California Missions - And More!

100% refund, no matter what. Details

Pin It
 

California Missions - And More!

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

Grades 2-6
25 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.

 

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:
Piano/Guitar 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!

JB, a Hollywood director, is making a movie -- a tour of early California up to statehood. We'll join her and the cast and crew on the set to watch all the drama of California history unfold. The story begins just before the arrival of Cabrillo in 1542, when we're introduced to the varied Native American tribes settled in California. Then the Spanish arrive with their three-point expansion plan: missions, presidios, and pueblos. As Mexico achieves independence from Spain and the mission era comes to a close, we'll meet the Californios who converted the mission lands to ranches, and then learn about the many people who came west for trade, gold, and other opportunities. Our thrilling blockbuster ends with California's annexation and statehood.

California Missions -- and More, filled with colorful characters and catchy tunes, 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

California Missions -- and More reinforces students' familiarity with the following people, events, and concepts:

  • The many Native American tribes settled in California
  • History of Spanish claims on California
  • Joseph de Galvez's expedition to Alta California for colonization and expansion
  • Purpose of missions, presidios, and pueblos
  • Establishing the missions; Junipero Serra and Don Gaspar de Portola
  • Breakup of missions after Mexico's independence from Spain; effects on the Mission Indians (Native Americans)
  • Californios/rancheros and the establishment of ranches on former mission lands
  • "Yankee" migration to California for gold and trade (Jedediah Smith); conflicts between locals and newcomers
  • James Polk and western expansion
  • Discovery of gold; John Sutter and James Marshall
  • California statehood and symbols
Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-23-3
© 2001 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"My fourth graders performed this play last year, and it was a huge success. I loved that it coincided chapter by chapter with our history text. The kids were so excited to learn the next song, but I would tell them we needed to learn about it first so they would eagerly dig right in! Catchy songs, clever lyrics (the adults were cracking up.) Highly recommended!"

---Dawn Smith, Teacher (4th grade), Pachappa Elementary, Riverside, CA

"It is unbelievable to me how much the kids have learned from this one play. During a recent field trip to our local mission they had tons of infomration from their play that connected to the mission. The same when whe nwe read Island of the Blue Dolphins, they kept making connections to the play. THeir little neurons ahve been firing and they had fun oding it. I am really enthusiastic about his and can't wait to do my play next year."

---Eliana Johnson, Teacher (4th grade), Old Adobe Elementary, Petaluma, CA

"I just love 'California Missions.' I will be doing it annually. Keep up the good work. Thank you for your assistance with education. Of course, now I'll be singing 'Sugar Cubes' until we begin our next musical!"

---Lance Poldberg, Teacher (4th grade), Butterfield Elementary, Lake Elsinore, CA

"State standards covered...good songs and lyrics. Parents loved it. Humorous!"

---Vince Rosato, Teacher (4th grade), Searles Elementary, San Learnardo, CA

"I emailed you many months ago after my fourth graders completed 'California Missions . . . and More.' I just had to email one more time when, on the LAST day of school, the kids got out the CD to the play and put it on to sing along. Each one cam up and did their song from the play and everyone sang along. This was completely spontaneous and joyful. What a great end to our year!"

---Eliana Johnson, Teacher (4th grade), Old Adobe Elementary, Petaluma, CA

"It is unbelievable to me how much the kids have learned from this one play. During a recent field trip to our local mission they had tons of infomration from their play that connected to the mission. The same when whe nwe read Island of the Blue Dolphins, they kept making connections to the play. THeir little neurons ahve been firing and they had fun oding it. I am really enthusiastic about his and can't wait to do my play next year."

---Eliana Johnson, Teacher (4th grade), Old Adobe Elementary, Petaluma, CA

"My colleagues and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching California History through the performance of “California Missions—and More!.” The rehearsals helped reinforce student knowledge of the curriculum and it was an experience they’ll never forget!"

---Kristy DuBray, Teacher (4th grade), Maeola R. Beitzel Elementary, Sacramento, CA

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many Administrators, Wives, Californios, etc. as desired.
One student can easily play several roles if needed. Note that all roles
can be played by either boys or girls.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

JB (Director)
Johnson (assistant to JB)
Native Americans (group #1)
Joseph de Gálvez
Administrators
Junipero Serra
Captain Portolá
Set Director
Girl
Native Americans (group #2)
Costume Designer
Ranchero Wives
Farmers (husband and wife)
James Polk
Jedediah Smith
John Sutter
James Marshall
Californians
and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing roles at the
time.

(Lots of people are busy on a movie set. They are moving things around,
rushing back and forth. There is a director’s chair that says, cleverly enough,
"DIRECTOR" on the back. The Director, JB, enters, with her assistant
JOHNSON, who always carries a clipboard.)

JB (shouting out directions, perhaps clapping hands to get attention):
Okay, people, let’s get moving. We’ve got a movie to film and we’re
already behind schedule.

