AMERICA: A STAR-SPANGLED PRODUCTION

Hear ye!  Hear ye!
Ladies and Gentlemen, children and grandparents, friends and relatives, lend me your ears!

On behalf of the Second Grade, I would like to welcome you to our patriotic program "America: a Star-Spangled

Tonight we are going to visit the Dallas Christian second grade classroom as they study a lesson about  the history of our
nation.  The students have come to school dressed as their favorite historical characters on this special history day.

Now would you please welcome the Dallas Christian School Grade 2 Drama Club and Chorus!


Teacher 2A:  Hi!  I'm Mrs. Stigers!

Teacher 2B:  Hi!  I'm Mrs. Sargent!  Welcome to our History class!

Teacher 2A:  We are the 2nd grade teachers.  Our students will be studying the history of America.

Teacher 2B: We will travel through time (in our minds, of course) and over many miles to bring you 
                    questions about the history of our nation.

Teacher 2A:  The 1st part of our lesson is "America in the Making".  In this section you will learn many
                     historical facts about the U.S.A.

Teacher 2B: I have heard we will also be visited by several  famous Americans  from the past  during our
                   class today.

Joker 1:       Mrs. Stigers,  Mrs. Sargent, I have a joke for you!  Do you know what Paul 
                   Revere said when he got on his horse to ride from Boston to Lexington?

Teacher 2B:  No, what?

Joker 1:       Giddy up, horsey!

Teacher 2B:  Oh, brother!  Okay, enough of the jokes!  It's time to start class.

Teacher 2A:  The first part of our lesson is about our first  president, George Washington.  Oh,
                      wait a minute-  is it...............?  I can't believe my eyes!  It is George and 
                      Martha Washington!


George:       Martha, can you believe all the changes that have taken place since you and I were 
                   alive back in the 1700's?

Martha:       No kidding!  I think I could get used to McDonald's !  Why didn't we think of that?

George:      Because we were too busy trying to build a nation.  Remember those first colonies
                 and all the people  looking up to us for leadership?

Martha:      Oh yes!  I also remember something else you said about building me a beautiful 
                  white house on a hill. Remember that, George?

George:     Well, I'm sorry we never lived in the White House, but I have to admit that this 
                  country has grown into the greatest nation on earth.  I never dreamed that those 
                  thirteen colonies would some day turn into   fifty United States of America. 
                  What a wonderful country!

  (George and Martha exit the stage and return to the risers.)

Teacher 2B:  George and Martha must be lost!  I wonder if they are still trying to find 
                     Mt. Vernon?  Maybe they just need to take LBJ east!
                     Boys and girls, George Washington was right.  We really do have a wonderful 
                     country, don't we?

                                                      SING " THE UNITED STATES"
                              ( See original  program script  for information about the songs and the play at 

Joker 2:       Hey, speaking of that, do you know which state is the happiest state?

Teacher 2B:  No, which state?

Joker 2:         Maryland!  Merry land, get it?  Oh, I've got another one:  Which state is on a horse?

Teacher 2B:  I  give up, which one?

Joker 2:        Maine!  (laughs)

Teacher 2B:  OK, you can take that comedy act somewhere else.  Boys and girls, let's get on with our
                      class.  We are going to have some review questions about  the things we have been studying. 
                      Please quietly raise your hand and we  will call on you to answer.

Teacher 2A:  Question number 1:  Was George Washington a patriot?

Student 1:      Yes, he was one of the greatest!  He was the general who led the Americans in the
                      war against England. He was also the  first president of the United States.  That's 
                      why we cll him the "Father of our Country".  He was a great man because he was
                      a good man.

Teacher 2A:  Thank you for all I ever needed to know about George Washington!

Student 1:     That's not all!  We know a song about George Washington.

                    (George and Martha Washington return to the stage.  George is carrying a map.)

