U.S. Constitution

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U.S. Constitution: Reviver: Philadelphia

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

Grades 4-8
35 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:
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!

Watch the exciting hit reality show Revivor as it takes on its most challenging venue yet: Philadelphia. Through a magical process referred to by scientists as..."a magical process"...we've revived the actual writers and framers of the Constitution to serve as our contestants! Each week we'll be following these Revivors as they explain, justify, and argue how they contributed to the making of the Constitution -- fighting to be the last Founding Father standing. At the end of each episode, they'll all vote and the one individual judged to have been the least important will be sent back into the bleak, pathless oblivion of the past. Sounds like fun!

The U.S. Constitution: Revivor: Philadelphia 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

Revivor: Philadelphia reinforces students' familiarity with the following events and concepts:

  • Confederation Congress
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Executive, legislative, and judiciary branches
  • The Great Compromise (big states and small states)
  • The two houses of Congress
  • States' rights
  • Checks and balances
  • Presidential veto
  • Impeachment
  • Amendment 22
  • Ratification
  • Federalist Papers
  • Article One
  • Bill of Rights
  • Marbury v. Madison
  • Judicial review
  • ...And, of course, popular reality shows
Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-42-4
© 2008 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"We are having such fun with The Constitution Play. It is great and we will be performing it before school ends. (We go well into June in New York State.) Thanks again for creating products that not only support the curriculum, but are fun and easy to use. I am already thinking about next year's production!"

---Connie Patterson, 5th grade teacher, Cayuga Heights Elementary, Ithaca, NY

"We got the play on a Tuesday and it went up in front of the school and parents two weeks later to rave reviews. The writing was fresh and clever. The songs were catchy (I woke up nights with those songs going through my head.)

"At the same time we were working on the play, we were studying the US Constitution using We the People (from Center for Civic Education). Generally, we complete this study with a mock congressional hearing. But this year we did your play instead. Students said, 'The play helped me to understand what we were reading in We the People and because of the songs, I remember it.'

"Your suggestions for putting on the play were right on the money. And you were really easy to deal with. Quick, honest communication, with very personal service. Amazing."

---Melody Murphy, 5th grade teacher, Glenwood Elementary, San Rafael, CA

"This has some of the best music in the Bad Wolf collection. The kids loved it and it was easy to stage. Excellent and entertaining storytelling which directly aligned to material our fifth graders had to learn. One of my favorites."

---April Cochra, Director, Market House Theater, Paducahl, KY

"Thanks for a fun script. We had a blast and you can see it in the kids' faces."

---Deborah Pasarow, Teacher (7th/8th grade), St. Prius School, Buena Park, CA

"Students loved it -- great songs."

---Patricia Bell, Teacher (4th/5th grade), Norma Coombs School, Pasadena, CA.

"I'm a second year teacher and just had my first performance with my eighth grade class. Kids loved it. Parents loved it. Principal loved it. I loved it! Doing another in the spring! Thanks!"

---Jen Vargas, Teacher (8th Grade), Ophir Elementary, Newcastle, CA

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many delegates, messengers, etc. as desired.
One student can easily play several roles if needed, and
individual roles can be doubles up. Note that all roles
can be played by either boys or girls; see our comments
on page 31 of the Teacher's Guide.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Sally Sassafrass
Bill O'Rights
John Hancock
Samuel Huntington
Ben Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
Big State Delegates
Little State Delegates
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
George Washington
John Jay
Samuel Adams
Messengers
Benedict Arnold
James Monroe
James Madison
George Mason
Paris Hilton
Two Anoynymous Founding Fathers
John Marshall
Supreme Court Justices
and a CHORUS comprised of all students who are not
playing roles on stage at the time.

(Entire CLASS faces audience and sings:)

Song 1 - Listen now!

CLASS:
We the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes): For the United States
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes): For the United States
for the United States of America.

We the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes):
For the United States
CLASS:
For the United States
PART of CLASS (echoes):
For the United States
CLASS:
For the United States of America
of America
of America.
(SALLY, the HOST, enters and addresses the audience)

SALLY: Welcome to the hit reality show, Revivor. I'm your host, Sally
Sassafrass. This year, we have our most challenging venue yet: Revivor:
Philadelphia. The contestants are the actual writers and framers of the
Constitution, duking it out to be the last Founding Father standing.Here to
go over the rules is my co-host, Bill O'Rights. Bill?

BILL (already half-way across the stage):
Thank you. This year, we've conjured up the Founding Fathers so we
can witnessthe birth of our nation. You know, Sally, I witnessed the birth
of my son, and it
wasn't pretty.

SALLY (embarrassed): Why don't you go on with the rules, Bill?

BILL: I mean, all that yelling and screaming. It was horrible. The doctors
told me I would have to be quiet or leave the room.

SALLY: The birth of the NATION, Bill?

BILL: Oh, yeah, right. Through a magical process referred to by
scientists as (waves his arm majestically)"a magical process" we've
revived the creators of the Constitution.Each week we'll be following
these Revivors as they explain how theycontributed to the making of the
Constitution. At the end of each episode, the one individual judged to
have been the least important will be sent backinto the bleak, pathless
oblivion of history.
(cheery)
Is this gonna be fun or what?

