The Incredible Westward Movement

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The Incredible Westward Movement

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

Grades 3-7
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.

 

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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:
Piano/Guitar Score - $9.95 (details)
Extra/Replacement CD - $9.95

Or order by phone, fax or PO

This 25-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!

Follow the exciting adventures of Delivery Girl as she races across the country desperately trying to deliver packages to Americans who keep "movin' West." She'll meet Daniel Boone, James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson, Sacajawea, 49ers, and even prairie children working the land. Delivering packages is a rough job, but someone's got to do it!

Key Concepts

The Incredible Westward Movement mentions and reinforces the following curriculum:

  • Why folks went west
  • Daniel Boone
  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • Sacajawea with Lewis and Clark
  • The Trail of Tears
  • The Oregon Trail
  • California Gold Rush
  • Farmers on the prairie
  • Transcontinental Railroad

The Incredible Westward Movement is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary and middle school 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!

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-17-2
© 2000 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"It was truly incredible! It fit in so well with our curriculum and the boys absolutely loved it. Parents told us again and again that it was the best kids' play they had ever seen. We loved the songs and the script. It was great how the play had so many parts, allowing all of the kids to have significant (and our case multiple) roles to play. Everyone was a star!"

---Kim Iorillo, Teacher (3rd grade), Brunswick School, Greenwich, CT

"My class performs a Bad Wolf Press play every year, and it is always a hit! This year with our new Common Core Units, The Incredible Westward Movement has fit in perfectly. It has been a great resource to supplement with our Idaho History to provide students the research they need for their ELA performance task! Thank you!"

---Candy Franscella, Teacher, Washington Elementary, Pocatello, ID

"During my ten years teaching fifth grade, I alternated 13 Colonies with Incredible Westward Movement. The 8th grade history teacher told me that all MY students knew the 13 colonies and the basics about Manifest Destiny. Students had SO MUCH FUN learning the material and remembered it YEARS later. The plays help the historical characters come alive for the kids."

---Vicky Hill, Teacher (5th grade), Oak Grove School, CA

"Fifth graders used this play as their culmination (graduation to middle school) play and it was a great triumph. I liked the lyrics, the music, the tone of the play. It took a historical subject (the Westward Movement) with all its layers of complexities, and dealt with problems, joys, struggles, triumphs, with humor and simplicity and created a memorable experience for the 9- and 10-year-olds involved. The scenes are funny. That's the highest compliment I can pay. Funny is the most difficult thing to write and Bad Wolf succeeds.

"I am their theatre teacher and found the material engaging and very useful for teaching staging, acting skills and musical theatre techniques. The students learned theatre discipline and performance skills. And were they thrilled with the audience reaction! When I was told about Bad Wolf Press, I was afraid it would be like a lot of 'children's theatre,' i.e. simplistic, three-chords songs. Instead, we got engaging, challenging music with clever, funny, sometimes heartfelt lyrics -- real musical theatre adapted to our grade level."

---Suzanne Collins, Theater Teacher (4th-5th grades), Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

"It was fun! We loved the songs and the best part was using our creativity to make the play come to life with props, constumes, and actions. Performing was a great highlight in our year! I found the play a great enrichment to our studies - Everyone was a part of a great play and felt terrific about it. We always had something to do as a time filler -sing!"

---Amy Piazzola, Teacher, (1st-5th grade), Numa School, Fallon, NZ

"Great! The easy-to-follow script, catchy songs, and added humor make the production a delight for all (students, teachers, and parents!)"

--- Lisa Boothe, Teacher (3rd/5th grade), Carl Hankey School, Mission Viejo, CA

"The Incredible Westward Movement is a great history program, with easy scenes and lots of characters. What a way to learn and remember history. You can't get the songs out of your head. Personalities shine through music: everyone gets a chance to be on stage."

