U.S. Geography

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U.S. Geography

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

Grades 2-6
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.

 

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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:
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!

A group of feisty aliens has decided to settle down in the United States---but where's the best place to make their home? They take a grand tour through the country, learning about the major geographical features and the differences between the regions, while mastering the locations of the 50 states and the names of their capitals.

U.S. Geography 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

U.S Geography reinforces students' familiarity with:

  • Features of, and differences between, regions in the United States
  • Names of states and territories in each region
  • Names of state capitals
  • Geographical features and terms, including:
    • Everglades
    • Bering Sea
    • Rio Grande
    • White Mountains
    • Green Mountains
    • Lake Champlain
    • Cape Cod
    • Mt. Rushmore
    • Mississippi River
    • Missouri River
    • Death Valley
    • Mt. Whitney
    • Oregon Trail
    • Mt. St. Helens
    • Chesapeake Bay
    • Potomac River
    • Smithsonian
    • Great Basin
    • Yellowstone Park
    • Great Plains
    • Great Salt Lake
    • Hoover Dam
    • Pike's Peak
    • Appalachian
    • Cumberland Gap
    • Shendandoah
    • Mt. McKinley
    • delta
    • peninsula
    • isthmus
    • archipelagos
    • geographic center
    • (earthquake) fault
    • plate tectonics
    • estuary
    • piedmont
    • continental divide
Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-34-9
© 2005 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"Tremendous response!! I've done four other plays, but I wanted to try this new one, and I've already received more positive response from the teachers and students than ever before! One first grade teacher said her kids were excited when they heard a state mentioned that they had a connection to: 'Hey...Colorado is where my Grandma lives!'

"Another 5th grade teacher thought it was an excellent curriculum match for 5th grade. (It is!) Most of all (as always), my kids really got into it, and made it THEIRS, adding their own special flavor in performing it! I can't wait to hear the parents' responses tonight...I'll have to update you on that later! Thanks!"

---Cathy Faust, (5th grade) Cram Elementary, Highland, CA

"My homeroom students begged to sing 'U.S. Geography' every social studies class. The kids took over and loved the show, as did the parents and other 5th grade classes. After our performance, I gave my class and another teacher's class a test on capital. My class did significantly better, with no one missing more than five capitals."

---Jean Boatman (5th grade) Four Peaks Elementary, Fountain Hills, AZ

"I almost chickened out---glad I didn't. Keep doing what you're doing. The kids love it, most parents pick up on the humor and enjoy the play and watching their kids."

---Karen Rosholt, (4th/5th grades) Sierra School, Placerville, CA

"Love it! This has been so much fun watching the music bring energy into the classroom."

---Patti Ewold, (5th grade) Peavine Elementary, Reno, NV

"Rehearsals are going very well. I hardly have to do anything but manage---the kids have the creative ideas for choreography, props, etc. They are very enthusiastic. Connects so perfectly to our social studies unit. I love the humor and laid back attitude! The kids enjoyed looking up and learning the vocabulary."

---Nancy Fitzgerald, (4th grade) Media Elementary, Media, PA

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many scouts from each region of the country
as desired; one student can easily play more than one
role. Note that roles are not gender-specific: almost all
roles can be played by boys or girls.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Gamma
Captain Alpha
Delta
Gamma
Scouts from Southwest
Scouts from New England
Game Show Host
Stephanie
Michael
Omega
Scouts from Pacific Coast
Scouts from Mid-Atlantic
Scouts from Great Lakes
Scouts from Rocky Mountains
Kappa Lambda Mu
Scouts from Appalachian Highlands
Scouts from Southeast
Valley Girl Aliens
and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing
roles at the time.

Song 1 - Listen now!

OPENING SONG:
We are friendly aliens
We come from outer space
We’re looking for a brand new home
The U.S. is the place.

We are lovely aliens
We’d like to relocate
We’re searching this whole continent
We’re scouring every state.

U.S. geography
Wondrous topography
From Atlantic to Pacific
All the views are quite terrific
From Everglades to Bering Sea
There’s just so much variety
U.S. geography, U.S. geography
It's great with me.

We are clever aliens
We’ve done our homework well
We sent out scouts to every state
And had them stay a spell.