                                      SING:  "GEORGE WASHINGTON"

Martha:         I told you if we would just ask, we wouldn't need that map!
                    (George and Martha exit)

Teacher 2B:  Next question: Who is Uncle Sam?

Student 2:     Uncle Sam is a tall man dressed in red, white, and blue.  He is a symbol of America.
                    He stands for hard work, honesty, and loyalty .  All Americans should be proud 
                    that Uncle Sam is one of our symbols of liberty.

Teacher 2B:  Well, done ( child's name) !

Teacher 2A:  What is a democracy?

Student 3:      Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as "government of the people, by the 
                      people, and for the people  ."
                     The people rule through representatives they elect.  The laws are made by 
                     Congress.  The two parts  of the Congress are the Senate and the House of
                     Representatives.  That is the Legislative branch of  the government.

Teacher 2A:  Thank you for telling us about this branch of the government.

Teacher 2B:  OK, what is the Supreme Court?

Student 4:     The Supreme Court is made up of nine judges.  They decide if the local, state,
                    and federal governments are acting according to the Constitution of the 
                    United States.  This is called the Judicial branch of the  government.

Teacher 2B:  Thanks, you are correct.  By the way, does anyone know how many of the
                     judges are women?

Any student:   Two of them are women.

Teacher 2A:   Good job!  Who is our current president and can you tell me what his branch 
                     of the government is called?

All Students:  George Bush!

Student 5:      He is the head of the Executive branch of the government.  He appoints other 
                      high officials and  members of the Supreme Court.  He is commander-in-chief 
                      of the armed forces that protect our  country.

Teacher 2B:  Good answer!  What is our capital? (One student calls out "Austin", which is the
                     state capital )  No, I mean our national capital!

Student  6:   The capital is Washington, D.C.  The states of Virginia and Maryland gave the 
                   land for the capital  and President Washington chose the site where it was to be built.
                   They named it the city of Washington  after the president.

Teacher 2B: Right on, that is correct!

Teacher 2A: What is the Liberty Bell?

Student 7:  I know that the Liberty Bell is an American treasure.  It was first cast in England 
                 and weighs more than  a ton.  After it broke, they recast it and rang it every year
                  for 80 years.  They stopped ringing it after it  cracked a second time.  It is now in
                  Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Teacher 2A:  Good answer!  You did know a  lot about the Liberty Bell!

Teacher 2B:  Ok, here's a good question.  What is the motto of our country?

Student chant:  Be prepared!

Teacher 2B:  That is a motto, but not the one of our country. 

Student 8:     Mrs. Sargent, I read that in 1861 many people in our nation  wanted  the words 
                     "In God We Trust" to be placed on all our coins. The Secretary  of Treasury told 
                      the mint to start putting  the words on our money.  He said, "No nation can be 
                      strong except in the strength of God, 
                     or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be 
                     declared on our national coins. 
                     Then in 1956, "In God We Trust" became our national motto.

Teacher 2B:  Righto, that is the motto!

Teacher 2A:  Do we have a special song?

Student 9:      I think our special song is the Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem.
                     The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song still hangs in
                     Washington, D.C.  It is 50 feet long and covers an entire wall!

Teacher 2A:  Correct!  Great answer!

Teacher 2B:  Well, we've had a special song and heard about Uncle Sam. 
                      Now, here's a question.  What is the national bird of the U.S.A.?

Student 10:  We do have a national bird - it is the bald eagle.  The eagle appears on many
                   American coins and special flags.  A special act of Congress protects bald eagles 
                    from hunters.  Many bald eagles can be seen in their natural habitat in the state 
                    of Alaska.

Teacher 2B:  You are right!

Teacher 2A:  Class, tell me the name of our national flower.

All students:  The rose!

Teacher 2A:  Short and sweet - nice job!

Teacher 2B:  Who can tell us the highest   point  in the United States?