SALLY: Let's get started.
(looking to side of stage)
Here are John Hancock and Samuel Huntington, leaders of the
ConfederationCongress in the mid-1780s.
(HANCOCK and HUNTINGTON enter)
They're worried they will be held accountable for the Articles of
Confederation, the first governing document of the country. It was in
effectbefore the Constitution, and it had some major problems.
(SALLY and BILL exit)

HUNTINGTON: I tell you right now, John, I have no intention of being
the scapegoat here.

HANCOCK: Nor do I, Sam. I didn't scrawl my name all over the
Declaration of Independence just to be the first person voted off
the island.

HUNTINGTON: The island?

HANCOCK: I was speaking metaphorically.

HUNTINGTON: No one can hold us responsible for the weakness of
the Articles of Confederation. They've done their job getting the colonies
successfully through the Revolutionary War.

HANCOCK: And for 6 years they've given the 13 states some sort of
national government.

HUNTINGTON: But we all know the problems: No strong central
government; no executive branch; no way to raise money; no federal
court system; no way to control state legislatures.

HANCOCK: But it's not our fault! Maybe we can get the other
Founders to vote out Ben Franklin. He's 80 years old, out playing with
his kite in thunderstorms.

HUNTINGTON: Franklin's crafty---don't underestimate him. I think
our best shot is to admit the Articles aren't working and hope we find
an immunity idol.

Song 2 - Listen now!

HUNTINGTON:
Well I don't want to be too bleak
But congress, folks, is sad and weak
And all of the laws we pass are just a waste of ink

HANCOCK:
We have no way to enforce our acts
We can¹t raise troops and we can't tax
The articles of confederation really stink.

HUNTINGTON and HANCOCK:
This won't do
This won't do
This won't do
Thirteen states without glue
Time we tried
Something new
The articles of confederation just won't do.

We ask each state to pay its share
But we got zilch from Delaware
And Georgia sent peaches with a note that just said no*

Each state is king so bold and brash
Now every state prints its own cash
The articles of confederation gotta go.

HUNTINGTON, HANCOCK, CHORUS:
This won't do
This won't do
This won't do
Thirteen states without glue
Time we tried
Something new
The articles of confederation just won't do.
Just won't do
Just won't do.

(THEY exit. ALEXANDER HAMILTON enters, walking
across stage reading a document. When HE gets about half-way
across the stage, BEN FRANKLIN enters, trying to catch up with
HAMILTON. FRANKLIN is a bit slow-footed.)

FRANKLIN: Alex! Alexander Hamilton, slow down a minute!

HAMILTON: Ben Franklin! Just the person I wanted to see. Have you
heard the news?

FRANKLIN: What news? Hancock is scheming against me, isn't he?
I knew it!

HAMILTON: I don't know about Hancock. But I do have news.

FRANKLIN: Have they finally named a state for me?

HAMILTON: No, not that.

FRANKLIN: A city, then? Congress could at least name a city after me.

HAMILTON: No, Ben, I'm sorry. They're leaning towards Washington.

FRANKLIN: Washington? For a city?

HAMILTON: And maybe a state, too.

FRANKLIN: BOTH? What about me?

HAMILTON: Well, they've named a stove after you.

FRANKLIN: A stove? A STOVE?

HAMILTON: It was either that or a new species of squirrel.
But I've got bigger news.
(waving the paper in his hand; with excitement)
Congress has accepted my proposal to hold a convention.

FRANKLIN: For a new constitution? That's fantastic!

HAMILTON: Well, yes and no. It's not supposed to be for
writing a new Constitution. See, Congress has agreed to allow
us to organize a convention in Philadelphia next May...
(reads from paper)
. ..for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of
Confederation. They're calling it a "federal" convention.

FRANKLIN: That's ridiculous! We need to throw out the Articles
and start over. We need a CONSITUTIONAL convention.

HAMILTON: I know, I know. So here's my plan. We need to
form an alliance.

FRANKLIN: Yes, an alliance! Against Hancock! We'll vote him off.
Him and that quill.

HAMILTON: Sure, Ben. But first I've got something else in mind.
We gather all the best thinkers in the country, pretend we're going
to make a few slight changes to the Articles, and then, BLAMMO,
we turn it into a brand new constitutional convention.

FRANKLIN: But that would be dishonest. "Honesty is the best policy,"
I always say.

HAMILTON: They almost named a squirrel after you, Ben.

FRANKLIN (thinks for a moment, then): Good point. Let's write
us a Constitution!

Song 3 - Listen now!

FRANKLIN and HAMILTON:
Congress was very explicit
Told us what we could do
It is not busted
So just adjust it
A fresh coat of paint ought to do.
Congress wants just a revision
A fix-it up job here and there
We're on a budget
So just retouch it
It doesn't need that much repair.

