The Texans: Birth of the Lone Star State

100% refund, no matter what. Details

Pin It
 

The Texans: Birth of the Lone Star State

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

 

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

Our review of early Texas history covers the arrival of the European explorers through annexation in 1845. Stephen Austin, Sam Houston, Susannah Dickerson, and José Antonio Navarro are just some of the colorful characters in this amazing story. From the arrival of Spanish gold-seekers to the rise of cotton and cattle, The Texans is a tuneful exploration of the birth of the 28th state.

The Texans: Birth of the Lone Star State is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary and middle school Texas history. 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

The Texans refers to and reinforces students' familiarity with the following:

  • Spanish explorers' quest for gold and interactions with Native Americans
  • Spanish mission-building and claiming Texas land for Spain
  • Mexican independence and Stephen Austin's colony
  • The "Old 300"; the experiences of the first American settlers in Austin's colony
  • The Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo
  • Sam Houston and Texas independence
  • U.S annexation
  • Texas industries: cotton, cattle, oil
Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-20-2
© 2000 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"I purchased my first play, The Texans, as a fourth grade teacher in Dallas, Texas. While many of the students had been in the country for several years, it was the first year in an 'English only' class for any of them. My challenge was to get them not only to speak up, but to stand up and sing loud and clear in front of an audience. Little did I know at the time that you had already done all the hard work for me. It was so easy. I just popped in the CD and gave them the words.

Everyone tried out for parts. I found a special education student in my class to be a born star. When she took the stage, she radiated personality, enthusiasm, and confidence.

In the twenty years that I have been teaching, I have tried many products and programs that are supposed to help children. I don't think that I have ever found anything that provides as much benefit to students with so little preparation. Everything is there for you. The songs are perfect! The are educational, yet often amusing on many levels. You guys are brilliant! You have a devoted customer and fan in me"

---Lori Becerra, Teacher (4th grade), Ben Milam Elementary, Dallas, TX

"The songs were good, informational, and had humor. Students learn better when they think they are 'playing.' The songs are educational, but also entertaining."

---Patti Bradley, Teacher (4th grade), Taylor Elementary, Burleson, TX

"The play followed our Texas history curriculum quite accurately...I would tell teachers that have never done a play before that Bad Wolf plays are definitely where they should start. The directions are clear and easy to follow."

---Linda Centera, Teacher (4th grade), Dunaway Elementary, Waxahachie, TX

"The show was extremely entertaining and also fit with our school's curriculum. For anyone who has reservations about doing one of these plays, I just want to say it really is as easy as Bad Wolf Press states. We did the program with about 100 fourth graders for PTA performances and with minimal effort from the teachers the performances were hits with both the kids and adults."

---Rachel Baker, Teacher (4th grade), Fernandez Elementary, San Antonio, TX

"The songs and script are perfect. What a wonderful sense of humor! History is a great avenue of learning. Kids and adults of all ages love being with plays like this. It's easy, too. Our whole school watched us perform."

---Linda Busby, Teacher (4th and 7th grades), Rees Elementary, Houston, TX

"I loved all the detailed instructions. The play allowed each student to 'shine.' Some of the more reserved students really expressed themselves openly through their character. The Texans was a perfect culminating activity to conclude our year long study of Texas history."

---Juanita Fox, Teacher (4th grade) Coker Elementary, San Antonio, TX

"I loved seeing the children try something new...Our whole school looks forward to our performances. The children seem to gain a great deal of confidence too."

---Peggy O'Leary, Teacher (4th grade), Kimberlin Academy, Garland, TX

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many Explorers, Mission Builders, etc. as desired;
one student can also play more than one role. Note that all
roles can be played by either boys or girls.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Teacher
Students: Anna, Barbara, Joey
Native Americans
Spanish Explorer
Mission Builders
Stephen Austin
Sara (Austin’s administrative assistant)
Old 300 (men)
Old 300 (women)
Texan Fighters
Worried Texans
Susannah Dickinson and Friend
Texas Citizens
Sam Houston
José Antonio Navarro
Working Texans
Farmers (including Oil-Covered Farmer)
Cattlemen
and a Chorus composed of all students who are not playing roles at the time.