Student 11:  Mount McKinley in Alaska is our country's highest peak. It is often called the
                    top of the continent because one of its peaks is over 20,000 feet high. 
                     In 1906 Frederick Cook said he had climbed to the top of the mountain,
                     but a group of miners claimed they had reached the top and put a flagpole
                     on it.  Sure enough, the flag could be seen through binoculars. 

Teacher 2B:  Good!  What is the lowest point?

Student:        Death Valley in California is our country's lowest point.  It is 282 feet below 
                     sea level.  It was formed by a fault in the earth's crust.  In 1873, they discovered
                     the crystal  borax in Death Valley.  They mined it and the famous 20-mule teams
                     took it out of the valley.  Most of the world's supply of borax comes from 
                     Southern California.

Teacher 2A:  Good job! What is the name of the canal that connected the Atlantic Ocean and the 
                     Great Lakes in 1819?

Student 12:  That would be the Erie Canal.  It was 363 miles long. People had talked about 
                    building a canal for a hundred years.  De Witt Clinton tried to interest people in it,
                    but  they laughed at him and called the idea "Clinton's Ditch".  Well, he got elected
                    governor of New York, and shortly after that, New York began construction 
                    on the canal.  It took 8 years to build the first section.  Did you know that mule 
                   teams pulled boats  through the canal with 100 foot towropes?

Teacher 2A:  You don't say?   Erie Canal is the correct answer!

Student 12:  Hey, guys!  Let's sing that song about the Erie Canal.

                                                    SING " ERIE CANAL"

Teacher 2B:  I really like that song - thanks!  What is our longest river?

Student 13:  Our nation has many beautiful rivers, but the mighty Mississippi is the longest 
                   of them all.  That's spelled M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I P-P-I .It is over 2,000 miles long! 
                   The river starts in Minnesota and is only 18 feet wide and less than a foot deep
                    at that point.  When it empties into  the Gulf of  Mexico, it is a mile wide and 
                    over 100 feet deep!  . No wonder the Indians called it "Great River"!

Teacher 2B:  These students have really studied!

Teacher 2A:  This question is a real challenge - what is the Constitution?

Student 14:  The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  The constitution 
                    made the United States a nation.  It was written in 1787 and was signed by 40 men.
                    Four famous signers were George Washington,  Benjamin Franklin,
                    James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.

Teacher 2A:  Wow!  You did a great job!  That was  a long answer.

Teacher 2B:  We've been studying the Preamble of this famous document.  Boys and girls, 
                     get your cards for the  Preamble and go to the front of the class. 
                     Altogether class, let's say the Preamble to the United States Constitution. 
                       (Children hold cards with the key words of the Preamble on them.)

All Students:  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 of America.

Teacher 2B:   America truly is a wonderful land!

                                                 SING "THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND"

Narrator 2:      Miss Sandy, ECLC secretary, comes to the classroom.  She seems very excited about


 ECLC        :  Mrs. Stigers, Mrs. Sargent,  I don't want to alarm you, but 
 (secretary)      I think we have some unauthorized visitors in our building.  I saw them pass
                       the office door, and they didn't get a visitor's pass.  They did look familiar.
                       Have you seen them?

Teacher 2A:   Yes, I think I recognize that man.  Isn't that Mr. Kennedy?

J.F. Kennedy:  I was the youngest man ever elected president, and I was the youngest ever
                       to die in office.   In my inaugural address in 1961, I said, "Ask not what your 
                       country can do for you, ask what  you can do for your country."

Teacher 2B:  Those words will never be forgotten.  Oh, look! Here comes someone else.
                     Are you Mr. Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson:   Yes, I am, and I was one of the writers of the Declaration of Independence
                        in  1776. 
                       I said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
                       that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,
                       that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Teacher 2B:  Boys and girls, those words are so very important, even to this day.

Teacher 2A:  Can you believe your eyes?  Class, who is this?

Class:            It's Mr. Lincoln!

