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13 Colonies

An Easy-to-Use History Play
for Elementary and Middle School

Grades 3-8
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:
Piano/Guitar Score - $9.95 (details)
Extra/Replacement CD - $9.95

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

"What America needs is some history catchy enough to hum along with." --George Washington

Hosted by George and Martha Washington, our musical review of early American history covers the period from before the arrival of the Europeans through the signing of the Bill of Rights (in other words, around 1600 to 1791). Everyone seems to show up, from Leif Erickson, the Iroquois, and Ponce de Leon to Ben Franklin, Sibyl Luddington and The 13 Colony Singers. Keeping all the characters in line are the History Police, crashing the party whenever it looks like the hosts have started to "mess around with history."

First time doing a U.S. history play? This is your show! Since we're covering 200 years of material here, you won't delve into any one topic in depth -- it's just a great overview of the whole period. The songs are simple and catchy and the dialogue and curriculum are a bit less detailed and challenging than those in, say, American Revolution or U.S. Constitution.

In short, 13 Colonies is a great complement to your curriculum resources in social studies. 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!

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-09-7
© 1997 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"When my class did 13 Colonies this year, we had more fun that I've ever had with a class during my 22 years of teaching!"

---Kimberly Fee, Teacher (5th grade) Summit Charter, Porterville, CA

"During my ten years teaching fifth grade, I alternated 13 Colonies with Incredible Westward Movement. The 8th grade history teacher told me that all MY students knew the 13 colonies and the basics about Manifest Destiny. Students had SO MUCH FUN learning the material and remembered it YEARS later. The plays help the historical characters come alive for the kids."

---Vicky Hill, Teacher (5th grade), Oak Grove School, CA

"I liked the music, humor, and social studies standards the play contained. I loved that a musical dummy like me could put it on. The songs were great---I still sing them all the time. When students actively participate in a lesson, they are more likely to remember it."

---Amanda Dedmond, Teacher (5th grade), Cynthia Heights Elementary, Evansville, IN

"13 Colonies was a first for me---a musical, that is. I was hooked after reading the script and listening to the CD. The tunes are catchy and the humor mature but appropriate. The word play was great and the adults in the audience never stopped laughing! The instructions and hints in the manual are terrific. We pulled off a spectacular show in four weeks."

---Diane Smith, Teacher (5th grade), Cascade Brook School, Farmington, ME

"Lots of history really fast. Got kids thinking about history in a different way. As the music teacher, I can tie in what I am teaching with what the students are learning in class. Great stuff. I'm glad I found you."

---Heather-Lynne Shannon, Teacher (music 1-6th), Montessori School of Florence, Florence, SC

"The easy-to-follow script, catchy songs, and added humor make the play production a delight for all (students, teachers, and parents)! Besides using the plays to give my students another avenue to strengthen/inspire their creativity, the plays work well as supplemental textbooks/teaching aids. The students love to learn the information in the play format."

---Lisa Boothe, Teacher, (3rd/5th grade), Carl Hankey School, Mission Viejo, CA

"Easy! Fun! User friendly! It had wonderful humor and catchy lyrics, and was easy to learn. The benefits was maximum learning; all the students were engaged."

---Shirley Jacobs, Teacher, (5th grade), Irving Elementary, Bloomington, IL

"I see your display every year at the CAG (California Association for the Gifted and Talented) conference. Last year I finally bought 13 Colonies. It took me until this year to get brave enough to actually try doing it with my class. I was a nervous wreck. I want to tell you that it turned out better than I ever imagined. The kids were wonderful and learned so much history by doing this play. The parents raved about the performance. I'd like to thank you so much for making my debut as a director a success. You have me hooked!"

---Celeste Bordner, Teacher, (5th grade), Valley Springs, CA

"It was fabulous! Not only was the show funny and entertaining but my class learned a lot about history. My principal was very impressed! I hated doing plays before and now I can't wait until next year!"

---Jennifer Baker, Teacher (4th grade), PS 184, New York, NY

"I teach a 'History through Drama' class at our home school co-op at Heritage Christian School. I have bought tons of historical scripts but never before have I seen a script like 13 Colonies! My students never had so much fun!!! The schools and retirement homes where we performed raved about the show! We only had 13 kids in the class (5th-10th graders) and they did amazingly well at playing two or three characters each. The dialogue and songs were so funny that the audiences laughed throughout the musical. We added dancing to the 'One Lump or Two' song and the kids and audiences loved it. We did this play in only four weeks. Thank you so much for making this wonderful musical!!! You have blessed us so much! Looking forward to buying more of your scripts in the years to come."

