read the songs/lyrics, and so much more. I think what intrigues me even more is that it has an ecological message. "Being Green" is all the rage now, and I am thrilled that the site uses music and so much more to get the idea of responsible living across.
As a music teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed the educational area. There are lesson plans that cover each area of the story and opera. They are perfect for cross-curricular teaching. There are lessons for music, reading, art, science, and so much more. I only wish I had a class right now so I could teach these fantastic lessons!
This site is free to a certain point, and after that, one has to become a member. If I were a full-time teacher, i think I would investigate more of the paid areas. I love pre-made lesson plans and interactive sites like this. Not only does it inspire the students when a teacher brings technology like this into the classroom, but it is ideal for "filler" time. There are always those students who finish early, and this is the ideal thing to keep those students on task and under control. And for making up absences? Fantastically easy!
What I am most happy about is that it uses the term "opera," and makes this genre of music less scary for children. If you ask just about any school-age child (my daughter included) to tell their thoughts about opera, you will hear all sorts of things. Some students confuse "opera" and "Oprah." Others have the concept of opera where "the fat lady" sings a song at the top of her voice. It was my perception as I grew up as well.
I cannot recommend this fantastic website enough. In fact, I would say this would be ideal for homeschool as well as public/private schools. It is appropriate for almost any subject, and I would highly recommend the full area of the site--you will not regret it!