American Symbols

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American Symbols

An Easy-to-Use Social Studies Play
for Elementary School

Grades K-4
15 or 25 minutes (2 versions of show)
$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.

 

Order Now!

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

American symbols on parade! This fun patriotic show explores the origin, nature, and significance of many of the primary symbols of the United States: the Statue of Liberty, national flag, bald eagle, Mt. Rushmore, White House, Washington Monument, and the memorials to important individuals and events in the country’s history.

In this one package there are two different musical plays for two different age groups. For younger students (K-1), we have written a shorter (15-minute) show with 6 songs and no dialogue. Very short storyteller parts (which can be spoken either by students or the teacher) link the songs together. Each song can be sung by groups of students or the entire class. For older students (2-4), there is a “regular” Bad Wolf musical play, 25 minutes long with 9 different songs sung by small groups of actors and the chorus. Both scripts and the incredibly catchy songs for both shows are all included in the one American Symbols package. It's a twofer!

American Symbols 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!

Key Concepts

Shorter Version

American Symbols reinforces students' familiarity with the following national symbols, songs, and landmarks:

  • Bald eagle
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Liberty Bell
  • American Flag
  • "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (sung by the class)
  • "You're a Grand Old Flag" (sung by the class)
  • and references to the Great Seal of the U.S.; Mt. Rushmore; The Alamo; The White House

Longer Version

American Symbols reinforces students' familiarity with the following national symbols, documents, songs, and landmarks:

  • Bald eagle
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Liberty Bell
  • The White House
  • "Star-Spangled Banner" (NOT sung, but a character in the show)
  • The White House
  • "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (sung by the class)
  • Washington Monument and the National Mall
  • U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence
  • American flag: "You're a Grand Old Flag" (sung by the class)
  • and references to the Great Seal of the U.S.; Uncle Sam; the rose; Mt. Rushmore; the Capitol Building; apple pie; The Alamo
Author: John Heath (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell (Composer)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-54-7
© 2012 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"The children had a fantastic experience preparing for the play. They practiced diligently and felt so excited and satisfied after presenting it to the children at school and to their parents in the evening. We had thirty children in the musical and over 180 people attending our evening performance. We have received dozens of comments from parents and guests. They found the musical entertaining for all ages and expressed that we should make it a yearly tradition.

"My little guys learned so much about the history of our country. Thank you for always preparing excellent musicals that are clever and perfect for our students. This was one of my favorites. I can't sing at all, but your CDs make it easy even for people like me."

---Jenny Laurich, Teacher (2nd grade), Glenknoll Elementary School, Yorba Linda, CA

"It has made a great venue for the kids to explore American history. I like that there was a combination of songs that I knew from childhood and new songs the kids really like with upbeat tempo."

---Cecilia Chavez, Teacher (K-2nd grades), Albuquerque, NM

"This play fits perfectly into our study of American symbols. I like that there are 2 classic American songs included."

---Julie Austin,Teacher (K-1st grades), Huntington Beach, CA

A Crucial Note of Explanation Before You Go Any Farther!

American Symbols contains TWO separate scripts for TWO different age groups.

The FIRST script is intended for younger students, especially those in kindergarten and first grade. This version of American Symbols contains 6 songs, each of which is to be sung by the entire class. Each song is introduced by a few short lines of dialogue spoken by Storytellers. This version of the show will take about 15 minutes to perform.

The SECOND script is intended for older students, especially those in second, third, and fourth grades. This version of American Symbols contains 9 songs, most of which are sung by small groups of actors in character. There is a short scene of dialogue between each song. In other words, this is your basic classroom musical play. This show will take about 28 minutes to perform.

Read the first third of shorter script for younger students
Read the first third of the longer script for older students

American Symbols: shorter script for younger students

Casting

There are no individual roles in this version of the script. The entire class sings each song. There are Storytellers who have short bits of dialogue between each song. These can be distributed among all the students in the class or divided up in any way that seems to work best with a particular group of students.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

Song 1 - Listen to a sample now!

CLASS (facing audience):
American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

Oh I can't wait to see
The Statue of Liberty
Come dancing down the street.
Who even knew she had feet?

American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

Bald eagles are on hand
They're marching right in the band.
The U.S. flag looks proud
It's waving to all the crowd.

American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

STORYTELLER #1: Welcome to the parade.

STORYTELLER #2: Some of America's great symbols will be marching today.

STORYTELLER #3: Hey, here come the bald eagles!

STORY TELLER #1: The bald eagle is featured on the Great Seal of the United States.

STORYTELLER #2: I saw a great seal balance a ball on its nose at Sea World once.

STORYTELLER #3: Let's try to forget that and just listen to the eagles.