(We see a classroom. A TEACHER stands at the front. STUDENTS are
sitting on floor, looking bored and tired.)

TEACHER: Okay, class, it’s time to review Texas history for tomorrow’s test.

BARBARA: But Miss Livingston, I’m hungry.

JOEY: Yeah, can’t we eat first?

TEACHER: Now class, we have to get up to when Texas becomes a
state. And we only have half an hour today.

ANNA: I can’t wait half an hour. My brain needs food.

TEACHER: Well, what better brain food is there than a little history?

BARBARA: What do you mean?

TEACHER: I’ve got an idea. You’re hungry. We need to cover the
material. So let’s make lunch out of our lesson.

ANNA: You mean, like, eat history?

JOEY: Sounds pretty bland to me. Can’t we have a burger?

TEACHER: Nonsense. We just need a little barbecue sauce. Everything’s
better with a little barbecue sauce. Joey, Barbara, pull out that grill. Anna, get
the history book please. This is going to be fun!

Song 1 - Listen now!

ENTIRE CLASS:
Let’s cook, let’s cook some history today
Let’s cook, let’s cook early Texas right away
Social studies makes great food
When they’re nicely barbecued
Let’s cook, let’s cook, let’s cook
Some history today.

(A STUDENT puts a map of Texas on the barbecue. NOTE: Before
something is put on the barbecue throughout the show, it should be held up
so the audience can see it):

Let’s cook, let’s cook some history right now
Let’s baste, let’s taste - the lone star state will make great chow.
(A STUDENT puts a cut-out “1845” on the barbecue)
Even dates can be a thrill
When you pop them on a grill
Let’s cook, let’s cook, let’s cook
Some history right now.

Oh history’s great
Served up on a plate
Texas is a savory state

Oh history’s fun
I like it well-done

JOEY:
I like mine on a big bun.

TEACHER (spoken): That’s the spirit! History and barbecue!
They always go together!

CLASS:
Let’s cook, let’s cook some history today
Let’s cook, let’s cook early Texas right away

ANNA:
For this feast we don’t need bibs

JOEY:
Can’t we just toss on some ribs?

CLASS:
Let’s cook, let’s cook, let’s cook
Some history today.

TEACHER: Now where should we begin our feast of history?

ANNA: How about when the Spanish first landed in Texas?

BARBARA: Or how about with the Native Americans? They were here
long before the Spanish.

JOEY: Why not when the Spanish first met the Native Americans? I bet
they had some great lunches.

TEACHER: That’s a good idea. Let’s put them on the grill and see what
happens.

(STUDENTS put Spanish Explorers and Native Americans from the
history book on the barbecue, and then move aside as the two groups appear.
We see NATIVE AMERICAN working hard with a hoe. After a few
seconds, a SPANISH EXPLORER comes up to the
NATIVE AMERICAN.)

EXPLORER: I have come from Spain in search of the Seven Cities
of Gold.

NATIVE: I’ve never heard of them.

EXPLORER: Impossible. The New World is filled with treasure. We
have heard many tales of the Seven Cities of Gold.

NATIVE: Sorry. My grandfather does tell a good story about the Five
Caves of Rabid Wolverines. I suppose something could have gotten
lost in translation.

EXPLORER: Are you going to help me or not?

NATIVE: I’m telling you you’ve got the wrong place and the
wrong people.

EXPLORER: What?

Song 2 - Listen now!

NATIVE AMERICAN:
Do I look like an Inca to you?
Some rich king with a golden throne or two?
Would I sweat or freeze all day
In a pueblo made of clay
If I owned a big condo in Peru?

EXPLORER (moves across stage to another NATIVE AMERICAN,
dressed differently, who holds the paddle to a canoe): Hey you, where
is the gold?

