Musical Play: “Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock”

Complete Script & Audio: $45 (other items also available)

What is this? An easy, flexible, 25-minute musical play for grades 1-4. Comes with the script, audio recording (with both a vocal and instrumental version of each song), and a teacher's guide. No music or drama experience needed!
Story & Content Funny script ✓ Catchy tunes ✓ Flexible casting ✓ Dumb jokes
A funny version of a West African folktale starring Anansi the Spider, his animal friends, and even some dancing yams. Learn more!
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We sell wonderful, short, funny plays and musicals for use in your classroom, after-school program, drama club, music class, summer school program, homeschool, and any other place where kids can thrive by participating in theater! If you are not familiar with us or how to use theater to teach, check out our Q&As.

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    WHAT'S INCLUDED? Everything you need to put on the play: script, audio recording, and teacher's guide. The audio recording includes two versions of each song: a vocal version for learning the songs and an instrumental version for performance. Sheet music is a separate, optional purchase that you can add to your order below.

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    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording.
    • - The printed version is a spiral-bound book with audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get both formats at a big discount.

    SELECT ONE:

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Download Version (PDF/MP3s) $45

    ANAN-PL-DIG

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Physical Copy (Spiral-Bound Book/Audio CD) $45

    ANAN-PL-PRI

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Duo Version (Download + Physical Copy) $60

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  • License #3 - Format *

    We offer both downloadable and physical/printed versions of our plays.

    • - The downloadable version includes a PDF of the script/teacher's guide and an MP3 file for each track of the audio recording.
    • - The printed version is a spiral-bound book with audio CD inside.
    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get both formats at a big discount.

    SELECT ONE:

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Download Version (PDF/MP3s) $45

    ANAN-PL-DIG

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Physical Copy (Spiral-Bound Book/Audio CD) $45

    ANAN-PL-PRI

    “Anansi” Musical Play – Duo Version (Download + Physical Copy) $60

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    • - For the most flexibility, choose the duo version and get the downloads plus three physical copies of the book/CD set.

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    • Want copies for students? 10+ CDs are $5 each and 10+ audio downloads are $3 each.

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  • Sheet Music (Optional) *

    • Sheet music is optional, but it is essential if you plan to perform with a piano or guitar (or other!) accompaniment rather than using the audio recording.
    • - For this play, the sheet music is a Piano/Guitar Score (includes melody, notated accompaniment, and chord symbols).

    “Anansi” Sheet Music Download (PDF) $12

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    “Anansi” Printed Sheet Music $12

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  • Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings *

    • Replace a broken or skipping CD, get the audio recording in MP3 format, or get both!
    • Want copies for students? 10+ CDs are $5 each and 10+ audio downloads are $3 each.

  • Sheet Music *

    • Sheet music is optional, but it is essential if you plan to perform with a piano or guitar (or other!) accompaniment rather than using the audio recording.
    • - For this play, the sheet music is a Piano/Guitar Score (includes melody, notated accompaniment, and chord symbols).

Synopsis

Based on a West African tale, Anansi is the story of a very tricky spider who discovers a magic rock that he uses to steal food from all the jungle inhabitants. The last laugh is on Anansi, of course, but not before everyone has a chance to sing some fun songs about yams, dancing mangos, and Anansi's mischief.

Preview the script and songs!

Key Concepts

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary school language arts. It can be used as part of a Folk Tale or Trickster component of the curriculum, and it also lends itself naturally to African studies and multicultural 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!

Aligned with national standards! View the standards and vocabulary. 

