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Discovering Opera


The Enduring Quest
Man of La Mancha


Discovering Opera Icon

Man of La Mancha

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Length: 10 days



Language Arts, Performing Arts, Foreign Language, Visual Arts

Subtopics: Drawing, Literature
Intelligences Being Addressed: Interpersonal Intelligence; Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence; Visual/Spatial Intelligence
Dimensions of Learning: Acquisition and integration of knowledge; Extension and refinement of knowledge; Meaningful use of knowledge

After watching the movie "Man of La Mancha" and discussing the themes, students will create a booklet illustrating the 5 most important scenes, with each scene described in Spanish (with teachers' help) on the left and the pictures on the right. Students can become more familiar with the lyrics if you play the CD while they work.


TV/Video player
CD Player or other Audio Player

Materials: film Man of La Mancha
CD of the Man of La Mancha soundtrack
Hand Outs:  
Student Supplies: Each student should have a piece of tag board, 12 pieces of plain white paper, a black pen (for writing description and title), colored pencils, crayons, glitter, feathers, glue and string for binding booklet.
Teacher Internet Resources:

Lesson and Extension Specific Resources:

A Tribute to Don Quixote De La Mancha

Read the lyrics and discuss the real meaning behind the words and music. It provides a good, basic overview.

Moonstruck Drama Bookstore's Site on Man of La Mancha

This site includes a short history of the Broadway musical. You can also find the cast album, sheet music, and other tidbits of information.

General Internet Resources:

American Theatre: Musicals

This site contains an overview of the history of musical theatre, as well as synopses to specific musicals.

Latin American Database of Lessons

Here you can access lesson plans written by secondary teachers that incorporate the study of Latin America into various subjects.

National Standards for Arts Education:
Music 5-8, Standards 7 and 9
Theatre 5-8, Standard 8
Visual Art 5-8, Standard 3
Instructional Objectives:

1. to introduce a great work of literature
2. to integrate visual arts with literature
3. to introduce the concept of the knight-errant
4. to give students the opportunity to be successful in the acquisition of a foreign language


I like to do this project in the spring, as it does not inflict a lot of stress on students while they are finishing the year. The students seem to like this project, and they get a good introduction to a famous work of literature. I usually do this project with my classes who do not do well with traditional Spanish language lessons.


Instructional Plan:

1. Spend 3-4 class days watching the video Man of La Mancha.

2. Discuss how Man of La Mancha is a play combining bits of Miguel de Cervantes' life with his most famous work.

3. Discuss themes (see above) as they are presented in the movie.

4. Ask students to create a simple sketch of each scene before they do the final work. Teachers should approve the sketches before the final work begins.

5. If they are able, students can write the captions in Spanish, and each teacher can correct them before they are written. If their Spanish is not proficient enough, the student writes, and the teacher translates the captions.

6. Play a CD of the soundtrack while they work. Discuss the meanings behind the lyrics of the songs.

7. When all drawings are complete, arrange them in booklet form, bind them with colorful thread, and decorate the cover.



Use the Rubric provided.


This project could also be published using Microsoft Publisher on a PC. Students could become more familiar with the lyrics if you play the CD while they work.

Teacher References:



Author: Carolyn Callaghan
Indian Creek School
Crownsville, Maryland
Submission Date: November 1, 2000

© ARTSEDGE, 2000