Today’s the day we’ve waited for
When those reports are due
The scouts will tell us what they’ve found
And you can find out too.

U.S. geography
Wondrous topography
To the Great Lakes we’ve been going
We’ve been Gulf of Mexicoing
There’s rivers, deserts, plains to see

ONE ALIEN (shouts): And purple mountains’ majesty

ALIENS:
U.S. geography, U.S. geography
It's great with me.

GAMMA: This is so exciting, Captain Alpha. The day we’ve been waiting for. Ever
since our home planet was designated an interstellar toxic waste dump, we’ve been
searching for a new place to live.

ALPHA: Yes, Gamma, we were lucky to stumble upon the earth—and this little land
called the United States. Have our scouts visited all the geographical sections of the country?

GAMMA: Yes, sir. Today we beam them back up here to the ship to find out where’s
the best place to settle.

ALPHA: Now where’s Lieutenant Delta? He was due back nanoseconds ago.
(shouting)
Delta, where are you?

DELTA (entering; he speaks in a military manner, although he is dressed as a matador):
Lieutenant Delta back from earth as requested, Captain.

ALPHA: What on earth are you wearing?

DELTA: I’m disguised as a bullfighter, sir.

ALPHA: A bullfighter? I told you to dress as a FIRE fighter.

DELTA: You did?

ALPHA: Yes! They don’t have bullfighters in the United States.

DELTA: Does this mean I don’t get to keep the tail?

GAMMA: Lieutenant, where’s the first scouting party?

DELTA: Here they are, sir. Just back from the Southwestern section of the country.

(ALIENS from the Southwestern states enter. THEY are on crutches, arms bandaged,
etc. They’re dirty and their clothes are torn.)

DELTA: Official reports: states and capitals!

SOUTHWEST #1: Phoenix, Arizona!

SOUTHWEST #2: Santa Fe, New Mexico!

SOUTHWEST #1: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!

SOUTHWEST #2: Austin, Texas!

ALPHA: What happened to you? You look terrible.

SOUTHWEST #1: You won’t believe how big everything is out there, sir.

SOUTHWEST #2: Huge, sir. Ginormous.

SOUTHWEST #1: For example, sir, there’s this big river, the Colorado, and it runs
through the biggest canyon you ever saw.

SOUTHWEST #2: A grand canyon, sir. We underestimated it a bit.

Song 2 - Listen now!

It’s one mile deep
And eighteen wide
I thought I’d leap
From side to side.
It’s farther though
Than I had guessed
Yeah it’s all big in the big southwest.
It’s all big in the big southwest.

The desert’s hot
The mountains steep
The Rio’s Grande
The oil is deep.
It shoots out hard
I can attest
Yeah it’s all big in the big southwest.
It’s all big in the big southwest.

Everything’s huge in Texas
Anyone can tell you that
But it’s true for Arizona
And also Oklahoma
New Mexico—the same thing goes.

ENTIRE CLASS:
The cattle grow
Like they’re possessed
Don’t let them sit
Upon your chest.
That really hurts
I need a rest
Yeah it’s all big in the big southwest.
It’s all big in the big southwest.
It’s all big in the big southwest.

(THEY exit)

DELTA: The next party is ready to report, Captain.

ALPHA: Well bring them in.

DELTA (shouting): New England, come on down!

(NEW ENGLAND ALIENS enter)

N.E. ALIEN #1: Augusta, Maine!

N.E. ALIEN #2: Montpelier, Vermont!

N.E. ALIEN #3: Concord, New Hampshire!

N.E. ALIEN #1: Boston, Massachusetts!

N.E. ALIEN #2: Hartford, Connecticut!

N.E. ALIEN #3: Providence, Rhode Island!

GAMMA: Where IS this New England place?

Song 3 - Listen now!

N.E. ALIENS:
You looking for New England?
Just hold a map real tight
Now find the northeast corner
That’s up and to the right.

Yeah all six states are tiny
So cuddly and so cute
But there’s one thing about them
That I must now refute.

New England’s old
New England’s old
The Pilgrims stopped at Plymouth Rock
Though it tries hard for avant-garde we’re told
Oh ho New England’s old.