Publication Info

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)

ISBN:
978-1-886588-02-8

© 1995
Bad Wolf Press, LLC

5 reviews for Musical Play: “Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock”

  1. 2nd grade teacher (verified owner)

    <p>The music is very catchy and easy to teach & learn. The CD is great. I've used it with K-3 and it's ideal for second but works well for every grade level.</p>

  2. Julie (verified owner)

    <p>Such a great play to do with my 3rd graders after our study of folktales. They loved learning all of the elements of drama and turning our classroom into a jungle for the production was an added bonus. We had a parent volunteer to make our simple costumes (headbands with ears) and invited other classes to come be our audience the last week of school. A great culmination to our year of learning together.</p>

  3. Marie Hinton, librarian (verified owner)

    <p>This play is perfect for First Graders. They love the story and sing the songs constantly. The moral is clear to both students and parents. I appreciate that the story is written so that the language can be adapted for even English Language learners can paticipate</p>

  4. Julie (verified owner)

    I did this with my 4th graders. They loved making the different costumes and the giant rock (paper-mache!) The songs are cute and easy to learn and gives every kid a chance to shine. The only song that is a little tricky is the Monkey's "What's that Smell?" but we changed it to have more of a tune. We also added some closing dialogue about Anansi *maybe* learning a lesson. It was a huge success.

  5. Jacquita (verified owner)

    (See my review of Mother Goose's Character camp.)
    Very cute story. I think our audience will really enjoy it. Our performance is at the end of February. I've found that our audience does not like the whole script sung, so we are only singing
    It's So Hot and all the Down, Down, Down songs as characters "pass out." We will also Tango with A Mango, just to be dancing fools.
    I've done Grammar Island, Grammar under the Big Top, Great Americans,Character Matters I,II, Mastering Math, Emperor's New Clothes,Test Taking Strategies,US Geography, and my very favorite The American Revolution. We've done some cool dancing and singing, but I would like more spoken parts for what I do with the scripts.
    Thanks for clever materials that are entertaining and educational.

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The Show

We want you to know what you're getting, so the cast list and first third of the script are available here! Bad Wolf shows are written for flexibility and can be edited however you like to meet the needs of your actors, school, curriculum, parents, astrological chart, latest whim, etc. If you have questions about the portions of the script not shown, please contact us.

Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students. Use as many lions, rhinos, monkeys etc. as desired. Actors can easily play several roles, or a single role can be divided between multiple actors. All parts can be played by any gender.

CHARACTERS:

Anansi
Zebras
Lions
Rhinos
Monkeys
Elephants
Little Bush Deer
Storytellers
Chorus (comprised of all animals except Anansi)

All the action of the play takes place in a jungle---a backdrop with jungle plants and animals can be used. There is a large "rock" in the middle of the stage. On the backdrop behind the stage there is a sign:

Warning! Magic Rock! If ANYBODY says "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock" they will fall asleep for exactly one hour.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script.

Song 1

Listen to a sample!

ENTIRE CAST (sings as they march or dance up to stage):
It’s so hot
It’s so hot
Hot in the jungle in July

It’s so hot
It’s so hot
It’s so hot under African skies.
The monkeys are sweating

MONKEYS: It’s so hot!

The rhinos are fretting

RHINOS: It’s so hot!

The lions are betting it’s hundred degrees.
The monkeys are sweating

MONKEYS: It’s so hot!

The rhinos are fretting

RHINOS: It’s so hot!

Gazelles are gazetting there under the trees.

It’s so hot
It’s so hot
Hot in the jungle in July
It’s so hot
It’s so hot
It’s so hot under African skies.
(soft)
It’s so hot under African skies.
(loud)
It’s so hot under African skies.

(Entire CAST freezes, looking at audience, with the last note of the song. It is important that the audience knows the song is over and can now applaud.)

STORYTELLER (spoken): Long ago, on a very hot summer day, Anansi the Spider was crawling through the jungle when he spotted something very strange.

(ANANSI enters as STORYTELLER talks. ANANSI looks shocked when he notices the rock.)

Song 2

Listen to a sample!

ANANSI:
I know every tree in the jungle
I know each lion by its roar
I know every nook of the jungle
But I’ve never seen this before.

(ANANSI points directly at the rock on the word "this")

I know every inch of the jungle
So that’s why this is such a shock
This is quite a change
This is very strange
Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock!

(ANANSI falls down, instantly asleep)

CHORUS:
Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
Down he fell in sleep,
Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
Slumbering so deep.

Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
One full hour went by,
He woke up some
His head was numb
And he was wondering why
He was wondering why.

ANANSI:
I wonder, I wonder what’s happening to me
I was just taking a short walk
This is quite a change
This is very strange
Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock!

(ANANSI crashes down again in slumber)

CHORUS:
Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
Down he fell once more,
Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
Sleeping like before.

Down down down down
Down fell Anansi
One full hour went by,
He woke up some
His head was numb
And he was wondering why
He was wondering why.

(As ANANSI wakes up, ZEBRAS dance in)

Song 3

Listen to a sample!

ZEBRAS:
We are wise old Zebras
We’ve got wise old zebra stripes
You should listen to us
And take our wise advice.

CHORUS: Listen to them, listen to them!

We are wise old Zebras
We know wise old zebra stuff
If you listen to us
Then you’ll be wise enough.

It’s a magic rock, magic rock
We know it sounds absurd
CHORUS: Sounds absurd
Magical rock, watch your talk
Don’t say
CHORUS: Don’t say
Don’t say
CHORUS: Don’t say
Don’t say

ZEBRAS and CHORUS:
Don’t say those magical words!

ANANSI: You mean the words, "Isn’t this a strange moss-covered…?"

ZEBRAS (interrupting): SHHHHHH!

We are wise old Zebras
We’ve got wise old zebra stripes
You should listen to us
And take our wise advice.

CHORUS: Listen to them, listen to them!

It’s a magic rock, magic rock
We know it sounds absurd
CHORUS: Sounds absurd
Magical rock, watch your talk
Don’t say
CHORUS: Don’t say
Don’t say
CHORUS: Don’t say
Don’t say

ZEBRAS and CHORUS: Don’t say those magical words!

(ZEBRAS dance off)

STORYTELLER (spoken): Anansi was delighted to learn of the magic rock, and he came up with a clever trick. You see, Anansi loved the food of the jungle, but he did not want to do any work to get it. He’d rather take somebody else’s, so he went to the home of the Lions.

ANANSI: Good afternoon, Lions. What are you doing on this hot day?

Song 4

Listen to a sample!

LIONS:
We like the yams
We like the yams
That’s all we can say
We work so hard
Out in our backyard
Digging yams all day.

We like to roar
We like to stretch
We like leg of lamb
We like the sun
We like to have fun
But we’d rather have a yam.

Anansi the Spider
Your tricks are well-known
You’d rather steal our yams
than find some on your own.

We like the yams
We like the yams
That’s all we can say
We work so hard
Out in our backyard
Digging yams all day.

(spoken): This is our yam-digging music! Oh we like this!

(LIONS dig and dance as the CHORUS sings)

CHORUS:
They like the yams
They like the yams
That’s all they can say
They work so hard
Out in their backyard
Digging yams all day.

Anansi the Spider
Your tricks are well-known
You’d rather steal their yams than find some on your own.

LIONS:
We like the yams
We like the yams
That’s all we can say
We work so hard
Out in our backyard
Digging yams all day.

LIONS and CHORUS:
We work so hard
Out in our backyard . . .

LIONS:
. . . digging yams all day.

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

The Songs

Click on any song to listen to a snippet. Click the cart icon to purchase any track for $1.

Standards

Common Core and Other National Standards

Language Arts

  • Common Core Reading Standards for Literature: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Reading Standards: Foundational Skills:
    • K and 1st: Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition
    • 2nd: Phonics and Word Recognition
    • 3rd, 4th, 5th: Phonics and Word Recognition, Fluency
  • Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Language Standards: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  • Common Core Standard 10: Range, Quality & Complexity: Range of Text Types for K-5th

History/Social Studies

National Core Arts Standards

Vocabulary

fretting
degrees
gazelles
nook
slumbering
numb
absurd
yam
stroll
mango
polka
jig
appeal
woe
mongoose
shrewd
backdrop
shocked
instantly
pantomime
parenthesis
intentionally

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