Abraham Lincoln:   I was the sixteenth president of the United States, and I said in my famous
                    Gettysburg Address  in 1863, "Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers
                     brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated
                     to the proposition that all men are created equal ."

Teacher 2A:    What wonderful words!

Student 15:    Mrs. Sargent,  I checked out a book about another famous American,
                     Martin Luther King, and read the famous speech he gave when he was standing 
                     on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1964.  In his speech he said,

M.L .K.        "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where
                     they are not judged by  the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
                     I have a dream that one day this nation  will rise up and live out the true meaning 
                     of its creed:  'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men  are created equal.'"

Teacher 2A:  Those were powerful words!

Joker 3:         Oh, Mrs. Stigers, we just thought of another joke for you!  Who gave the
                      Liberty Bell to Philadelphia?

Joker 4:          Must have been a duck family.

Teacher 2A:    A duck family?

Joker 4:          Didn't you say there was  a quack in it?

Teacher 2A:  Ha-ha. Such funny kids you are today.  That's a good way to end our day. 
                    Tomorrow, boys and girls, you will have substitute teachers while we go to
                     teachers' meetings.  They will have some  interesting things to share with you.
                     Be on your best behavior!

                                             (Child walks across stage carrying sign, "NEXT DAY".)

Narrator 3:   The next day Mrs. Jennings goes into the classroom to make an announcement.

Mrs. Jennings: :    Students, your teachers have gone to a meeting today.  Let me introduce to you 
( principal)          your teachers  for today.  This is ______________________________
                         and  _________________________.      They will be continuing your history
                          lesson with you.  I know you are going 
                          to learn a lot, so  listen well and have a great  day!

Substitute 1: I understand you have been studying about the flag.  Our country has
                    had several flags in  our history.  Who can tell a little about how our flags
                    have changed over the years?

Student 16:  (holding a poster board flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes)
                    Our nation's flag has changed over the years as the United States grew
                    from the thirteen colonies  to the fifty states we are today.  The first official flag
                    of the United States had thirteen stars and thirteen stripes.  These stars and
                    stripes represented the original thirteen colonies.

Student 17  (holding a poster board flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes)
                   The flag of 1812 had fifteen stars and fifteen stripes because two new states ,
                   Kentucky and Vermont,  had joined the Union.  This was the flag
                   Francis Scott Key viewed as he wrote our national anthem.

Student 18 (holding a poster board  flag with 20 stars and 13 stripes)
                   By 1818 , five more states had been admitted, making the total now 20. 
                   Congress agreed that it would be impractical to continue adding stripes and stars 
                    to the flag.  They decided to go back to thirteen stripes and have a star for each state.

Student 19:  (holding the 50 star flag)
                     Since there was no official rule about how the stars should be arranged,
                    there were many different  designs.  It was not until 1912 that the
                    arrangement of rows was selected as the permanent design. Today our nation
                     boasts the grand 50 star flag.  It is the emblem of the land we love!

                                                      SING: "YOU'RE A GRAND OLD FLAG"

Joker 3:       Oh , oh, Mr. ____________, Mrs. Stigers always lets me tell a joke. 
                   What did they do at the  Boston Tea Party?

Substitute 2:   I don't know.  What did they do? 

Joker 3:       I don't know either.  I wasn't invited.

Substitute 2:  That is a great joke!  However, let's get back to our lesson.  I'm thinking 
                     of someone from  long ago who was thought to have made the first flag.
                      Look, there she is now!

Betsy Ross:   My name is Betsy Ross.  I was a seamstress who made flags in
                     Philadelphia at the time of the American Revolution.  The story goes that
                     Mr. Washington wanted six-pointed stars in the  flag.  But I suggested
                     five-pointed stars.  To show him how easy it would be, I took a piece
                     of paper, folded it, and with one snip, cut a perfect five-pointed star.
                     (See the original script for the link that shows how to cut it. 
                      Betsy cuts the star as she is saying her part here.)
                     I think I made the first official United States flag.