Song 2 - Listen to a sample now!

CLASS:
Oh who who who
Is the national bird?
It's me me me
Did you not get the word?

So why why why
Shouldn't we all rejoice?
They wanted something regal
Nothing like a seagull
And so we great bald eagles were the obvious choice.

We sky sky sky
Up as high as can be
We fly fly fly
We're so strong and so free

We're brave brave brave
And as wise as an owl
We have so much appeal
We're on the U.S. seal
On stamps and money we'll be
the fairest of fowl.

Ben Franklin thought a turkey
Could be the bird of state
But should we serve our symbols
With gravy on a plate?
No no no

Oh who who who
Is the national bird?
It's me me me
Did you not get the word?

So why why why
Shouldn't we all rejoice?
They wanted something regal
Nothing like a seagull
And so we great bald eagles were the obvious choice.

STORYTELLER #4: What's a symbol anyway?

STORYTELLER #5: It's an object or image that stands for something else.

STORYTELLER #6: For example, the bald eagle is a symbol of strength and courage.

STORYTELLER #4: Oh. I get it. Like broccoli is a symbol of EVIL.

STORYTELLER #5 (giving #4 a strange look): Uh. Sure. Although I was thinking of something more like the Statue of Liberty.

STORYTELLER #6: And here she comes!

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

American Symbols: longer version for older students

Casting

From 11-40 students. Use as many Bald Eagles, Paparazzi, 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 40 of the Teacher’s Guide.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Uncle Sam
Rose
Bald Eagles (3)
Statue of Liberty
Pedestal for Statue of Liberty
Paparazzi (2)
White House
Secret Service Agents (2)
Star-Spangled Banner
Washington Monument
Fans of the Washington Monument (3)
Tomato Juice (official beverage of Ohio)
Praying Mantis (official insect of Connecticut)
Strudel (official pastry of Texas)
U.S. Constitution
Declaration of Independence

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:
American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

Oh I can't wait to see
The Statue of Liberty
Come dancing down the street.
Who even knew she had feet?

American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

Bald eagles are on hand
They're marching right in the band.
The U.S. flag looks proud
It's waving to all the crowd.

American symbols on parade
All our pride is now displayed
Great ideals that will not fade
American symbols on parade.

(ACTORS take their places, moving
quickly across the stage in various
directions, as UNCLE SAM enters and
comes to the front of the stage. HE holds
a clipboard with pieces of paper he keeps
flipping through. HE is a bit flustered.)

UNCLE SAM: Okay, icons, let's get lined up.
The parade is about to start. Has anybody seen
the Liberty Bell?
(shouts)
Rose! Where's my assistant Rose?!

ROSE (running in): I'm here, Uncle Sam.

UNCLE SAM: Where've you been? You'd think the national flower would always be around. Rose, I can't find the Liberty Bell. I've been in charge of this parade for 200 years and the Liberty Bell has always been on the first float.

ROSE: Sorry I'm late. We're having troubles with Mt. Rushmore.

UNCLE SAM: Again?

ROSE: It's Teddy Roosevelt this time. He keeps speaking softly and then pokes Jefferson with a big stick. I've tried to separate them, but they won't budge.

UNCLE SAM: I warned them, didn't I? I told them you can't put four presidents on one mountain and expect it to work. They're like children. Giant 60-foot children.

(BALD EAGLES enter,)

BALD EAGLE #1: Hey, Uncle Sam, where are WE this year?

BALD EAGLE #2: We want to go first.

BALD EAGLE #3: After all, we're the national bird.

BALD EAGLE #1: Yeah. Bald eagles are important American symbols.

BALD EAGLE #2: Yeah! We're symbols!
(pause)
Uh. What's a symbol?

BALD EAGLE #3: It's an object or image that stands for something else.

BALD EAGLE #1 (proudly): The bald eagle is a symbol of strength and courage.

BALD EAGLE #2: Oh. I get it. Like the raven in Edgar Allen Poe's poem is a portent of impending death.

BALD EAGLE #3 (shaking head, to audience): English majors.

Song 2 - Listen to a sample now!

BALD EAGLES:
Oh who who who
Is the national bird?
It's me me me
Did you not get the word?

So why why why
Shouldn't we all rejoice?
They wanted something regal
Oh nothing like a seagull
And so we great bald eagles were the obvious choice.

We sky sky sky
Up as high as can be
We fly fly fly
We're so strong and so free.

We're brave brave brave
And as wise as an owl
We have so much appeal
We're on the U.S. seal
On stamps and money we'll be the fairest of fowl.

Ben Franklin thought a turkey
Could be the bird of state
But should we serve our symbols
With gravy on a plate?
No no no

BALD EAGLES and CHORUS:
Oh who who who
Is the national bird?
It's me me me
Did you not get the word?