NATIVE AMERICAN #2:
Do I look like an Aztec to you?
Is there one single pyramid in view?
So forget what you’ve been told
There’re no cities made of gold
There are no silver crowns in my canoe.

NATIVE AMERICANS:
There’re Apaches on the plains
Who ride swifter than the breeze
Karankowas on the coast
Smeared with alligator grease.
We’ve got furs and skins to peddle
But not a single precious metal.

NATIVE AMERICANS and CHORUS:
Do I look like an Inca to you?
Some rich king with a golden throne or two?
Would I sweat or freeze all day
In a pueblo made of clay
If I owned a big condo in Peru?

(THEY exit; TEACHER and STUDENTS appear again)

TEACHER: So what happened after the Spanish arrived?

ANNA: They built some towns and tried to settle Texas as a province.

BARBARA: And they built missions, although a lot of them weren’t
very successful.

JOEY: Yeah, missions! Many were founded by that great missionary,
Sir Francisco Brisket. And in his honor we’ll put on the barbecue a nice big
brisket that my mom bought yesterday at the…

ANNA: Joey!

TEACHER: I think your stomach is on its own mission, Joey.

JOEY: But what about Sir Francisco? He deserves some recognition.
Maybe we could just sear a hot dog and salute it or something.

TEACHER: Here, Joey. Put this mission on the grill and try to concentrate
on some real history.

(JOEY puts a picture of a mission on the barbecue and THEY step aside.
We see THREE MISSION BUILDERS marching along. ONE is the
LEADER; the other TWO, carrying shovels and/or a Spanish flag, clearly struggle
to follow along.)

LEADER: Come on, men, we’ve got to found another mission
before sundown.

MISSION BUILDER #1: Can’t we rest for a minute? I think I’ve got a
boulder in my boot.

LEADER: Forward. We must lay claim to all of this land for Spain.

MISSION BUILDER #2: But this province of Texas is huge. We’re in
the middle of nowhere.

MISSION BUILDER #1: Weren’t we in the middle of nowhere
last month?

MISSION BUILDER #2: And the month before that.

LEADER: Let’s go—we’ve got a job to do.

MISSION BUILDER #1: And it looks like we’re going nowhere in hurry
once again:

Song 3

TWO MISSION BUILDERS:
We got our orders from the King of Spain
Defend our land through heat and dust and rain
But staking out claims, man is it the pits
Let’s plant a flag or two and call it quits.

LEADER: Come on, quit dragging behind.

TWO MISSION BUILDERS:
He says get tougher, boy, and be a mensch
You gotta build a buffer ’gainst the French
But I just see swamps, deserts and ravines
And I don’t even know what “buffer” means.

ALL THREE:
We are on a mission
Put a mission here
That’s our job
On the frontier.
We are on a mission
Put a mission here
That’s our job
On the frontier.

TWO MISSION BUILDERS:
So here we are to civilize this land
You might as well build cannon out of sand
And meanwhile I’m so tired, thirsty, hot and damp
That even my old pants have got a cramp.

LEADER #1: Come on, let’s go! You! Treat that shovel with respect!

THREE MISSION BUILDERS and CHORUS:
We are on a mission
Put a mission here
That’s our job
On the frontier.
We are on a mission
Put a mission here
That’s our job
On the frontier.

(THEY exit. TEACHER and STUDENTS reappear.)
BARBARA (holding history book): Oh, I know what comes next.

TEACHER: What is it?

BARBARA (pulling out figure): It’s time for Stephen Austin, the father
of Texas.

TEACHER: That’s right. In the early 1820s Mexico gained independence
from Spain. Stephen Austin thought Mexico might want to populate
Texas with Americans who would be loyal to Mexico.

JOEY: But why would people from the U.S. want to move to a
Mexican province?

ANNA: How about 5000 acres of land for each family at just pennies
an acre?

JOEY: That would do it.

BARBARA: But it still wasn’t easy to get people to come—Texas was
a tough place to live.