---Jane Bishop, Teacher (4th grade), Broadwater School, Helena, MT

"There were many big parts and enough for everyone, but no 'star' parts. The music was wonderful! The students loved it. The whole process was a great learning experience."

---Robin Twombley, Teacher (K-6th grades), Roxbury Village School, Roxbury, VT

"The music is catchy, so the kids never forgot the lyrics. They learned key concepts while having fun. I can't wait until the next one! I teach the kids in the gifted program in my system. Some love to be center-stage while others have no desire to perform solo. These plays allow me to give them opportunities to participate at a level at which each chld is comfortable."

---Shelia Cain, Teacher (1st-2nd grade, Gifted and Talented), Petham Elementary, Petham, GA

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many Explorers, Discovery Guys, etc. as desired;
one student can also play more than one role. Note that all
roles can be played by either boys or girls; see our comments
on page 35 of the Teacher's Guide .

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Delivery Girl(s)
Daniel Boone and Explorers
Porter
James Monroe
Thomas Jefferson
St. Louis Man
Corps of Discovery Guys
Sacajawea
Cherokee
Wagon Family
49ers
Prairie Children
Union Pacific Crew
Central Pacific Crew
Chorus (made up of all students not playing roles at the time)

(KIDS move quickly back and forth across the stage, entering and exiting.
THEY carry suitcases, dufflebags, etc.—in general they look like they’re
in a hurry and going some place. A DELIVERY GIRL enters with a
package. SHE tries to stop several people walking by, but they move
swiftly past.)

DELIVERY GIRL (to one person): Excuse me, I was wondering…
(to another person)
Pardon me, I’m looking for…
(to a third person)
Hey, do you know where I can find…
(looking frustrated, SHE stops and shouts very loudly to no one
in particular)
Has anybody here seen Daniel Boone?!
(EVERYONE stops and stares; people finally notice her)

PERSON #1: Daniel Boone? He’s been gone for weeks.

DELIVERY GIRL: But I’ve got a package for him, special delivery.
Here, listen.
(SHE shakes box very hard—rattling can be heard)
I think it’s cookies.

PERSON #2: Well he’s long gone by now.

DELIVERY GIRL: But where did he go?

PERSON #1: Where’d he go? Why he went where
EVERYBODY’S going.

DELIVERY GIRL: Where IS everybody going?

ENTIRE CLASS: West!

DELIVERY GIRL: West?

Song 1 - Listen now!

CLASS (sings):
Now so many people are leaving town
The dust is thick as fog

STUDENTS #1 and #2:
There goes my boss, there goes Aunt Jane

STUDENT #3:
And hey there goes my dog!

STUDENT #4:
I’m trying to find a good place to farm
Where we can start anew

CLASS:
Now all the country’s westward bound

STUDENT #3:
My cat is packing too!

CLASS:
We’re going West
Going West
Can’t you see?
Destiny
Is manifest
’Cause everyone is going West.

STUDENT #5:
I look for adventure and space to roam

STUDENT #6:
I’m running from my debts

STUDENT #7:
I’m looking for a pot of gold

STUDENT #3:
I’m looking for my pets.

STUDENT #8:
Does anyone know the best place to go?
Or which route you should take?

STUDENT #9:
Has anybody checked a map?

STUDENT #3:
Has someone seen my snake?

CLASS (screams): Aaach!
We’re going West
Going West
Can’t you see?
Destiny
Is manifest
’Cause everyone is going West
’Cause everyone is going West
’Cause everyone is going West.

(CLASS exits. DANIEL BOONE walks in, carrying an ax and wearing
his famous coonskin cap. He stops, looks all around, seems pleased and
stops for a moment. He takes off his cap and starts talking to it. At this
point a student can mark on the map the move west towards Louisville:
see page 34.)

DANIEL BOONE: Well, Betsy, it looks like we’ve finally found some
true wilderness. It’s getting’ so there just ain’t a decent spot that isn’t all
clogged up with civilization. I think you and me can set up camp here and
find some peace and quiet.

