• 25-minute musical play for grades 2-6
  • Includes the script, teacher's guide, and audio recording (which contains a vocal and instrumental version of each song)
  • Simple to do - 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.

Please scroll down to read the script, listen to the songs, read reviews, and get all the details about the play (plot, curriculum/content, educational standards, and vocabulary).

Item # Description Availability Qty Break Price Quantity
PLAY - For individual teachers or directors
Order 1 copy of play for each teacher/director who will be using it. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating actors. Mix and match 2 or more plays to get them for $35 each.
Downloadable Version of Play
- You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
Download 1
Printed Version of Play
- You will receive a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
In Stock 1
Duo Version - Download AND Printed Book
- You will receive 1) a PDF and MP3 files, and 2) a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
In Stock 1
SITE LICENSE VERSION OF PLAY - For whole schools or grade levels
Order 1 site license per school/site. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating students AND teachers. Why a site license? Because it's cheaper than ordering 3+ individual copies of the play.
Downloadable Version of Site License
- You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
Download 1 $90.00
Printed Version of Site License
- You will receive 3 copies of the Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
In Stock 1 $90.00
Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings
Downloadable Audio Files
- You will receive a ZIP file containing individual MP3s
Download 1 $12.00
Audio CD
In Stock 1 - 9
Downloadable Audio Files (MP3) + Audio CD
In Stock 1 $20.00
Sheet Music
Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF)
Download 1 $12.00
Printed Sheet Music
In Stock 1 $8.00
Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF) + Printed Sheet Music
In Stock 1 $16.00


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

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!

Publication Information

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-23-3
© 2001 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

Song Samples

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)”


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.


This is the first one-third of the script:


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

(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

As long as it is my way

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

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!


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

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!

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!

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.


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

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.

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!

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!


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.

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

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

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.)

Overall Customer Rating:
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Customer Reviews: 6

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  • Educational
  • historical
  • humorous

Great fun

Santa Maria, CA

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  • Fun
  • catchy songs and simple scripts
  • NA
California Missions, and More!

This is the third year I have taught this play (this is my second school district) and the all the students really enjoy it. The play was recommended to me by another teacher.
I love this play because the kids learn about the history of California, they get to sing and act, and they become more confident people. The script is simple yet interesting and the songs are catchy. In my class students practice the play just before they are going to recess. Eventually the play occupies more of our class time as we make final preparations to put on a performance for parents and fellow classes.

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We performed CA Missions for the 4th/5th grade classes last week. The teachers LOVED it and the kids were mesmerized! They enjoyed watching their friends and classmates perform in a show that had content they have recently been learning. The feedback we received was so positive. We also invited a 1st grade class and I was amazed that even they sat through, no fidgeting, thoroughly entertained the entire time. It was so fun!


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  • Catchy
  • Fun and quick to learn lyrics.
California Missions and More: music

I own four plays now and have been putting on a musical by Bad Wolf Press at the end of each school year now for 10 years. My students are able to learn all the lyrics in a period of two weeks and absolutely love putting on the plays. They beg for time to practice and sing. I love the content imbedded and the connections my students make to their learning. The parents of course love seeing their kids on stage and enjoy the humor of the scripts. I originally purchased the musicals with a CD and was so appreciative to find the music able to be downloaded since I no longer have a CD player.

Placerville, CA

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  • great for fourth grade
  • Easy to learn
California Missions

We have done this play now for three years. I ordered the extra CD's for new teachers in our grade level. The play provides an interesting way to learn about the explorers and mission construction. The songs are easy to learn and the music is engaging. Our class loved it. The parents were very impressed with the content and the vocabulary that was mastered. I highly recommend this play for fourth grade.

San Jose

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A great play for getting kids excited about missions!

I've been working with my 4th graders on this play and Missions is always a hard unit to teach. It is good to see them portraying the characters and understanding the history a bit more by being part of it than just reading it from a book. The music is also upbeat and I like that it has instrumental/vocal tracks. I've seen this play performed many times and it always works out.