TEACHER: Well let’s see how Stephen Austin managed it.

(BARBARA puts image on barbecue, THEY step aside. STEPHEN
AUSTIN appears, pacing, holding a piece of paper.)

AUSTIN (as he paces, to himself): I just can’t figure it out.
(shouts)
Sara, Sara, can you come in here?

SARA (entering, holding a memo pad and pen): Yes, Mr. Austin?

AUSTIN: Sara, I need some help with this flyer. I’m not getting much
response on this Texas deal. I can’t understand. The land is fertile, cheap,
there’s plenty of water.

SARA: How many families do you need?

AUSTIN: I promised the Mexican government I’d bring in 300.

SARA: How many have responded to your ad?

AUSTIN: Four. And that’s counting the dog who wandered in here with the flyer in his mouth.

SARA: Hmmn. Would you mind if I looked at the flyer?

AUSTIN: Please.
(Hands it to her.)

SARA (reads it, then responds): Well, it’s a good flyer. An excellent flyer.
But I think you may need to make it more alluring. You know, pretty it
up a bit.

AUSTIN: I’ve got to be honest—it’s not going to be a picnic in this colony.

SARA: Oh, yes, of course. But you just need to give it the right spin.

AUSTIN: Spin?

SARA: Trust me—I see a great future in spin. Here, let me show you.
You read me a line from the ad, and I’ll give it a slight rewrite.

Song 4

AUSTIN:
No towns and no neighbors for miles across

SARA:
Get out of the traffic and be your own boss.

AUSTIN:
You must become Catholic to join in our crew

SARA:
Come visit our missions and learn Latin too.

BOTH:
Americans wanted
Come south and come west
There’s land for the asking
It’s Mexico’s best
Americans wanted
Down Mexico way
Americans wanted today.

AUSTIN:
Some Indians may scalp you and cut off your ears

SARA:
The natives are frisky and love souvenirs.

AUSTIN:
And some are fierce cannibals you’ll have to fight

SARA:
The locals will have you to dinner one night.

BOTH and CHORUS:
Americans wanted
Come south and come west
There’s land for the asking
It’s Mexico’s best
Americans wanted
Down Mexico way
Americans wanted today.

AUSTIN:
You’ll all become Mexican citizens then

SARA:
You won’t pay a penny in taxes again.

AUSTIN:
No towns and no neighbors for miles across.

SARA:
Get out of the traffic and be your own boss.

BOTH and CHORUS:
Americans wanted
Come south and come west
There’s land for the asking
It’s Mexico’s best
Americans wanted
Down Mexico way
Americans wanted today.
Americans wanted today.

(THEY exit. Two MEN and Two WOMEN enter, looking dirty and
tired, but not defeated.)

(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. “Let’s Cook Some History”
2. “Do I Look Like an Inca to You?”
3. “We are on a Mission”
4. “Americans Wanted”
5. “We’re the Old 300”
6. “Don’t Mess with Texas”
7. “The Alamo”
8. “Hey Sam”
9. “Let’s Sell Off New England”
10. “Cotton Is King”
11. “That Was Our Tale/ Let’s Cook (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

Historical Figures and Terms
The New World
Seven Cities of Gold
Inca
pueblo
Aztec
Apache
Karankowas
province
mission
Mexican Independence
"Old 300"
immigration
tariff
Santa Anna
Alamo
Davy Crockett
Jim Bowie
Antonio Fuentes
Colonel William Travis
“It’s victory or death.”
The Battle of San Jacinto
Republic of Texas
Cherokee
annexation
territory
statehood
bales of cotton
longhorn
tallow
hides
Susannah Dickerson
Sam Houston
Stephen Austin

General Vocabulary-Building
bland
baste
chow
savory
rabid
wolverines
translation
pyramid
swifter
peddle
sear
staking
mensch
buffer
ravine
acre
alluring
“spin”
frisky
fierce
cannibal
tending
tribute
mustang
artillery
convention
liquidate
assets
brash
pace
memo