Learning to Learn: The Rumpelstiltskin Method
    • 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!

    Lexi Miller bragged at a party that she could spin straw into gold—and now the king wants her to prove it! She thinks she can call up Rumpelstiltskin and have him do it for her, but he's only willing to teach her how to do it herself. Can Lexi get over her bad attitude and learn how to learn?

    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 $12.00
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF) + Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $20.00


    Key Concepts

    • Attitudes and behaviors that increase learning (having a "growth" mindset, being willing to work hard and focus)
    • Attitudes and behaviors that get in the way of learning (believing skills/traits are "fixed," refusing to try out of fear of failure, expecting everything to be easy)
    • Making healthy choices (food, sleep)
    • How zeroing in on mistakes ("failure") leads to faster learning
    • The importance of focus and repetition in learning a skill
    • The joys of working hard to attain mastery
    • Why this is all true: how the brain works

    Learning to Learn: The Rumpelstiltskin Method is essential curriculum for a lifetime of effective learning. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, perfdelivered with our trademark humor and fun.ormance 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: Lisa Adams and John Heath (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell (Composer)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-68-4
    © 2017 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples


    Flexible casting from 11-40 students. Use as many Students, Plumbers, etc. in each scene as desired. One student can easily play several roles if needed, and individual roles can be doubled up. Lexi Miller has a huge number of lines—her role can easily be split into two or three (just add Miller siblings!). Note that all roles can be played by either boys or girls.

    Lexi Miller
    Castle Manager
    Animal Handler
    Students (3)
    Plumbers (3)
    Knights (2)
    Neuroscientists (2)

    and a CHORUS composed of all actors who are not playing roles on stage at the time.


    This is the first third of the script.

    (CLASS enters and sings):

      Song 1 - Listen to a clip now!

    Oh here's a little story that you think you know—
    But you don't.
    'Cause we changed it.
    A girl who claims that she can turn some straw to gold—
    But she can't.
    Just rearrange it.

    She's learning how to learn and she's quite excited
    Learning how to learn and you're all invited
    Learning how to learn and it's copyrighted
    The Rumpelstiltskin Method
    The Rumpelstiltskin Method.

    You think a little man will do the job alone—
    But he won't.
    (spoken) He doesn't DO that anymore.
    She's gonna have to learn to do it on her own—
    And she will.
    She's got a mentor.

    She's learning how to learn and she's quite excited
    Learning how to learn and you're all invited
    Learning how to learn and it's copyrighted
    The Rumpelstiltskin Method
    The Rumpelstiltskin Method
    The Rumpelstiltskin Method.

    (LEXI MILLER sits alone, surrounded by a spinning wheel and straw. SHE picks some up in despair, letting it run through her fingers. Then SHE picks up her cell phone and makes a call.)

    LEXI: Hello, Rumpelstiltskin? My name is Lexi Miller and I need your help. (SHE pauses to listen.) I'm in some room in the palace. Maybe the king can tell you where.


    LEXI: Whoa! That was fast.

    RUMPY: It's what we do, Miller. Can I call you Miller?

    LEXI: Um—

    RUMPY: Great. I'm Rumpelstiltskin, and these are my associates, Lumpelbumpkin and Zed.

    LUMPY: We don't keep our names secret anymore. Company policy.

    LEXI: I need your help. See, I sort of bragged at a party that I could spin straw into gold. And I actually can't. And the king overheard me and put me in this room so I could prove it.

    ZED (with sympathy): Ohhhhh no.

    LEXI (businesslike): So the straw is right here, and if you could just take care of that and send me an invoice, that would be great. I'm just going to sit in the corner and play on my phone till you're done.

    RUMPY (laughs): You want ME to do it for you? Sorry, I don't do that anymore.

    ZED (as in "I can't believe you said that"): Ohhhhh no.

    LUMPY: Doing all this work for someone, never getting paid, falling into chasms? It was a terrible business model.

    RUMPY: So nowadays we're consultants. We're here to teach YOU how to spin straw into gold.