ENTIRE CLASS:
There’s White and there’s Green mountains
The shores of Lake Champlain
Cape Cod and all those islands
A terminal moraine!

You travel ’round New England
By land or air or cruise
No matter where you’re stepping
You’ll get history on your shoes.

New England’s old
New England’s old
The Pilgrims stopped at Plymouth Rock
Though it tries hard for avant-garde we’re told
Oh ho New England’s old.

Yeah I trust Massachusetts
The presidential state
Connecticut is honest
Vermont and Maine play straight.

But still I have to warn you
Not everything is true
Rhode Island’s not an island
New Hampshire’s not so new.

New England’s old
New England’s old
The Pilgrims stopped at Plymouth Rock
Though it tries hard for avant-garde we’re told
Oh ho New England’s old
Oh ho New England’s old
Oh ho New England’s old.

(THEY EXIT)

DELTA: Captain, I just received a message from our operative in the Heartland.

ALPHA: Why isn’t he here?

DELTA: He’s trapped in South Dakota, sir.

GAMMA: Discovered by earthlings?

DELTA: No, sir. He was climbing Mt. Rushmore and got his foot caught in Teddy
Roosevelt’s mustache.

ALPHA: You’re kidding.

DELTA: Negative, Captain. We sent in a rescue team, but they seem to have gotten
lost in Lincoln’s nose.

ALPHA: His nose?

DELTA: It’s a really big nose, sir.

GAMMA: But what about the report? We need to learn about the heartland states.

DELTA: It’s taken care of, sir. Our scout sent this holographic replay of his favorite
game show.

ALPHA: An earthling game show? What has THAT got to do with his report?

DELTA: Apparently he was a contestant, sir.

ALPHA: A contestant? He’ll give himself away for sure!

GAMMA: I LOVE game shows! Put it in the machine, put it in the machine!

(DELTA does. Suddenly GAME SHOW HOST and THREE contestants appear/enter.)

HOST: Good evening, everybody, and welcome to “Name That State Capital!” Now
let’s meet tonight’s contestants.

(reading from card)
Contestant number one is Stephanie Nathan. Stephanie’s an accountant whose hobbies
include needlepoint and pretending to be an ostrich.

STEPHANIE: I’m so excited to be here.

HOST (reads from card): Contestant number two is Michael Stuffner, a computer
programmer who enjoys miniature golf and eating cereal until he feels like he’s going
to explode.

MICHAEL: It’s great to be on the show.

HOST (reading): And contestant number three is, um, Omega 239. That’s an
unusual name, Omega. It says here you collect “intergalactic glipfarbs.”

OMEGA: That’s right. But only the edible ones.

HOST: Okay, contestants. Are you ready to play “Name That State Capital!”?

ALL THREE: Yes!

HOST: Great. Today’s category is “states of the heartland.” And here’s our first
toss-up: What is the capital of North Dakota?

(OMEGA buzzes in)
Yes, Omega?

OMEGA: The Moons of Neebor?

HOST: Um, no, sorry, that’s wrong.

(STEPHANIE buzzes)
Stephanie?

STEPHANIE: Bismarck.

HOST: That’s right, Bismarck, North Dakota. Now here’s your bonus question:
What’s the capital of Minnesota?

STEPHANIE: St. Paul?

HOST: That’s absolutely right! St. Paul, Minnesota. That’s 15 points. And now here’s
your next toss-up: What is the capital of Nebraska?

(OMEGA buzzes)
Uh, yes, Omega?

OMEGA: The Rings of Ziborg?

HOST: No, no, I’m not sure you understand the category. This is state capitals of
the heartland. The Great Plains. You know, rolling prairies. Corn. Wheat. Cattle. You see?

(MICHAEL buzzes)

MICHAEL: Lincoln. Lincoln, Nebraska.

HOST: Yes, that’s correct. And here’s your bonus question: what is the capital
of Iowa?

OMEGA (shouts out): The Twin Suns of Zambrax?

HOST: Wait! It’s not your turn, Omega. Please. Michael, do YOU have an answer?

MICHAEL: Des Moines. Des Moines, Iowa.

HOST: Perfect! And that’s 15 points for you. Now for the third toss-up.

