Good Manners

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Good Manners: A Medieval Quest for Polite Behavior

An Easy-to-Use Character Education Play for Elementary School

Grades 2-6
30 minutes
$39.95
(2 or more Book/CD sets @ $30 each)

In Stock.

Includes script, teacher's guide, and audio CD. The CD has all the songs recorded twice: first with singing, so you and your students can learn the songs, and then without voices so your students can perform without us singing along.

And if you ever have any trouble or questions, you can contact us at any time for help.

 

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For individual teachers/classes:
Book/CD - $39.95 for 1, $30/ea for 2+
Hint: order 1 for each teacher. (details)

For 3+ teachers or whole schools:
Site License - $75.00
Comes with 3 copies of book/CD plus unlimited photocopying rights (details)
School/site name:

Musical extras:
Vocal Score - $9.95 (details)
Extra/Replacement CD - $9.95

Or order by phone, fax or PO

This 30-minute musical play can be done as a complete play, skits, readers' theater, or you can just sing songs. No music or drama experience needed!

It’s the Middle Ages, and a wicked spell has been cast on the kingdom: good manners have suddenly disappeared, and it’s up to Sir Gwendolyn and Sir Dancelot to bring them back. The two knights (both relatively new to this “quest” thing) have no clue what to do, and of course things go terribly wrong. But luckily for the kingdom, they run into just the right characters to help them (re)discover polite behavior: an alchemist has invented hygiene, a baron teaches them social etiquette, the Black Knight encourages them to learn to help others, a damsel (definitely not in distress) reveals the importance of asking permission, a spoon-loving abbot shares the joys of table manners, and a dragon explains why it’s mean to call people names (dragons have feelings too).

What kid today doesn't need some gentle instruction in polite behavior? Good Manners is a great complement to your curriculum resources in character education. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance and music skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!

Key Concepts

  • Polite words and expressions (e.g. thank you, please, pardon me)
  • Hygiene
  • Helping people
  • Social etiquette (looking people in the eye, speaking up, standing up straight, asking how people are)
  • Asking permission (before bursting through a door, borrowing or reaching for something, or interrupting)
  • Table manners
  • Don’t call people names or tease
  • Be positive (don't whine!)
Author: John Heath (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell (Composer)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-53-0
© 2011 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"Good Manners has a great plot and the kids are connecting to the story line very well. Beyond practice (out on the playground) kids are continuing to rerun their favorite little scenes over and over. There is good variety and an up-to-date feel to the music. The kids are enjoing singing the songs and are planning great dances to incorporate while the whole group is singing. We fell in love with the songs instantly!

"I love the connection students feel to the 'ownership' of THEIR play. They are so thrilled to take charge and responsibility of not only presenting the play to our whole school, but to their families as well. Students embody the play they present by taking on the GOOD MANNERS they are singing, acting and dancing about. The message very literally becomes a part of who they are not only on stage but in the classroom and (I hope) at home as well. The WHOLE experience of the play is very real to all of the students involved; it becomes an experience they never forget. We end our school year, each year, with a Bad Wolf Press Musical. It is always the highlight of my year and of my students' as well."

---Kimberly Sowvlen, Teacher (3rd grade), San Miguel Elementary School, Lemon Grove, CA

"The children loved practicing and performing this play. They learned the songs and script easily and learned so much. It is such a bonding experience for them. They will never forget Good Manners and had a ball being medieval characters. Our principal and parents were amazed and impressed with our efforts. To the last child, they loved it and felt a great deal of success when it was finished. They really hated to see the end of our practicing and we sang the songs and talked about our play till the end of the year. When a line or phrase would come up that we performed, everyone would get excited. A wonderful memory for them to have forever."

---Kristen Braunreiter, Teacher (2nd grade), Dibble Elementary School Jackson, Michigan

"We performed Good Manners last week to a packed house! Everyone loved this show! The songs and lyrics are brilliant, the tunes are catchy, the lines are funny but full of good advice. The kids, parents, teachers, and audience loved it! The only bad part is that I wake up in the middle of the night with part of a song in my head. I do a major production of one of your shows every year with my elementary school Drama Club. I love your shows and the freedom I have to add parts, redo things, and go music-theater crazy!"

---Deborah Ryan Cook, Teacher

"We are using this with two first grade classes. It fits great into character education and just learning the important basics of etiquette! I love the music, especially 'Help 'Em Out' is a big hit with any faculty that walks by as we are rehearsing!"

---Marisa Kowalski, Teacher (1st grade), John Lewis Childs School, Floral Park, NY

"The children loved dancing and singing along. Fun way to teach an important subject that even some adults have a hard time with. I have seen confidence rise, reading ability improve and an overall 'this class is FUN, because we have fun while we learn' attitude."

---Rebekah Mickelson, Drama Club Teacher (Kindergarten-3rd grade), Altair Drama Club (after school program) Eagle, AZ

"I just did the Good Manners yesterday. It was such a success. Everyone laughed throughout the play. The children loved all the music. It was a huge success. Thank you for making my job look easier. I received several compliments, and I wanted to make sure that I am grateful to you."