Additional Comments and Reviews:

"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 we read Island of the Blue Dolphins, they kept making connections to the play. Their little neurons have been firing and they had fun doing it. I am really enthusiastic about this 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 came 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

"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

Common Core and Other National Standards

History/Social Studies

Language Arts

National Core Arts Standards



Historical Terms
Alta California
El Camino Real
manifest destiny
Compromise of 1850

Number of questions: 0

Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Wolf Products and Licensing

How does your pricing and licensing work?

A: In short: each teacher/director using the play should have a copy of it. That's it! Your purchase gives you the right to use the play with as many classes as you wish, to photocopy the script for your actors, and to put on as many performances as you wish. This one-time purchase gives you a lifetime license. See below for more information on site licenses (for 3+ teachers or whole schools).

Q: What comes in the package?

A: Every musical play comes with the script and a 12-page Teacher's Guide that provides lots of tips and advice for using the play from start to finish. It also includes the audio recording for the play, which has all the songs both WITH and WITHOUT vocals. Sheet music is NOT included with the basic package, but it is available for $12. Extra/replacement CDs are also available for $12.

Every non-musical play comes with the script and the 12-page Teacher's Guide.

Q: I'm just one teacher putting on a play. If I use the play with multiple classes, do I have to purchase multiple licenses?

A: No! Your purchase gives you a lifetime license to be used with as many actors and classes as you wish. If other teachers/directors wish to use the play as well, they will need to purchase their own licenses.

Q: Do I need to purchase scripts for students?

A: No! Your purchase includes permission to photocopy the script for your actors.

Q: What is a "site license"? How do I know if I need one?

A site license is the economical choice when a whole school or grade level wants to put on the same play. Instead of each teacher/director having to purchase a script, the school/site can purchase a site license. This comes with three copies of the play (or one digital download) and permission to make copies for any additional participating teachers, as well as all the actors. You do NOT need to purchase both a site license and individual copies of the play; just buy one or the other.

Q: I understand that I can get two or more scripts for $35 each. Do they have to be the same play?

Nope! The discount applies whether you are purchasing multiple copies of the same show or single copies of multiple shows.

Q: What is the difference between the printed and digital versions? Which one should I get?

There is no difference in terms of content. The printed version of a musical play comes with an audio CD in a plastic sleeve in the back of the book. The digital version comes with two downloadable files: the script (PDF format) and the songs (individual MP3 files compressed in ZIP format). The advantage of the digital version is that you will not pay shipping and you can start using it instantly. Please read the question following this one about the technical requirements for digital files.

Non-musical plays are available in the form of a printed book or a PDF file.

Q: What are the technical requirements for the digital version?

  1. You will need to have Adobe Reader (free) or another software application that can open PDF files.
  2. You will need to be able to open ZIP files. The vast majority of computers should be able to do this without difficulty. If you wish to download the music directly to your phone or tablet, you will need to download an app that will open ZIP files. Many free ones are available.
  3. You will need to have some kind of audio player (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player) that will play MP3 files.

Advanced technical knowledge is not required; but please note that we do not have the ability to offer technical support for issues related to digital files. If you are unsure, it is probably best to stick with the printed version.

Q: What is your return/exchange policy?

A: Bad Wolf proudly offers a 100% guarantee. You can always exchange a product for another or get a full refund. No time limits, no questions.

Q: Is it OK if I edit the script?

A: Yes! Consider the play to be a jumping-off point. You are always welcome to change or omit anything that doesn't work for your class, administration, or parents. You are welcome to rewrite lyrics, lines, or jokes -- or add your own! (The kids love doing this, by the way.)

Q: How long does shipping take?

A: We say that you should allow for one week within the U.S., but most orders are shipped the same day and arrive 1-3 days later. International orders usually take around two weeks to arrive.

Q: Do I need to pay any performance royalties?

A: As long as your admission price is less than $5 per ticket, you never need to pay performance royalties with a Bad Wolf show. If you decide to charge more than $5 a ticket, or if you are using one of our plays for a PAID workshop, camp, assembly, etc., pay only a low 1-2% royalty on gross revenues. See our royalty page to view the rates and pay.