Lessons plans for History of the World in Seven Acts by Michael Gandolfi

How to use this resource

You can view all of the films on the website without registering. So why not begin by watching some of the films?

What next? Three easy steps…

  1. Register and download the Scheme of Work and associated work sheets (PDF documents)
  2. Read through the ‘Introduction for Teachers’ which gives an overview of what the scheme covers
  3. Explore the lesson plans alongside the film resource provided – each lesson plan has its own page and on that page you’ll find the films you need, PDFs to download and any worksheets you might need.

We are expecting you to use your interactive whiteboard to project the films. You will need an internet connection to stream each of the films.

If you need help don’t hesitate to contact us through the Feedback Form.

Introduction for Teachers

Composers sometimes use works of art as inspiration for their music. For History of the World in Seven Acts, composer Michael Gandolfi worked with computer animator, Jonathan Bachrach. The music interprets images created by Bachrach. In fact, the music and animation are meant to be experienced at the same time. The animation uses repeated patterns, as does the music. But, to give the music interest, Michael Gandolfi uses certain musical devices:

  • contrasts in duration (long and short)
  • contrasts in dynamics (loud and quiet)
  • musical conversation (swapping musical ideas)
  • scales and scale-like passages (a series of notes going up and down)

After exploring these devices through the musical activities presented in the four lesson plans, there is a further plan for an audio visual project. Through this optional project the children create a visual image which is combined with their own musical composition. Suggested timings have been given to the four lesson plans contained within this scheme of work. Lessons 2 and 3 could be shortened by omitting the extension activities. Some teachers might like to show the children the film of the animation or the performance given by the musicians of Psappha before starting the scheme of work. Both films are available and included with the films for each lesson plan.

History of the World in Seven Acts
Music by Michael Gandolfi
Computer Animation by Jonathan Bachrach