We said "We concur"
We told them "For sure"
But we think the patient is dead
We are not tinkers
We are great thinkers
So we¹ve go our own plan instead...

We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna start anew from scratch
Toss out the old that's the real solution
There is nothing left to patch.

We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna have ourselves some fun
We're gonna have a great institution
When this whole shebang is done!

We¹ve got Washington, Madison, and Hamilton too
Gonna party here all summer long
And though Benjamin Franklin is at least 81
That ol' sucker is still going strong.

FRANKLIN, HAMILTON, and CHORUS:
We're gonna write us a constitution
Gonna start anew from scratch
Toss out the old that's the real solution
There is nothing left to patch.

We¹re gonna write us a constitution
Gonna have ourselves some fun
We¹re gonna have a great institution
When this whole shebang is done!
Done! Done!
(THEY exit. SALLY and BILL enter)

SALLY: Hello again. It's time we met some more of our Revivor:
Philadelphia competitors.

BILL: There are more?

SALLY: All 13 states sent representatives to Philadelphia. Except
Rhode Island.

BILL: What's with that?

SALLY: Rhode Island refused to send any delegates.

BILL: I've always been suspicious about Rhode Island.

SALLY: Don't worry about it.

BILL: I mean, it's not even an island.

SALLY: Bill...

BILL: Or a road! It's completely misleading tourists.

SALLY: Let it go, Bill. The other state legislatures elected 74 delegates.

BILL: 74! How many Founding Fathers does one country need?

SALLY: Only 55 attended the meetings in Philadelphia.

BILL: That's still a pretty big pack of patriots. And we¹ve revived
them all? They aren't all going to get torches for tribal council, are they?
The Pennsylvania State House will go up in a ball of flame.

SALLY: Independence Hall, as it is now known, will be just fine. By
the end of the summer of 1787 only 39 signed the Constitution. And
one of them will be the winner of Revivor: Philadelphia.

BILL: I hope it's no one from Rhode Island.

SALLY (trying to escort BILL off stage): Let's go, Bill. Here come
some more competitors right now.

BILL: (shouting towards audience) And Rhode Island? You're fired!

SALLY: Wrong show, Bill.

(THEY exit. FOUR DELEGATES enter. TWO represent Big
States; TWO represent Small States.)

BIG STATE#1: We should win this Revivor thing easy! We solved the
biggest problem of the convention.

LITTLE STATE #1: Too much starch in our wigs?

BIG STATE #2: No! How to make sure both the big states and little
states could feel they had a say in a strong national government.

LITTLE STATE #2: I thought you Big States would never give us a
congress with an equal number of representatives for each state.

BIG STATE #1: And you Little States weren't exactly thrilled at a
congress that gave representatives according to population.

LITTLE STATE #1: We were awesome!
(pause)
Uh, how'd we solve it?

BIG STATE #2: Weren't you there when we came up with the
two-house compromise?

LITTLE STATE #1: Well, yeah. But I couldn't hear anything.

LITTLE STATE #2: Why not?

LITTLE STATE #1: I had too much starch in my wig.

Song 4 - Listen now!

LARGE STATES: Small states all they did was shout

SMALL STATES: We just wanted our share but the
Big states tried to squeeze us out

LARGE STATES: That would only be fair!

ALL FOUR (pointing at each other):

They said blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
It drove me out of my mind
They said blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
I never thought we would find

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

Then we came up with a scheme
Congress split into two houses
Neither one of them supreme
One each for me and you!

House of Representatives
It gave the big states a break
Then we made a Senate too
It got the small states to make

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

(BIG STATES and SMALL STATES do the Congressional
Dance. Basically, they can run around in delight and then
shake hands. )

LARGE STATES, SMALL STATES, CHORUS:

The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise
The Great Compromise.

(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. Preamble
2. Articles of Confederation
3. We're Gonna Write a Constitution
4. The Great Compromise
5. Executive Branch
6. Ratified
7. Congress is Cool
8. Bill of Rights
9. Judicial Review
10. Preamble (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

union
welfare
bleak
crafty
explicit
shebang
FDR
treaties
acquiesced
politicking
supreme
insure
liberty
framers
oblivion
immunity
concur
reactionary
hindsight
monarchy
turncoat
allegiance
tranquility
posterity
conjured
scapegoat
species
tinkers
subconscious
executed
representation
indiscretion
colluding
domestic
ordain
revived
metaphorically
alliance
institution
cheese-steaks
pardons
bonafide
heiress
implied

Phrases
cart-blanche
rule the roost
pro or con
Capitol Hill
hollandaise sauce
attending session
Eggs Benedict
null and void

Key Terms and Curricular Concepts
Constitution
Declaration of Independence
executive branch
judiciary branch
two houses
Senate
Federalist
presidential veto
Amendment 22
Federalist Papers
Bill of Rights
judicial review
Confederation Congress
Articles of Confederation
legislative branch
The Great Compromise
House of Representatives
States Rights
Checks and balances
impeachment
ratification
Article One
Marbury v. Madison

Performance Photos

Performance Photos from Bad Wolf Press