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The Story of America

A Classroom Musical for 5th Grade

*  Bring your curriculum, your classroom to life
*  Absolutely no musical talent/ability needed!
*  Catchy melodies, interesting stories

Flexible casting.
There are 21 roles in the script, but they are flexible.
If you have more than 21 participants, you can divide roles by splitting up the lines. See Teacher Tips for more suggestions


This is the first one-third of the script:


3 Students
Tribe Leader
3 Colonists (Southern, Middle, New England) Soldier
3 Colonial Kids
Girl Student, Boy Student
3 Colonial Girls
Paul Revere
3 Redcoats

Song 1



Students enter, as if they're meeting about a project

Student 1:  Time to decide on our group American history project.   How should we start?

Student 2:  At the beginning - when Columbus discovered America in 1492!

Student 3:  That's actually not true.  First of all, he thought it was India, and second, he didn't discover it, since there were already a lot of people here!

Student 1:  No there weren't.

Student 3:  Yes there were, and I can prove it!  (Brings out Tribe Leader)  Here is a genuine Apache tribal leader.

Tribe Leader:  My tribe, and many others, settled these lands for YEARS before you folks arrived. 

Student 2:  Whoah . . . I had no idea.
Student 3:  I told you.  (To audience)  Don't you wish you could do this in real life? 
                    (to Tribe Leader)  Go on . . .   

Tribe Leader:  Our people lived here for centuries, in peace and harmony with the land, but things began to change when the first European explorers arrived.

Song 2



Students continue working on their report

Student 1:  Okay, we'll start with the Native Americans, and early explorers, but then we should look at the individual colonies.

Student 3:  Nah, when you've studied one colony, you've studied them all.  They were all pretty much the same, right?

Student 2:  Actually, they were VERY different, and I can prove THAT! 

(Student 2 brings out colonists)

Southern Colonist:  Hi y'all.   Southern colonies like Virginia were settled by the English.  We have mild weather and great soil, so farming is easy and we can enjoy a gracious life, including fancy parties with music and dancing.   

New England Colonist: Ugh, those southerners are so hedonistic - great word, and they probably don't know what it means, but we do in the New England colonies.  We focus on education and hard work, be' the harsh climate here is good for our moral fiber.

Middle Colonist: I'm from Pennsylvania, in the middle region.  You can think of us as the Goldilocks of colonies - not too strict or lazy, not too cold or hot, just right!    We were settled by people of different countries and religions.

New England Colonist:  You folks don't know the value of work.  We have to make everything we use, so we teach our kids farming is hard, housework is hard, life is hard, so deal with it.

Middle Colonist:   You should lighten up - come down to New York or New Jersey.  Because of all the great natural resources and convenient ports, we have thriving businesses and trade.  Things are really booming here!

Southern Colonist:  Fiddle dee dee, that sounds too stressful.  In the South, we enjoy the relaxed, good life on large plantations - well, it's great for the owners and their families, not so much for their slave labor, which led to this war in 1860, but that's for another show.

New England Colonist: But actually, the differences between the colonial regions are part of what LED to that war, so it's important to understand them now!

Song 3



Students continue working on report

Student 1:   Great, so I guess the colonies were a little different but all got along

Southern Colonist:Only because we gracious Southerners didn't mind those snobby New England folks  looking down at us because we were so hedonistic . . . . see, I can use that word too!

Student 3:   So everyone was a bit different but they got along and then there was a revolution, and ta dah, here we are.

Soldier:       (enters)  Not so fast - you're leaving out another important war.

Student 2:   No we aren't, the Civil War was AFTER the revolution.

Solider:       Even before the revolution, there was the French & Indian War.

Student:      Why would we care about a war between France & India?

Soldier:       (sighs in exasperation)  You kids today . . .  Okay, it started as a war between the French and British colonies, and since the Native Americans helped the French, you all called it the French & Indian War, get it?

Tribe Leader:  (Re-enters)  Well, some tribes fought for the British.    On top of the fact that how many times do we have to tell you, we weren't from India, sheesh!

Soldier:       Sorry, I didn't write the script OR name the war!

Tribe Leader: Anyway, whatever you call this war, it set up a lot of things that led to the American revolution, including colonists learning how the British army ran things, and then learning how to do everything better from us. 

Soldier:       And because it lasted so long, from 1754 to 1763, it was really expensive, so the British government decided the colonists should pay for it.

Student:      Wait, 1754-1763 is 9 years.  So how come it's called the Seven Years War?

Tribe Leader: You're right, it's confusing.  See, fighting broke out in 1754, but they didn't get around to an official declaration of war until 1756.    


(This concludes the first one-third of the script.)

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