                                SING:  "THREE CHEERS FOR THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE"

Substitute 2:  That makes me want to go out and wave my flag proudly!  I also remember
                    reading about the person who wrote a poem as he saw the U.S. flag flying 
                    over a fort during a battle.

Francis S. Key:  I am Francis Scott Key and I wrote our national anthem.  I was watching
                    a battle in the harbor of Baltimore.  I began writing a poem as I watched
                    the English shoot bombs and rockets over Ft. McHenry.  I kept my eyes on
                    the large U.S. flag flying over the fort.

Tattered Soldier:  I was a soldier... as long as our flag was flying, we knew the English 
                    had not won.  Night came.  But in the light of the rocket's red glare,
                    Mr. Key could still see our flag.  Then he did not see our flag for a long time 
                    because of the smoke and haze.  Was it still there?
                     Dawn came, the mist cleared for a moment, and we saw the flag again!

Francis S. Key:  Later when I was back on land, I showed the poem to my brother-in-law. 
                   He liked it so  well that he had it printed.  Other people liked it too, and they
                    began to sing the verses to  a familiar marching tune.  Soon,
                   "The Star-Spangled Banner" was sung everywhere.

Joker 3:        Mr. _____________, my mother said that she saw on the internet that
                    someone named Francis wrote the pledge to the flag.    Is that true?

Francis Bellamy:   Yes, I'm that Francis.  My name is Francis Bellamy and I wrote the
                           "Pledge to the Flag" in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery 
                           of America.  Let's all stand for the  pledge and join together in singing 
                            "The Star-Spangled Banner."

                                                          SAY:  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

                                                     SING: "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER"

Substitute 1:  Boys and girls, you say the Pledge of Allegiance every day at the beginning of 
                     each school day. But do you really know what the words to the Pledge mean?
                     Let's break the Pledge into phrases to see what each phrase means.
                     Boys, you say the pledge, and girls, you tell us what each phrase means.                      

(The following phrases were taken from "Our America"  published   by Abeka)

Boys:            I pledge allegiance....

Girls:             I promise to be true

Boys:            to the flag of the United States of America.....

Girls:            to  my flag and to my country.

Boys:            and to the Republic for which it stands.......

Girls:            and to the people this country was created for.

Boys:            one nation under God........

Girls:            one country blessed by God

Boys:             indivisible........

Girls:             which should not be divided

Boys:             with liberty

Girls:              with freedom

Boys: :            and justice

Girls:              and fairness

Boys:              for all.

Girls:              for every person.

Narrator:         Mrs. Green has taught us how to sign the words to the Pledge of Allegiance.

                            SING: "I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG" 
                                             ( See original script for link.) 
                         (If possible, also have the children learn the Pledge in sign language.)

Old Glory 1:    Some people call the flag Old Glory, others call it the Star-Spangled Banner,
                       but whatever they  call it, it is our flag, the flag of the United States of America. 
                       Today we are remembering what the flag stands for.  We think of those who 
                       fought for us in other countries to keep us free, and we know some of those 
                       soldiers did not come back.

Old Glory 2:    After the tragedy in New York on  September 11, 2001, people became  a lot more
                       patriotic.  They  wanted to show unity in our country; 
                       that we all love this land.  We now see the flag displayed more-
                       outside of homes and businesses, on clothes, and on cars.  We  
                       remember our heroes - the firefighters, the police officers, and the 
                       military people who risk their lives to protect us  and keep us safe. 
                       To those people, we say, "Thank You!"

Old Glory 3:  That flag came out of the ashes from the destroyed buildings in New York.
                     Its colors are  now shown everywhere, showing everyone in the world
                      how we feel about ourselves -  proud, determined, and united.

                      This evening, we would like to honor the Veterans who are with us tonight. 
                      We want to  show you in a small way our appreciation for your dedication
                       to our country.  As we call your name, please stand so that we can recognize you.
                       Please remain standing while we   honor all of you.  And if we have 
                       overlooked any veteran, please stand................