JOHNSON: We’re all set, JB.
(to CAST and CREW of movie)
Your heard the director. Scene One of JB’s most brilliant work,
"California Missions."

JB (cringing): Aaaach.

JOHSNON: What is it, JB?

JB: That title. California Missions. It’s so, so…

JOHNSON: Mundane?

JB (ignoring JOHNSON): So…

JOHNSON: Prosaic?

JB: Icky. It’s icky. It needs something more.
(Thinks for a second, and then a lightbulb goes on over her head)
I’ve got it! Johnson, I’m a genius.

JOHNSON: What is it?

JB: The new title of my movie:
(pause: emphasize the “and more”)
California Missions—and more.

JOHNSON: Brilliant, JB!

Song 1 - Listen now!

CLASS (sings):
We’re gonna make a movie ’bout the Missions
The kind of film our fans will all adore
Yeah it’s got grit and luster
A holiday blockbuster
California Missions—Missions and more.

Early California, so exciting
There’s mountains and there’s valleys to explore
A history bonanza
A film extravaganza
California Missions—Missions and more.

Oh yeah
Oh yeah
On with the show
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Cue the lights and cam’ras here we go.

From Spanish exploration up to statehood
There’s tragedy and romance here galore.
Let’s travel the king’s highway

JB:
As long as it is my way

CLASS:
California Missions—Missions and more.
California Missions—Missions and more.

(JB takes her seat in the Director’s chair. The set clears. Three NATIVE
AMERICANS enter. Note that the gender is important for two of these
characters.)

JOHNSON: Okay, Scene One. It’s the sixteenth century, before the
Spanish start exploring California. Where are the Indians?

NATIVE AMERICAN #1: Excuse me.

JOHNSON: Oh, you’re here. You look great.

NA #1 (female): Thanks. But you really shouldn’t call us Indians.

NA#2 (male): That’s right. There are hundreds of thousands of us
throughout the west coast, and we belong to dozens of different tribes.

NA #3: Hey, has anybody seen my acorns?
(looks around, panicked)
I think I’ve lost my acorns!

JOHNSON: What?

NA #2 (pointing): Is that them in that basket over there?

NA #3: Yes! My acorns!
(races over and grabs basket)
I love acorns. Little ones. Big ones. Some of them get these cute little
lines on them and look just like they’re smiling. See? There are fourteen
different varieties of acorn in early California. Would you like me to name
them?

JOHNSON: No! I mean, we’ve got to shoot this scene. Are you all so, uh,
fond of acorns?

NA #1: No. That’s the point. We live in all kinds of places and live all
kinds of lives.

Song 2 - Listen now!

NA #1:
Some of us make baskets

NA #2:
Some make great canoes

NA #3:
Some of us wear deerskins

NA #1:
Some wear just tattoos.

NA #1:
I live in the desert

NA #2:
I live by the sea

NA #3:
I live in the mountains
Near an acorn tree!

ALL THREE:
Don’t call us Indians
We are not all the same
Don’t call us Indians
We do not know that name
We’re Chumash and we’re Yokuts
Miwok and Pomo too
Don’t call us Indians
If that’s alright with you.

NA #1:
Some of us pick berries

NA #2:
Some of us catch fish

NA #3:
Some of us find acorns
What a nutty dish!

(getting carried away)

Acorn paste for breakfast
Really tasty goop
Lunch is acorn porridge
Dinner’s acorn soup!

(Spoken:) I LOVE acorns!

ALL THREE and CHORUS:
Don’t call us Indians
We are not all the same
Don’t call us Indians
We do not know that name
We’re Chumash and we’re Yokuts
Miwok and Pomo too
Don’t call us Indians
If that’s alright with you.

(NATIVE AMERICANS exit)

JB: Cut! Brilliant. Perfect. It’s got a message but it’s catchy. And there’s
the food angle. I’m not a big fan of acorn porridge myself, but I think there
may be an untapped audience out there of nut lovers. Johnson—get me
on one of those cooking shows for the publicity tour.

JOHNSON: Right, JB. Okay, Scene Two. We need Joseph de Gálvez
on the stage. Where is the Spanish Visitor-General of Mexico?

GÁLVEZ: (entering, accompanied by ADMINSTRATORS. HE is holding
a letter):
At last my request has been granted from the king. We shall send an
expedition to Alta California and colonize it for Spain.

ADMINISTRATOR #1: Excellent, Governor Gálvez. But we Spanish have
claimed all of California for 200 years. In 1542 Cabrillo sailed to San Diego,
and in 1602 Vizcaíno charted Monterey Bay. Why send an expedition now
in 1769?

GÁLVEZ: Why now? Because the Russians and British are poking their
noses around our territory. Why now? Because for 200 years we have
done nothing with Alta California. Why now? Because it will be fun!

ADMINISTRATOR #2: But how do we do it?

GÁLVEZ: How? How we always do it, of course. We’ll follow the famous
Spanish three-step plan to territorial expansion.