So why why why
Shouldn't we all rejoice?
They wanted something regal
Oh nothing like a seagull
And so we great bald eagles were the obvious choice.

BALD EAGLE #1 (looking offstage): Let's go. I see the Statue of Liberty coming.

BALD EAGLE #2: And she brought her pedestal this time. She's going to be extra tall.

BALD EAGLE #3: Come on! If she gets in front of us we won't be able to see a thing!

(THEY exit. STATUE of LIBERTY and PEDESTAL enter.)

STATUE: I'm really looking forward to the parade this year. I can use the exercise—it was a cold winter in New York and I think I've put on a few tons.

PEDESTAL: I haven't noticed anything—you still feel like the same 450 thousand pounds as ever.

STATUE: Aren't you sweet! You're always so supportive.

(PAPARAZZI rush in with cameras.)

PEDESTAL: Hey, here come the paparazzi.

PAPARAZZO #1 (to #2): Have you seen the Washington Monument? I want to get a photo for tomorrow's paper, but these American symbols can be tough to track down.

PAPARAZZO #2: I don't know. I saw a 500-foot obelisk with dark glasses and a fake mustache catching a cab.

PAPARAZZO #1: Man, it got away! What am I going to tell my editor?

STATUE: You can take a picture of us.

PAPARAZZO #PAPARAZZO #2: Yeah? Are you American symbols?

PEDESTAL: You don't recognize us?

PAPARAZZO #1: How 'bout a hint?

STATUE: A colossal neoclassical sculpture presented to the United States as a gift from France?

PAPARAZZO #2 (puzzled, rubbing chin): Hmmmn.

PEDESTAL: A symbol of freedom holding a torch and wearing a crown with seven rays, one for each continent?

PAPARAZZO #2: Nope. Not ringing a bell. Any other clues?

Song 3 - Listen to a sample now!

STATUE of LIBERTY and PEDESTAL:
I hold a torch
The torch of freedom
Up high to fan the flame
I'm kind of green
I'm made of copper
Do you know my name?

I came from France
I was a present
And I got instant fame
Now I stand proud
Upon an island
Do you know my name!

I may be hollow but I'm big and strong
A thirty-five-foot waistline and a nose
that's five feet long!

Folks come each year
To New York harbor
And climb up in my frame

I do not mind
It kind of tickles
Do you know my name?

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
Yearning to be free
I'm the Statue of Liberty!
I'm the Statue of Liberty!

PAPARAZZO #1: Hey! I think this is the Statue of Liberty!

PAPARAZZO #2 (pauses, looks at the STATUE and PEDESTAL carefully, then shakes head): Naaah.
(points offstage)
Come on, I think I see the Declaration of Independence eating a sandwich.

(THEY all exit. WHITE HOUSE enters with two SECRET SERVICE AGENTS, speaking with ROSE.)

(This concludes the first one-third of the longer 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. American Symbols on Parade
2. The National Bird
3. Statue of Liberty
4. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. *
5. My Country, 'Tis of Thee
6. It's Me *
7. Liberty Bell
8. Great Documents *
9. You're a Grand Old Flag/American Symbols Reprise

The asterisked songs (4, 6, and 8) are not in the shorter version of the show.

Common Core and Other National Standards

Language Arts

  • Common Core Reading Standards for Literature: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Reading Standards: Foundational Skills:
    • K and 1st: Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition
    • 2nd: Phonics and Word Recognition
    • 3rd, 4th, 5th: Phonics and Word Recognition, Fluency
  • Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Language Standards: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Standard 10: Range, Quality & Complexity: Range of Text Types for K-5th

History/Social Studies

Fine Arts

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

Vocabulary

Shorter Version

displayed
ideals
regal
"on hand"
image
waistline
frame
inspired
"get the word"
fowl
grand
proclaim
peal
"fan the flame"
emblem
'tis thee
"chimed in"
"cracked up to be"
native
rills
templed
"ring true"
"ringing endorsement"
"auld acquaintance"
rapture

Longer Version

ideals
icons
budge
image
"get the word"
portent
impending
regal
appeal
"ring a bell"
fowl
pedestal
supportive
paparazzi
"fan the flames"
obelisk
colossal
neoclassical
dome
"huddled masses"
distracted
residence
cerulean blue
oval office
"sing the praises"
picturesque
memorial
tsk-tsk
institute
cadmium yellow
'tis
thee
native
thy
beverage
rills
rapture
pastry
upgrade
"guiding light"
grand
proclaim
documents
tyranny
"make a fuss"
founding
landmarks
intent
adios
"hold sway"
finale
emblem
"auld acquaintance"