---Kim Donovan, Teacher, Marble Valley School, El Dorado Hills, CA

Casting

From 11-40 students. Use as many Apprentices, Squires, etc. in each scene as
desired. One student can easily play several roles if needed, and
individual roles can be doubled up. Note that all roles can be played by
either boys or girls; see our comments on page 33 of the Teacher’s Guide.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

TROUBADOUR (storyteller)
SORCERER
SORCERER'S APPRENTICES
SIR DANCELOT (Knight)
SIR GWENDOLYN (Knight)
ALCHEMIST
ALCHEMIST'S ASSISTANT
BLACK KNIGHT
BLACK KNIGHT'S SQUIRES
BARON
NOBLE
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS
ABBOT
MONKS
MOTHER DRAGON
KID DRAGONS
VILLAGERS

and a CHORUS composed of all students who are not playing
roles on stage at the time.

Song 1 - Listen to a sample now!

(CLASS enters/stands, faces audience, and sings:)

CLASS:
From back when there were dragons
And damsels were distressed
There comes a tale that we'll unveil of a quest…for good manners.

An evil spell had fallen
The kingdom was possessed
And so two knights soon set their sights on a quest…for good manners.

The folks were once polite
But now each duke and knight
Was rude and crude and mean instead
Chivalry was dead!

All courtesy was banished
Politeness repossessed
They'd have to get their etiquette on a quest…for good manners.

Now let us tell our story
And get it off our chest
Medieval times with jokes and rhymes in a quest for…good manners.
Let's go!

(TROUBADOUR enters, opens a large scroll, and addresses audience)

TROUBADOUR: Once there was a medieval kingdom under a terrible curse. The people there took great pride in their polite behavior, but one day a Sorcerer and his Apprentices cast a spell that drove out all good manners.

SORCERER (as SORCERER enters with APPRENTICES on his heels): Hey, hold on there.

TROUBADOUR (upset): What are YOU doing here? (pointing to scroll) It doesn't say that the Sorcerer and his Apprentices enter.

SORCERER: I couldn't wait. You need to tell them WHY I did it.

APPRENTICE #1 (to audience, pointing to SORCERER): The King kicked him out of the kingdom.

APPRENTICE #2: Yeah. He got us all banished.

SORCERER: So I got revenge. I used to BE somebody. I was the official Trainer of the Joust. ALL the great athletes came to me. I invented a potion that made the jousters bigger and stronger.

APPRENTICE #1: The King accused him of selling "performance enchanting" drugs.

SORCERER: And I was banished to the edge of the kingdom! But look who's laughing now.
(to APPRENTICES, who are making grand gestures with their hands towards each other and not paying any attention to the SORCERER)
Tell them how I did it.
(THEY don't respond—they just keep gesturing towards each other. After a few seconds, HE turns back to audience.)
You see how rude they are? They're sending hexed messages to each other and ignoring me. My spell is working. I've eliminated all good manners, starting with polite words!

(TROUBADOUR exits.)

Song 2 - Listen to a sample now!

SORCERER and APPRENTICES:

I cast a spell on Thank You
I cast a spell on Please
Gesundheit's never heard
Whenever people sneeze.
I hexed the words
That people use
To be polite
I cast a spell on Thank You
I banished it from sight.

I cast a spell on Thank You
I made it disappear
Merci and Por Favor
You'll never find them here.
No Danke Schoen
No Si Vous Plait
No Pardon Me's
I cast a spell on Thank You
I cast a spell on Please.

No one says they're sorry
That's just a passing fad
Instead they shrug their shoulders
And mumble "That's My Bad."

Spoken: What's up with that?

SORCERER, APPRENTICES, and CHORUS:
I cast a spell on Thank You
I cast a spell on Please
Gesundheit's never heard
Whenever people sneeze.
I hexed the words
That people use
To be polite
I cast a spell on Thank You
I banished it from sight.
I cast a spell on Thank You
I banished it from sight.

(SORCERER and APPRENTICES remain on stage.)

TROUBADOUR (entering, with scroll; to audience): The King sent two Knights on a quest to bring good manners back to the kingdom. Sir Dancelot and Sir Gwendolyn, very unimportant knights, were the only two people unaffected by the Sorcerer's spell. All hope rests on their inexperienced shoulders. They have no idea what to do.

DANCELOT (as KNIGHTS enter): I have no idea what to do, Sir Gwendolyn. TROUBADOUR: I knew he would say that.

GWENDOLYN: What if we just ask the Sorcerer to reverse the spell?

SORCERER: Reverse my spell? Are you nuts? That's impossible. Never gonna happen. No way.

APPRENTICE #1: Well, there is ONE way.

APPRENTICE #2: Oh yeah! You forgot about the one way.

SORCERER: Okay, okay, there IS one way.

GWENDOLYN: Please tell us.

SORCERER: You'd have to accomplish three very difficult tasks. Number One: Defeat the Black Knight.

DANCELOT: The Black Knight? Are you crazy? He's eats people like me for breakfast. I liked it better when we were very unimportant knights.

APPRENTICE #1: Number Two: Save a damsel in distress.

DANCELOT: I guess that's not so bad.