    LEXI: What? No way! I can't do that. Only magical people like you can spin straw into gold. If I tried I'd just look ridiculous! And I HATE looking ridiculous.

    (RUMPY, LUMPY, and ZED look at each other sadly.)

    ZED (as in "how sad"): Ohhhhhh no.

    LUMPY: Miller needs a cautionary tale.

    RUMPY: We'll sing you the ballad of Melody Smart.

    (THEY sing, perhaps pulling out lutes or other medieval-looking instruments)

      Song 2 - Listen to a clip now!

    I sing you the ballad of Melody Smart
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    In hopes that you'll listen and take it to heart
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    Melody Smart did the best on a test
    And her teacher said she had a chance to advance
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    (Whoa Melody Smart)

    Melody Smart opened up the new book
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    The work looked so hard that her knees and hands shook
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    Frightened to fail, she chose to turn tail
    Closed the book with a smack and then gave it right back
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    (Whoa Melody Smart)

    She didn't take risks.
    She didn't branch out.
    She didn't work hard.
    She took the safe route.
    If only she'd put her ego aside
    And cared about learning as much as her pride
    She would have been smarter if she really tried...
    If only she'd put her ego aside.

    I sing you the ballad of Melody Smart
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    In hopes that you'll listen and take it to heart
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    It's scary to struggle to do something new
    But you'll never soar high if you won't even try.
    (Whoa Melody Smart)
    (Whoa Melody Smart)

    (RUMPY, LUMPY, and ZED exit.)

    LEXI (folding hands across chest): Cautionary tale, my foot! Melody Smart was right. She knew her limitations, and so do I. Humph!


    MANAGER (setting up blankets and pillows): Hello there, deary. We're here to make your stay a little more comfortable.

    CHEF (removing cover from tray): Help yourself to my finest creations. All locally sourced and farm-to-table, of course.

    HANDLER: And can I interest you in a comfort animal? People get nervous staying here sometimes. I have cats, dogs, snakes, goldfish...oh wait, never mind, we stopped offering fish after that whole "squashed mackerel" incident.

    LEXI: Oh wow, this is so nice! Especially since it looks like I'm going to be here forever. FOREVER! (SHE starts to sob.)

    MANAGER: Oh, don't cry, dear. I'm sure you will figure it out soon.

    CHEF (holds out tray): Nourishing food will help. Quinoa bowl? Kale chips?

    HANDLER: And a snuggle with this flying squirrel!

    LEXI: I'll NEVER figure it out! Don't you understand? You're either able to turn straw into gold or you're not. There's no way to LEARN something like that.

    MANAGER: If we listened to that kind of talk, we'd never be where we are today.

    (THEY sing:)

      Song 3 - Listen to a clip now!

    They said I'd never do it
    I didn't have the brains
    But I went out and did it
    The fire was in my veins.
    I studied hard until I finished my degree:
    Certified in Castle Hospitality.

    You are what you are
    Well not quite true:
    You get what you get
    Then you have to DO!
    We're born with different traits and talents, yes that's so
    But anywhere you start there's always room to grow.
    It's all about your mindset, don't you know.

    They said I'd never do it
    I didn't have the skills
    But I went out and did it
    I went through all the drills.
    I used to burn my toast, but I became a pro:
    Now I cook with truffle oil and escargot.

    You are what you are
    Well not quite true:
    You get what you get
    Then you have to DO!
    We're born with different traits and talents, yes that's so
    But anywhere you start there's always room to grow.
    It's all about your mindset, don't you know.

    They said I'd never do it
    I didn't have the guts
    But I went out and did it
    I showed them who was nuts!
    No matter what the odds, I kept my dream afloat:
    Now I train the alligators in the moat.

    You are what you are
    Well not quite true:
    You get what you get
    Then you have to DO!
    We're born with different traits and talents, yes that's so
    But anywhere you start there's always room to grow.
    It's all about your mindset, don't you know.