---Susan Foster, Teacher, Heritage Christian School Home School Co-op, San Diego, CA

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many Vikings, Soldiers, Colonists, etc. as desired.
One student can easily play several roles if needed. Note that
roles are not gender specific: George Washington can easily
be played by a girl, for example, and we recommend that the
part of the Game Show Host be played by a girl as well;see
our comments on page 32 of the Teacher's Guide.

Script

CHARACTERS:

George Washington
Martha Washington
Leif Erickson (and Vikings)
Iroquois
Seminole
Ponce de Leon (and Soldiers)
Colonial Boy and Girl
Game Show Host
Contestant (Betsy Smith)
Benjamin Franklin
British Soldiers
Samuel Adams, John Adams, Abigail Adams
Salesman
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sibyl Ludington
Colonists
James Madison
History Police (A and B)
and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing
roles at the time.

(GEORGE and MARTHA WASHINGTON enter)

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Hello, my name is George Washington.

MARTHA: And I'm Martha Washington. George and I are here to tell
you the marvelous story of how our country began. It's a story filled with
excitement and drama...

GEORGE (interrupts): ...dreams of gold, the clash of nations...

MARTHA: ...and best of all, we get to play the staring roles. Oh George,
I never get tired of this. The bright lights! The photographers! It just makes
me want to salute something!

(LEIF ERICKSON enters loudly. He's accompanied by two other Vikings,
carrying footballs)

LEIF: I, Leif Erickson, claim this land for me and all the Vikings.

GEORGE: Excuse me, but we're starting a show here.

LEIF: I know. I visited America nearly 1000 years ago. I want some
credit for being part of the thirteen colonies. I was here first.

GEORGE: No you weren't.

LEIF: I wasn't?

MARTHA: Not at all. Native Americans were here hundreds of years
before you arrived. Isn't that right, George?
(GEORGE nods)

LEIF: Oh. Sorry. Come on, men. Back to Minnesota.
(THEY exit)

GEORGE: In fact, let's take a visit to the eastern seaboard in the 16th
century and see what's going on with the local tribes.
(IROQUOIS enter)

MARTHA: Here come some Iroquois-and George, they don't look happy.

Song 1 - Listen now!

IROQUOIS:
We've lived on this land
For hundreds of years
There's no place that we haven't been
But something is new
The neighborhood's changed
The Europeans are moving in.

They unload their ships
They back in their vans
They're putting our lives in a spin
We give them some corn
They give us the mumps
The Europeans are moving in.

The isle of Manhattan we sold to the Dutch
And people say it was a steal
But have you all seen what they've done to the place?
We got us a heck of a deal!

They're shaking our hands
And taking our lands
Our patience is now wearing thin
You never can tell
But it doesn't bode well
The Europeans are moving in.

The Spanish are searching the South for some gold
We don't think that they're gonna stop
The French in the North want the timber and furs
The New World's a great place to shop!

IROQUOIS and CHORUS:
We've lived on this land
For hundreds of years
There's no place that we haven't been
But something is new
The neighborhood's changed
The Europeans are moving in.
The Europeans are moving in and in and in and in.
(THEY exit)

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Let's move south to Florida to get a closer
look at some of those new European explorers.

MARTHA: I see a Seminole coming our way. Isn't it exciting?

SEMINOLE (enters through audience with a tray filled with maps slung
around his neck. Shouting): Programs, get your programs here! Charts
of hidden treasures! Guides to the Everglades, right here! Directions to
cities built of gold, maps to the houses of the stars! Programs, get your
programs!

(PONCE DE LEON enters with SOLDIERS. THEY ALL carry cups and
jugs of water)

PONCE DE LEON (to Chart-seller): Hey, you! Wait! I am Ponce de Leon,
famous Spanish explorer.

SEMINOLE: Welcome. Wanna buy a map to a city paved with diamonds
and rubies?

