Opera for Everyone/Roosevelt High School
Images of Students or their Work (typical).
The first phase in a study of
duality of image and self portrait.
link to another image
Karen Matsunaga remarks about the Opera Project: "We learned that students who are supported and encouraged to meet high standards will complete their work at that level when they can make personal connections and see meaning in what they are doing. As teachers, we saw the value in working as a team, each member making contributions based on one's own background and training. It showed that our commitment to the project also validated its worth in the eyes of the students and their parents.

We found that over time the work quality escalated because the teachers understood the process and were able to guide and support the students more effectively. For example, the first time students made their masks a two-dimensional, card stock product. When teachers became more comfortable with the process they encouraged students to make three-dimensional masks out of rigid wrap. Teachers also understood the principles of project-based learning better and have been a tremendous support to each other. The art teachers have been especially helpful to the teachers in the other subject areas. An unexpected result has been an enrollment increase in the art department as students who participated in the mask and Celtic art projects in language arts have started to include art as part of their daily curriculum.

Finally, an important lesson we learned was to start the project as early as possible in the year. Each year we attempted to start a little earlier than previously, often beginning with smaller projects that culminated in a final project during the second semester."


Project Based Learning