    (THEY exit. LEXI sits down and picks up the straw and tries running it through the spinning wheel without success. Out of nowhere the STUDENTS bust in and start looking around for places to hide.)

    STUDENT #1: Did she see us?

    STUDENT #2: I don't think so.

    STUDENT #3: Let's hide under the straw!

    (THEY get down on the ground and start flinging straw on top of themselves.)

    LEXI: Hey! HEY! What is going on here? Who are you?

    STUDENT #1: Oh hey, sorry. We're hiding from our teacher.

    STUDENT #2: She's going to throw us in the dungeon!

    LEXI: I think this IS the dungeon.

    STUDENT #3 (screeches in terror): I want my mommy!

    LEXI: Why, what did you do?

    STUDENT #2: We haven't been investing in our health.

    LEXI (confused): Is that like investing in the stock market?

    STUDENT #1: No, no. It's taking care of your body.

    STUDENT #3: So you'll be focused and ready to learn.

    This concludes the first one-third of the script.

    Overall Customer Rating:
    Customer Reviews: 4




    I chose this musical last year because our school was beginning to implement the Growth Mind Set curriculum and I thought it would be a great way to reinforce the concepts. The entire 2nd grade cohort presented the musical for the school and community and it was amazing! The songs have some rigorous vocabulary and concepts for 2nd graders - I guess that is why it is labeled all the way up to 6th grade. But with a lot of work and high expectations, our students did an amazing job. Some things that I did to help the kids was: I made Lexi Miller into an entire Miller Family so one person didn't have to memorize all of the lines. I also assigned certain verses to certain classes so everyone wasn't responsible for memorizing every single part even though by the end they could sing every word. This musical is worth the work!


    Overall very positive

    The songs are challenging to learn and sing. I teach a lot of EL learners and the many idioms have been especially challenging for them. That said the story is fun and the students are very engaged and enjoying practicing.

    Berkeley, CA


    • great for 3rd grade
    • equitable parts
    • fun roles for kids
    • funny lines
    Best Bad Wolf yet!

    This play tied directly into my school's focus on growth mindset, so it was prefect for the start of the year (though would work for any time of year!). The students enjoyed the songs and learned them easily. Among the several BWP plays I have directed, this one was the most equitable in terms of the parts. It was prefect for my class of 23 third graders; everyone had a similar number of lines and nearly everyone had a song (Lexi doesn't have a song, but the 3 students who played this lead part each had the most lines, so it balanced out).

    The parents, admin., and student body were all super impressed. The kids had a ton of fun, and we pulled it off in 2.5 weeks!



    • the process is as fun as the product
    Learning How to Learn

    We are in rehearsal mode for this at the moment. I rely on a Bad Wolf play every year s when it is our third graders' turn to put on an assembly. My colleagues, plus kids in older classes, always tell me they how much they look forward for my assembly. This is due to Bad Wolf! The musicals are super easy to put on, funny, and also fun for the kids. I encourage my students to generate prop and costume ideas for themselves, which gives them ownership. It's a wonderful bonding experience, and you notice a variety of kids rise to the top and take on roles (both literal and metaphorical) that build confidence and life skills. My only caveat: the songs so become earworms for several weeks!!!

    Common Core and Other National Standards

    Social Studies/Personal Development


    • Next Generation Science Standard, "Structure, Function, and Information Processing" for 4th, middle school
    • National Science Content Standard C for K-4th, C for 5th-8th


    Language Arts

    National Core Arts Standards


    copyright TM (trademark) mentor "farm-to-table" invoice
    business model chasm "locally sourced" consultant cautionary tale
    quinoa "turn tail" kale hospitality mindset
    "my foot!" truffle oil escargot progress (v) "at your prime"
    extol naysayer prevail "learning curve" pioneer (v)
    troll (v) sum (v) "making the grade" virtuoso collage
    subjective "schmoe" gnu welt neuroscientist
    sublime kinks unsurpassed unveil
    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.

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    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.)

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