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Seattle Opera.

Opera Time


Read Together, Sing Together: This musical storytelling program, delivered to your classroom by a teaching artist, fosters literacy in and through the arts. Opera Time aligns closely with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, and gives students skills in broadening and contextualizing vocabulary, creating original stories, identifying character and motive, and selecting words that supply richness and meaning. Available in two different formats to suit you classroom’s needs:

Single-Visit Session

Appropriate for Pre-K through 2nd Grade: A teaching artist will present Opera Time to your classroom or community center during a 30-minute session of singing, read-aloud story time, movement, and story/character exploration using one of the following books


13 Words by Lemony Snicket & Maira Kalman13 Words

Ideal for K – 2nd grade | Written by Lemony Snicket & Illustrated by Maira Kalman
With sophisticated vocabulary appropriately adapted for the young reader, Lemony Snicket uses repetition and context to introduce children to a new world of words.
Themes: Building Vocabulary and Self Expression

My Friend Whale by Simon JamesMy Friend Whale

Ideal for PreK – 2nd grade | Written & illustrated by Simon James
A touching children's story that portrays the reality of disappearing and endangered species appropriately presented to young readers. With whimsical watercolors and expressive language, Simon James weaves factual traits of the blue whale into the development of a tender relationship between a young boy and his whale friend. But how does the little boy feel when his friend doesn't return one night
Themes: Conservation, Separation, Diversity and Friendship

My Many Colored Days by Dr. SeussMy Many Colored Days

Ideal for PreK – 2nd grade | Written by Dr. Seuss, Paintings by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
In this book, Dr. Seuss brilliantly uses colors to describe a spectrum of emotions. In his familiar rhyming meter, the text uses alliteration to paint the words as strikingly as the colorful images do.
Themes: Colors, Feelings, Phonemic Awareness and Self Expression

Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth & Stephen GammellOld Black Fly

Ideal for PreK – 1st grade | Written by Jim Aylesworth & Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
There is a mischievous fly in the house causing all sorts of trouble! A clever alphabet book with colorful, action-packed illustrations.
Themes: Phonemic Awareness and Rhyming

Zero by Kathryn OtoshiZero

Ideal for K – 2nd grade | Written & Illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi
Zero sees the other numbers having fun, but Zero looks at herself and sees only emptiness inside. She wants to be like the other numbers who are so shapely. So she tries and tries, with no success, to change what she looks like. She is what she is: she is Zero. But one day, she discovers that Zero isn't nothing, she is something—and something very special indeed!
Themes: Self Esteem, Counting, Number Places and Friendship

Common Core Alignment

The Opera Time program is designed to enrich the classroom literacy curriculum, aligning with the following Common Core Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.4: Describe how words and phrases supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5: Describe the overall structure of a story, including how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3: How a character responds to important events.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.2.3: Using language conventions correctly when speaking and writing.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.2.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade-level reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.


12-Visit Residency

Appropriate for 2nd – 5th grades: Students create their own, original musical story, integrating various subject areas in a 12-visit residency. The theme is chosen by the classroom teacher, and the topic is motivated by the students’ interests. This process is guided by a team of teaching artists: a librettist to guide the story creation; a composer to guide the music creation; and a stage director to guide the students in presenting their story to friends and family. Seattle Opera provides oversight for this entire process. 


For more information about Opera Time, please call Mark Allwein, School Programs Manager, at 206.676.5566 or email

Main Photo © Jonathan Vanderweit