This purchase includes three separate class plays about the Chinese influence on Japan, King John signing the Magna Carta, and the Founding of America with the help of Enlightenment philosophers. My students have enjoyed these fun and educational plays and seem to never get enough of them.
The first play is the longest and takes place in 1774. It centers around 31 year old Thomas Jefferson and 70 year old Benjamin Franklin as they discuss the impending war with England and how they should go about declaring independence. They decide to summon the spirits of deceased Enlightenment philosophers while also conversing with famous figures who are still alive to get tips on how to form a new government. This is a great intro or concluding activity during an Enlightenment unit.
The play is filled with important concepts like natural rights, responsibilities of the government, the social contract, check and balances, and women's rights.
It is also infused with humor. Students will have a great time inhabiting:
Cranky, Old Benjamin Franklin
Frustrated Thomas Jefferson
Super-British John Locke
Pompous Frenchman Jean Jacques Rousseau
Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
The second play revolves around King John and the signing of the Magna Carta. It is loosely based on actual events and examines grievances many barons had with the King, including habeas corpus, taxation, and wartime duties, among others. The script includes 12 characters and has plenty of humorous moments.
The last one is a fun play centering around Prince Shotoku and the many ways China influenced Japan early on in its development as a nation. It's a great way to introduce a medieval Japan unit. It is loosely based on actual events and comedy is peppered in, as it is also designed to be both informative and entertaining.