DELIVERY GIRL (entering a few seconds later, excited): Daniel Boone!
Daniel Boone! I’ve been looking all over the Appalachians for you.

DANIEL (quickly putting cap back on; to DELIVERY GIRL): Who
are you?

DELIVERY GIRL: I’ve got a box for you.

DANIEL: How’d you find me? I’ve been tryin’ to avoid folks like you.

DELIVERY GIRL: I just followed your trail—you really ought to take
a bath.

DANIEL: I did. Just three months ago.
(Taking off cap and talking to it.)
Must be you, Betsy.
(Putting back on cap)
That does it. Time to move on—it’s getting crowded around here.

Song 2 - Listen now!

Oh I discovered yesterday
There’s neighbors 50 miles away

It’s hard to breathe, I’ve gotta flee
A man can’t get no privacy.

I find some place not on the map
To hunt some deer and set some traps

I turn around, what do I find?
A swarm of people right behind!

(At the word “SWARM,” several WILDERNESS EXPLORERS enter,
dressed just like DANIEL BOONE)

DANIEL:
Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo):
Gotta get a move on

DANIEL:
Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo):
Gotta get a move on

DANIEL:
Leave me be or else I just might snap.
Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo):
Gotta get a move on

DANIEL:
Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo):
Gotta get a move on

DANIEL:
It’s just me and my old coonskin cap.

Kentucky’s just too cramped for me
There’re hundreds now in Tennessee
And every time I settle down
Some folks decide to build a town!
(More EXPLORERS could enter here)

DANIEL: Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: Leave me be or else I just might snap.
Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: It’s just me and my old coonskin cap.

DANIEL and CHORUS:
Gotta get a move on
Gotta get a move on
Gotta get a move on
Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: Leave me be or else I just might snap.

Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL: Gotta get a move on

EXPLORERS (echo): Gotta get a move on

DANIEL and CHORUS: It’s just me and my old coonskin cap.

(exit)

(We now see a DELIVERY GIRL walking up to a very fancy door.
SHE knocks. A PORTER answers.)

PORTER: Yes?

DELIVERY GIRL: I’ve got a package for James Monroe.

PORTER: I’m sorry, but he’s unavailable.

DELIVERY GIRL: Don’t tell me HE’s gone West too?

PORTER: No. Mr. Monroe is speaking with President Jefferson at the
moment. In secret. Big stuff. VERY big stuff. Hush, hush, very very secret.

DELIVERY GIRL: Can I listen in?

PORTER: Sure, come on in.

(MONROE and JEFFERSON enter, talking.)

MONROE: Mr. President, this is our chance. I think Napoleon will sell
us the Louisiana territory—all the land between the Mississippi and
the Rockies.
(HE points it out on giant map)

JEFFERSON: What? That’s 800,000 square miles! I was thinking
perhaps we could buy just New Orleans, Florida, maybe get some of
those little chocolate thingies in the bargain.

MONROE: You mean truffles?

JEFFERSON: I LOVE those. And some toast. Nobody makes toast like
the French.

MONROE: But Mr. President—think of it. The Louisiana Purchase.
You’d double the size of the nation with one signature.

JEFFERSON: What about those truffles?

MONROE: Sure, we could get some them too!

Song 3 - Listen now!

Let’s go to France and do some shopping
Let’s go to France and buy some stuff
Perfume, pastries, fancy clothes
The other folks can buy all those
We need land, we just can’t have enough!

CLASS: La la la la

JEFFERSON and MONROE:
Let’s go to France and do some shopping
Let’s go to France and eat some snails
When the escargot are escargone
Let’s buy the Rockies and beyond
I hear half the continent’s on sale!

It’s just three cents an acre
We’ve got that kind of dough
We’ll take 500 million
Please wrap ’em up to go.