PONCE DE LEON: Do you think I'm some dumb tourist? Get real. (pause)
Though, I was wondering-you don't happen to have any maps to the fountain
of youth, do you?

SEMINOLE: Those are very hard to come by. Let me look.
(rummages through maps)
Ah, you're in luck! I have one left.

PONCE DE LEON: You do?! I'll take it!

SEMINOLE: That'll be a pound of gold.

PONCE DE LEON (to his SOLDIERS):
Well, don't just stand there, pay the man.
(THEY do, as HE unfolds map)
At last! This has been a very difficult journey.

Song 2 - Listen now!

PONCE DE LEON :
Some people want adventure
While others look for gold
But me-I want some water
To make me young once more.

(SOLDIER offers him a cup of water)

I drink from every fountain
Though I don't have a thirst
And ev'ry stream and river
I think I'm gonna burst.
(He grabs cup from SOLDIER)
Is that something from a swamp?
I'll try it!
(lifts up cup)
Here's to my new liquid diet!
(takes a drink)

Are my wrinkles disappearing?
Is my grey beard turning black?
Tell me boys, I must know the truth
Am I younger? Am I taller?
Has my bald spot gone away?
Have we found the fountain of youth?

(THEY examine PONCE closely)

PONCE and SOLDIERS:
I drink from every fountain
Though I don't have a thirst
And ev'ry stream and river
I think I'm gonna burst.
(THEY ALL grab cups)
Is that something from a swamp?
I'll try it!
(lift up cups)
Here's to our new liquid diet!
(take a drink)

PONCE, SOLDIERS, and CHORUS:
Are my wrinkles disappearing?
Is my grey beard turning black?
Tell me boys, I must know the truth
Am I younger? Am I taller?
Has my bald spot gone away?
Have we found the fountain of youth
The fountain of youth
The fountain of youth?

(PONCE, SOLDIERS, and GEORGE WASHINGTON exit)

MARTHA WASHINGTON: Good evening, again. My husband George
got a splinter from his wooden dentures and he's having his gums massaged.
Isn't that remarkable? Now, where are we? Oh yes...The 1600s brought the
British to America. You know what that means: Jamestown. John Smith.
Pocahontas. You know the story. You've seen the movie. You've bought
the product tie-ins.
(pause)
Life was tough on the first pioneers as they pushed out on the frontiers.
Let's get up-close-and-personal with a young boy and girl.
(BOY and GIRL enter)
Welcome, pioneer boy and girl. Tell me, what's your life like?
(MARTHA sits down and watches them during their song)

Song 3 - Listen now!

BOY :
Out of bed but I'm still asleep
Cut potatoes to feed the sheep

Got no shoes but I'm out the door
Bring in wood then I'm gone once more.

Sunrise to sunset
Gotta work all day
Sunrise to sunset
Not much time for play.

GIRL:
Lots to do, there's no time for school
Picking berries and spinning wool.

Feed the hens and learn how to sew
Weed the garden so our veggies grow.

Sunrise to sunset
Gotta work all day
Sunrise to sunset
Not much time for play.

(during musical pause, BOY and GIRL take up new tasks)

BOY:
Gone all day as I tend the herds
I just talk to the trees and birds.

(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. "The Europeans Are Moving In"
2. "I Drink from Every Fountain"
3. "Sunrise to Sunset"
4. "Name That Colony Theme"
5. "A Million Things to Do"
6. "The French Have Got To Go"
7. "One Lump or Two?"
8. "Sibyl Ludington!"
9. "It’s Our Revolutionary War"
10. "Boogie with the Bill of Rights"

Common Core and Other National Standards

History/Social Studies

Language Arts

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

marvelous eastern seaboard mumps bode the Everglades dentures
premise mahogany enforce maxim chat quiche
adieu chapeau souffle family tree crumpet tyranny
fling dramatic license hemisphere veneer et cetera nuisance
behalf resolution rummages various intervals


Historical Figures and Terms

Vikings Manhattan New World Jamestown John Smith Pocahontas
pioneers religious toleration Quaker William Penn Betsy Ross Franklin stove
postmaster fur trade parliament Lafayette Paul Revere militia
King George "Common Sense" Thomas Paine Valley Forge Nathan Hale Benedict Arnold
Bill of Rights "No taxation without representation" Poor Richard's Almanac