APPRENTICE #2: Number Three: Slay a fire-breathing dragon.

DANCELOT: That's it, I'm out of here. (starts to walk away) GWENDOLYN: Dancelot, wait. This is our big chance. We can do this.

SORCERER: Sure you can! Well, no, you can't. But it's a nice plot twist and I'm sure everyone will enjoy watching you go up in flames. (To APPRENTICES) Let's get back to work. We need to come up with something annoyingly impolite. (THEY start to exit.) APPRENTICE #1: Yeah—and that will encourage people to be self-absorbed.

APPRENTICE #2: And that will reward people for spelling really badly.

SORCERER: Come on. Don't just stand there twittering away. (pause, looks at audience) Twitter. Hey! That gives me an idea…

(THEY exit.)

DANCELOT: Man! Who knew this knight stuff was such a pain?

GWENDOLYN: Come on, we need to find the Black Knight.

DANCELOT: Do we really? Maybe we should start with something easier. How 'bout a yellow knight?

GWENDOLYN (pointing to other side of stage): Look, there's an Alchemist's store. Let's ask if he knows where we can find the Black Knight.

(THEY walk towards other side of stage, where the ALCHEMIST and ASSISTANT have entered.)

ALCHEMIST (to ASSISTANT): What do you mean you lost the philosopher's stone?

ASSISTANT: I didn't actually lose it.

ALCHEMIST: Good.

ASSISTANT: I skipped it across the pond.

ALCHEMIST: What?!

ASSISTANT: It was so smooth. Eight bounces—it's my personal best.

GWENDOLYN: Excuse me. We're looking for the Black Knight.

ALCHEMIST: The Black Knight? He lives over by the Dunberry Bridge. You can't miss him—he eats people like you for breakfast.

DANCELOT (grabbing a can, looking in it): What are you guys doing?

ALCHEMIST: We're trying to create the elixir of life.

ASSISTANT: Or a really good mango smoothie. Whichever comes first.

DANCELOT (nose in can): This stuff smells funny. It makes me want to…to…to (HE builds up and then delivers a giant sneeze.) AAAAAACHOOOOOO!

ALCHEMIST: Hey! You need to cover your mouth when you sneeze.

GWENDOLYN: I've never heard of that.

ASSISTANT: We call it hygiene—it's gonna be big.

Song 3 - Listen to a sample now!

ALCHEMIST and ASSISTANT:

Oh I am a master alchemical whiz
A Renaissance man (yeah, whatever that is)
I'm workin' on transformin' lead into gold
So I don't have time to go catchin' a cold.

I've got a theory
To keep colds away
I've got a theory
That'll catch on some day.

I call it…
Hygiene
That's what I propose
Hygiene
So don't pick your nose.
Hygiene
Are those swollen glands? Yuck!
Don't touch that goblet and go wash your hands.

Yeah I got some miracle working to do
There ain't no elixirs for plague or the flu
So cover your mouth when you cough or you sneeze
There's all kinds of stuff that flies out when you wheeze.

I've got a theory
To keep colds away
I've got a theory
That'll catch on some day.

ALCHEMIST, ASSISTANT, CHORUS:
I call it…
Hygiene
That's what I propose
Hygiene
So don't pick your nose.
Hygiene
Are those swollen glands? Yuck!
Don't touch that goblet and go wash your hands.

(THEY exit; TROUBADOUR enters, still with scroll. GWENDOLYN and DANCELOT trudge back and forth across the stage behind the TROUBADOUR.)

(This concludes the first one-third of the script.)

Sample Songs

Click on the song name to hear samples. Please note that internet song samples have low fidelity and rest assured that the CDs we sell sound much better! (This player requires Flash. If you have any trouble hearing the samples, just contact us for help.)


Full Song List

1. Good Manners
2. I Cast a Spell
3. Hygiene
4. Help 'Em Out
5. Etiquette
6. Ask Permission
7. I Love My Spoon
8. Don't Call Me Names
9. No One Likes a Whiner
10. Good Manners (reprise)

Common Core and Other National Standards

Character Education

Language Arts

History/Social Studies

Fine Arts

  • National Music Standards 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standard 1 for 5th-8th
  • National Theater Standards 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standards 2 and 6 for 5th-8th
  • National Dance Standards 1 and 2 for K-4th

Vocabulary

distressed
unveil
quest
chivalry
courtesy
repossessed
etiquette
troubadour
banished
joust
hex
self-absorbed
alchemist
alchemical
elixir
goblet
plague
allergic
gunk
drawbridge
moat
goo
intrepid
mingling
feudal
hassle
vassal
protocol
battery
swindle
mace
inquired
suffice
slay
monastery
dexterous
utensils
implement
naïve
essential
lair
pistachio
chartreuse
singed
guile
slouch

Phrases

“get it off your chest”
Gesundheit
merci
Danke schoen
“passing fad”
“that’s my bad”
por favor
“damsel in distress”
“plot twist”
“up in flames”
mango smoothie
Renaissance man
“climb the ladder”
“personal space”
philosopher’s stone
suit of armor

Performance Photos

Performance Photos from Bad Wolf Press