(looks at OMEGA)
And remember—we’re looking for a state capital in the Heartland. Dairy products.
The great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Ready? Okay: What is the capital
of Kansas?

(OMEGA buzzes. HOST ignores)
Anyone? Anyone at all?

(OMEGA buzzes again, HOST pretends not to notice)
Anyone like to give it a try?

(OMEGA buzzes)

STEPHANIE: I think Omega here got in the first buzzer.

HOST: Really? He did? I must have missed that. Okay, Mr. Omega, what IS the
capital of Kansas? Kansas. The state. Geographical center of the U.S. On earth.

OMEGA (thinks hard for a second, then): The Red Dwarf of Gamelon 5?

HOST: No! No no no no no! It’s Topeka! Topeka, Kansas. Not The Red Dwarf
of Gamelon 5. And it’s not the Black Hole of Missouri, or the White Giant of
South Dakota either.

STEPHANIE: Actually, it’s Jefferson City, Missouri.

MICHAEL: And Pierre, South Dakota.

HOST (to the audience): And thank goodness, that’s all the time we have for today.

OMEGA: Did I win?

HOST: Thanks for watching…

OMEGA: Do I get the car?

HOST: And see you next time, on “Name That State Capital!”

(THEY exit)

GAMMA: That was so cool!

ALPHA: Cool? Why doesn’t he just wear a sign on his back saying “I am an alien
from outer space—kick me!”?

DELTA: Our scout from the Pacific Coast states is ready to report, Captain.

GAMMA: Well bring him in, Lieutenant.

DELTA: Yes, sir.

(shouts)
Dude! Dude, report for duty!

ALPHA: Dude? You call him Dude?

DELTA: He’s deep under cover, sir. Everyone out there is a dude.

(DUDE enters. DELTA exits to put on new “disguise”)

GAMMA: Report!

DUDE: Sacramento, California. Salem, Oregon. Olympia, Washington.

ALPHA: Tell us about the West coast—is it suitable for settlement?

DUDE: It’s way excellent—a huge variety of landscapes and weather patterns.
Something for everyone. But there’s one thing that links it all together.

Song 4 - Listen now!

It rains ev’ry year near Seattle
Some two hundred inches or more
But for those keeping tally
Way down south in death valley
The temp has reached one thirty four.

There’s deserts, lakes, valleys, and oceans
Mt. Whitney’s one mean little hill
The variety’s glaring
But there’s one thing they’re sharing:
The land out there just won’t stay still.

They’re movin’
They’re movin’
Even the landscape’s improvin’
They shake and twist and waltz
They’re celebrating their faults.

They’re movin’
They’re movin’
Even the landscape’s improvin’
There’s movin’ in their soul
Home of rock ‘n roll.

The Oregon Trail felt the rumbling
It kept wagoneers on the move
Though they say it’s ’lectronics
I think it’s plate tectonics
That gives California its groove.

In Washington they’ve got big business
Technology’s where it is at
But while they’re innovating
Mt. St. Helens ain’t waiting
Even Microsoft can’t delete that.

DUDES and CHORUS:

They’re movin’
They’re movin’
Even the landscape’s improvin’
They shake and twist and waltz
They’re celebrating their faults.

They’re movin’
They’re movin’
Even the landscape’s improvin’
There’s movin’ in their soul
Home of rock ’n roll.
Home of rock ‘n roll.

(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. U.S. Geography
2. The Great Southwest
3. New England's Old
4. They're Movin'
5. Mid-Atlantic
6. Sailing the Great Lakes Today
7. Rockies and More
8. The Southeast
9. Numbers 49 and 50
10 U.S. Geography (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

relocate
scouring
topgraphy
Everglades
Bering Sea
spell
wondrous
majesty
designated
interstellar
toxic
nanosecond
attest
possessed
refute
terminal moraine
avant-garde
operative
holographic
contestant
accountant
needlepoint
waltz
wagoneer
innovating
affirmative
mania
radiates
unfurl
weigh anchor
hoist
trampled
Latter Day Saints
entourage
stickler
jambalaya
gumbo
habitable
possession
contiguous


Performance Photos

Performance Photos from Bad Wolf Press