ADMINISTRATORS #1 and #2 (together): The three-step plan?

GÁLVEZ: Don’t they teach you anything in college these days? Your
résumés explicitly stated that you had taken Imperialism 101: Introduction
to Being a Colonial Power.

ADMINISTRATOR #1: Uh, I think I may have missed a couple of those
classes.

GÁLVEZ: The three-step plan of expansion is quite simple. Repeat after
me: Missions.

ADMINISTRATORS #1 and #2 (together): Missions.

GÁLVEZ: Presidios.

ADMINISTRATORS #1 and #2 (together, baffled): Presidios?

GÁLVEZ: Presidios are forts. And the third step is pueblos. Pueblos are cities.

ADMINISTRATORS #1 and #2 (together): Pueblos.

GÁLVEZ: All together now.

ADMINISTRATORS #1 and #2 (together, chanting, going faster and faster):
Missions, presidios, and pueblos. Missions, presidios and pueblos.
Missions, presidios and pueblos. RAH!

GÁLVEZ: Now you get it.

Song 3 - Listen now!

The first step towards our ambition
Is to build ourselves a mission
And then turn the natives Christian
It’s really for the best

Then we’ll fortify that mission
With presidios positioned
To discourage opposition
To our California quest.

GÁLVEZ and ADMINISTRATORS:
Missions, presidios and pueblos
A three-step plan to stretch our Spanish rule
Missions, presidios and pueblos
The New World will be ours
The New World will be ours
The New World will be ours and that’s so cool.

For step three we’ll build a city
Though this pueblo won’t be pretty
A few families tough and gritty
Will ranch and farm the land

You might call it colonizing
But we’re really globalizing
Though the natives are down-sizing
In the end they’ll like the plan!

GÁLVEZ, ADMINISTRATORS and CHORUS:
Missions, presidios and pueblos
A three-step plan to stretch our Spanish rule
Missions, presidios and pueblos
The New World will be ours
The New World will be ours
The New World will be ours and that’s so cool.

(THEY exit)

JB (from chair): I love it. It’s got pathos. I don’t even know what pathos is,
but I know that scene’s got it. Keep rolling. Cue Junipero!

(JUNIPERO SERRA and CAPTAIN PORTOLÁ enter)

PORTOLÁ: Father Serra, the mission here in San Diego is really beginning
to take shape.

SERRA: It is a miracle, Captain Portolá. I thought our overland trip here
from Mexico was difficult, but it was even harder for the ships. We are
fortunate that more of us did not die.

PORTOLÁ: True. But we have now established a Spanish presence in
San Diego and Monterey.

SERRA: And someday we will have missions and pueblos up and down
California along El Camino Real, the King’s highway.

PORTOLÁ: Perhaps you too will be famous one day. Children will study
Father Junipero Serra and his missions.

SERRA: Ya think? Naaaaah. Wouldn’t that be horribly boring? I am just
a humble Franciscan friar doing my best to serve as I can.

PORTOLÁ: The mission is almost finished. Soon we will hang up the bells.

SERRA: Ah, I love the bells. They have traveled a long distance to become
part of our little mission. Our building is modest now, but someday it will
rise up with tall brick walls. The ringing of the bells means our work here has
just begun:

Song 4 - Listen now!

Hear the bells
Cheer the bells
These lovely bells gonna ring away
Hear the bells
San Diego to Monterey.

I love the smell of adobe
Drying in the sun
The walls are rising
Let’s start baptizing
Our mission has begun.

SERRA and PORTOLÁ:
Hear the bells
Cheer the bells
These lovely bells gonna ring away
Hear the bells
San Diego to Monterey.

PORTOLÁ:
I love the sight of a cornfield
Furrows deep and straight
The grain is rising
So civilizing
Our mission’s taking shape.

SERRA, PORTOLÁ, and CHORUS:
Hear the bells
Ding dong
Those lovely bells gonna ring away
Ding dong
San Diego to Monterey
Ding dong
These lovely bells gonna ring away
Ding dong
San Diego to Monterey.

(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. “California Missions—and More”
2. “Don’t Call Us Indians”
3. “Missions, Presidios and Pueblos”
4. "Hear the Bells"
5. “Gotta Build a Mission”
6. “Where Do We Go Now?”
7. “We’re Tired of Cattle”
8. “Here We Come”
9. “Gold, Don’t Say Gold”
10. “Eureka/California Missions and More (Reprise)”

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

mundane
prosaic
adore
grit
luster
bonanza
extravaganza
galore
globalizing
down-sizing
pathos
furrows
biodegrade
parcel
Zeitgeist
machismo
élan
fandango
tango
squatter
pelt
dredge
skirmish
limbo

Historical Terms
statehood
Chumash
Yokut
Miwok
Pomo
Alta California
Cabrillo
Vizcaíno
imperialism
presidio
pueblo
El Camino Real
Franciscan
adobe
hacienda
tallow
Californios
manifest destiny
Compromise of 1850
Eureka
Minerva