                       (Music played: "America the Beautiful" while flags are being handed out.)

Katherine L. Bates:   That song I'm hearing  sounds familiar.  I am Katherine Lee Bates, a professor
                        in Massachusetts. I visited Pikes Peak in Colorado in the summer of 1893.
                        It was a hard wagon drive, but the  view was incredible!   I enjoyed seeing
                        the  purple mountains, the green valleys, and the blue  sky above. 
                        It was then and there that the opening line of a poem floated into my mind.

                        "O beautiful for spacious skies....."   And later I finished the verse.

                                                   SING " AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL"

Narrator:        The next day the teachers return to their classrooms.

                                    (Child crosses the stage carrying a sign "NEXT DAY".)

Teacher 2A:    Good morning class.  It's good to be back.  We know you learned so much
                       yesterday while we were gone.  We have also been studying about the gift
                       that was given to the U.S. from the  country of France.  In 1876 France
                       announced it was giving the U.S. a statue honoring  America's   100th birthday. 
                       Boys and girls, let's imagine how it would have been long ago
                      in the late 1800's.  It looks like we have another visitor!

Irving Berlin:   I'm Irving Berlin.  I came to America  as an immigrant from  Russia in 1893,
                      and whatever success I have had as a song writer, I owe to this country. 
                      I wrote many songs, and one of my most popular   songs was
                      "God Bless America"  which was introduced in 1938.  I wanted to 
                      express my  gratitude to this country that inspired it.

                                                         SING "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

Irving Berlin:  I also set to music the verse that is inscribed on the base of the
                     Statue of Liberty, and wrote this  song, "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor".

Emma Lazarus:  Well, Mr. Berlin, I'm Emma Lazarus.  I am the American poet who
                         wrote the poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty
                         "The New Colossus".  Share the credit sir!

                                           SING "GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR"

Teacher 2B:  Would the students who have been working on the play about the 
                     Statue of Liberty please come  down?     You have been practicing for this,
                     and we are eager to see your play, "The Lady With the Lamp".

                                                    (Statue of Liberty skit)
                                          PLAY: " THE LADY WITH THE LAMP"
                                         ( See original Patriotic Play for links to this resource.)

Teacher 2A:   Wow!  The Statue of Liberty truly is an incredible piece of art! 
                      The building of our country was a  tremendous undertaking.  The people who 
                       immigrated to America from other countries played an important part in our history.

Student:         Mrs. Conner taught us a song about that -  may we sing it?

                                             SING "WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THIS LAND"

Teacher 2B:  Did you know that when people in other countries learned of opportunities in 
                     America, they began coming here by the thousands.  So many people came
                     to live here in our new nation, we got  nicknamed the "melting pot".
                     All these people came to America to find liberty and freedom.

                                            SING: "BROWN EYES, BLACK EYES"

Teacher 2A:  Boys and girls, look at the time!  You've done such a good job today and 
                    we know you have  learned so much about our great country.  Before we end
                    our day, let's think about how God has blessed our country.

Preacher :      The book of Psalms is a book of praises to God.  Psalm 67 is a song 
                      of praise thanking God for guiding the nations of the earth.

(Class recites Psalm 67 as a choral reading.  Divide the students into groups and assign
certain parts of the psalm to  the groups.)

                                                            PSALM 67

                          "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us;

                          may your ways be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

                          May the peoples praise you, O God;  may all the peoples praise you.

                          May the nations be  glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly
                          and guide the nations of the earth.

                         May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

                        Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.

                        God will bless us, and the ends of the earth will fear him."

Preacher :   What will the future be like for our country?  No one can say for sure. 
                   What kind of people are we now?   What kind of people will be be? 
                   Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."     

                                                        SING: "AMERICA"
                                                                   "BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC"
                                                                   "GOD BLESS THE U.S.A."