A Hip-Hop Opera

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Considering that we’re close to Christmas and New Year, your students are likely tired from their lessons and are looking forward to the holidays. How about giving them a lesson that will have them mixing what you thought was not mixable? 🙂

Let’s do this:

1) Ask your students what they think about Hip-Hop, what artists they listen to and what facts they know about their favorite rappers.

2) Show them a picture of Babatunde Akinboboye in the car from the video and ask them what he’s doing. Ask your students what they think he’s going to sing.

3) Show them the video of Akinboboye singing. Ask them to say what genre of the music he’s singing.

4) Ask your students how his performance made them feel and if they’ve ever heard of Opera being mixed with hip-hop.

5) After that, tell your students that they’re going to find out a bit more about the singer and his motivation. I adapted the short article from Time for this.

6) Ask your students 2 questions:
Whom did the singer make the video for?
When did he first hear the aria he sang?

7) After getting answers, ask your students to look at the words in the article and try to guess their meaning from the context. Get feedback, then give them a handout and ask them to match the words.

8) To give them some practice, ask them to complete the questions using the words they’ve matched and then discuss them in pairs.

9) If your students like singing, a fun activity would be to ask them to make their own mashup. Tell them to pick a song which they like singing and in pairs, find a different melody to sing along to. They can use their phones to search for instrumentals or karaokes on YouTube and sing a verse in pairs. Once all the students have finished singing. Have a class vote on the best mashup.

10) You can ask your students to make a recording of them singing their mashups at home as homework, in case they enjoyed the final activity and start the next lesson by listening to some good music.

You may feel skeptical about having your students sing, but if you play your cards right, this can give your students some extra speaking practice, and even some nice videos like this one. 😉

I wish you all to have a wonderful holiday and my next post will be the last one for 2018. But there’s more to come next year. I hope you liked this idea and if you’ve tried it with your class, leave a comment letting us know if they’ve liked it. 🙂


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