JEFFERSON, MONROE, and CHORUS:
Let’s go to France and do some shopping
Let’s go to France and buy some land

JEFFERSON (shouted): And some truffles!

JEFFERSON, MONROE, and CHORUS:
The U.S. now is twice the size
That sure is one of our better buys
Let’s head west and get ourselves a tan.
La la la la
La la la la
La la la la land.

(ALL exit. DELIVERY GIRL has a package.)

DELIVERY GIRL (walking along, shouting): Meriwether Lewis,
Meriwether Lewis. I have a package here for Meriwether Lewis.

MAN (approaching): Excuse me, but you aren’t looking for Meriwether
Lewis, as in Lewis and Clark the explorers, are you?

DELIVERY GIRL: Yes I am. That’s why I’ve come to St. Louis.

MAN: But Lewis and Clark left a year ago, searching for the great
Northwest passage, the fabled water route from here to the Pacific.

DELIVERY GIRL: Nuts.

MAN: Excuse me?

DELIVERY GIRL: I’ve got a box full of nuts for Mr. Lewis. Pecans.
Cashews. They’re very good.
(Opening box, offering some to stranger)
Want one? I think there’re some left.

MAN: No thanks.

DELIVERY GIRL (Walking on, shouting): Meriwether Lewis.
Meriwether Lewis.

MAN: Didn’t you hear me? He’s long gone.

DELIVERY GIRL: I know. But I love saying the word Meriwether.

MAN: I wonder how those two men and their Corps of Discovery
are doing.

(CORPS OF DISCOVERY GUYS enter, looking pretty dirty and
beat-up, talking to SACAJAWEA, the Shoshone wife of one of
the guides)

CORPS GUY #1: Please, Sacajawea. You were born in these parts.
You can guide us through the Shoshone territory.

SACAJAWEA: But it has been many years since I lived with the Shoshone.

CORPS GUY #2: We need your help—I’m not sure Lewis and Clark
know what they’re doing.

Song 4

CORPS GUYS:
Looking for a northwest passage
Looking for the sea
Hoping that the hungry grizzlies
Aren’t looking for me.

Stumbling through a land uncharted
It’s no walk in the park
Getting lost in America…with Lewis and Clark.

SACAJAWEA:
Maybe I can recall the land of my childhood.
Maybe I can recall the land of my childhood.

CORPS GUYS:
Looking for a water highway
We’ve found lots of mud
Flees, tics, and immense mosquitoes
They’ve drained off our blood.

Seen so many wondrous creatures
We should have an ark
Getting lost in America…with Lewis and Clark.

SACAJAWEA:
Maybe I can recall the land of my childhood.
Maybe I can recall the land of my childhood.

CORPS GUYS:
Sacajawea please help us
Sacajawea lead the way
Sacajawea
It’s so good to see ya
Give us some help today.

SACAJAWEA:
I’ll help and we’ll find the passage
We will find the sea
Read maps and consult your compass
Then just follow me.

SACAJAWEA, CORPS GUYS, CHORUS:
Stumbling through a land uncharted
It’s no walk in the park
Getting lost in America…with Lewis and Clark.

(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. "Going West"
2. "Gotta Get a Move On"
3. "Let’s Go to France"
4. "Getting Lost in America"
5. "Trail of Tears"
6. "Load up the Prairie Schooner"
7. "To the Gold Rush"
8. "We’re Sodbusters, Buster"
9. "The Golden Spike/Going West (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

pardon
anew
manifest destiny
roam
flee
truffle
escargot
acre
loom
sown
“anchors aweigh”
breeches
sodbuster
turf

Historical Terms
Appalachians
Napoleon
Mississippi River
Rockies
The Louisiana Purchase
Northwest Passage
Shoshone
Cherokee
Trail of Tears
prairie schooner
Willamette Valley
Cape Horn
Donner Party
transcontinental railroad
the golden spike

Vocabulary From Stage Directions
dufflebag
swift
particular
coonskin