"Life Cycles" Musical Play
    • 25-minute musical play for grades 1-4
    • 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!

    Naturally a play about life cycles will include singing tadpoles and dancing mice. But as your students learn about metamorphosis, the food chain, shared characteristics, the plant cycle, nourishment (water, food, light), and adaptation to the environment in this fun show, they'll also meet butterflies who don't want to grow up, snakes who want to pollinate flowers, and even some slimy biologists! Catchy tunes and clever lyrics reinforce the curriculum.

    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 $8.00
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF) + Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $16.00


    Life Cycles: How Plants and Animals Change is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary school science. 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!

    Publication Information

    Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-36-3
    © 2006 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples

    Full Song List

    1. "Life Cycles"
    2. "Metamorphosis"
    3. "Predator or Prey?"
    4. "Offspring"
    5. "You Put the Seed in the Ground"
    6. "Water and Food"
    7. "Creatures Have Features"
    8. "We Gotta Adapt!"
    9. "Life Cycles" (reprise)


    Flexible casting from 8-40 students.
    Use as many fish, rabbits, butterflies, etc as you wish.
    All parts can easily be played by either girls or boys.


    This is the first one-third of the script:


    Forest Plants and Animals
    Zoo Keepers
    and a CHORUS comprised of all students who are not playing roles on stage
    at the time.

    (CLASS enters and faces audience)

      Song 1 - Listen now!

    Here's our show about some life cycles
    How plants and critters grow
    Here's our show about some life cycles
    We'll tell you what we know.

    We've been learning such a lot lately
    Our brains are gonna sprout
    Here's our show about some life cycles
    It's gonna knock you out.

    We are talking 'bout the stages
    As an organism ages
    And the changes it goes through
    It's a basic introduction
    From the birth to reproduction
    And we're singing it for you.

    Here's our show about some life cycles
    How plants and critters grow
    Here's our show about some life cycles
    We'll tell you what we know.

    HOST #1: Good afternoon [morning/evening]. Welcome to "Know Your Life Cycles."

    HOST #2: Let's get started up close and personal with a look at the life cycle of a
    monarch butterfly.

    HOST #3: We're here on milkwood leaf with some recently laid butterfly eggs.

    HOST #1 (to BUTTERFLIES): Tell us---how's the cycle going?

      Song 2 - Listen now!

    I don't wanna grow up
    I like it here in my egg
    Don't have to brush my teeth
    Don't have to clean my leaf.

    I don't wanna grow up
    I guess I don't have a choice
    Bustin' out from our eggs
    Look ma we all got legs!

    Don't know why or how
    We're caterpillars now.

    I don't wanna grow up
    I like it here on my leaf
    Munching on this milkwood
    Us teenagers have it good.

    I don't wanna grow up
    I guess I don't have a choice
    Spinning all afternoon
    Trapped here in this cocoon.

    Don't know why or how
    The chrysalis stage now.

    Guess it's time to grow up
    I wanna spread my new wings
    Time now to blow this town
    Tired of hanging around.

    Glad I finally grew up
    Hey look at me I'm a beaut
    Look ma I got a tongue
    Nectar yeah here I come!

    Don't know why or how
    We're butterflying now.
    We're butterflying now.

    (BUTTERFLIES exit. FISH, TADPOLES, RABBITS, and PLANTS enter, glancing
    cautiously all around.)

    HOST #2: Wasn't that fascinating?

    HOST #3: We're here now with some plants and animals.
    (to ANIMALS and PLANTS)
    Excuse me---you're looking a little nervous. Is everything all right?

    FISH: It's the food chain.

    RABBITS (scream in terror): The FOOD CHAIN! Run for your lives!!
    (RABBITS start racing around crazily)

    TADPOLE (after a few seconds): Stop that!
    (RABBITS stop)
    We're just TALKING about the food chain.

    RABBITS: Oh. Sorry.

    PLANT: We're all a bit on edge. It's this predator and prey thing---eat or be eaten.

    FISH: It makes it very hard to relax and enjoy a good book.

      Song 3 - Listen now!

    Predator or prey?
    Which is it today?
    It's a nervous game we play
    Predator, predator or prey?

    I'm a fish and I have found a rule that must be followed
    To swallow other fish is much more fun than being swallowed.

    I'm a little tadpole and I rarely am the winner
    I try to dine but soon I find I'm someone else's dinner.

    Predator or prey?
    Which is it today?
    It's a nervous game we play
    Predator, predator or prey?

    We are rabbits and it seems the world is out to get us
    We're terrified by everything---look out, here comes some lettuce!

    We are plants and have you noticed how the food chain treats us?
    Here at the bottom of the food chain---everybody eats us!

    Predator or prey?
    Which is it today?
    It's a nervous game we play
    Predator, predator or prey?
    Predator, predator or prey?


    HOST #1:
    We're lucky to have with us on the show some famous biologists.

    HOST #2: They'll help explain some of the mysteries of the life cycle. So tell us...

    (HOST is interrupted by SNAKES rushing onto the stage)

    SNAKE #1: Look out, snakes coming through.

    SNAKE #2: Pardon us, pardon us. We're migrating.

    BIOLOGIST #1 and #2: Snakes! I HATE snakes!
    (SNAKES stop)

    HOST #3: I thought biologists liked animals.

    BIOLOGIST #1: We do. But snakes. Yech!

    SNAKE #1: We get that all the time.

    SNAKE #2: We feel the same way about biologists.
    (SNAKES start to exit)

    SNAKE #1: Yeah. They just sort of sneak up on you.

    SNAKE #2: And they're so slimy to touch.
    (SNAKES exit)

    BIOLOGIST #2 (shouting after SNAKES): Oh yeah? Well snakes don't migrate!

    SNAKES (from off stage): Just watch us, big shot!

    HOST #1 (to BIOLOGISTS): So, tell our audience: how can you tell what kind of
    offspring a plant or animal will have?

    BIOLOGIST #1: That's an easy one.

    BIOLOGIST #2: You're talking about shared characteristics.

      Song 4 - Listen now!

    A cat will have kittens
    A mouse will have mice
    A fish will have fishes
    A louse will have lice.

    An eagle has eaglets
    A dog will have dogs
    They're puppies not guppies or wet pollywogs.

    Offspring resemble their parents
    Animals flowers and fruit
    Offspring resemble their parents
    Thank goodness all parents are cute
    Thank goodness all parents are cute.

    The seeds from your apples
    Become apple trees
    And daisies make daisies
    And peas produce peas.

    An oak was an acorn
    In its early days
    A carrot inherits its carrot-like ways.

    Offspring resemble their parents
    Animals flowers and fruit
    Offspring resemble their parents
    Thank goodness all parents are cute
    Thank goodness all parents are cute.

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

    Overall Customer Rating:
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    Customer Reviews: 6


    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • Fun
    • Informative
    • Addictive
    • Catchy
    • Kid-friendly
    • Great for 2nd grade
    Wonderful Play!!

    I love doing this play when school is in person, and have done so for the last 10+ school years. Now with distance learning, while doing the play in full is not feasible, I was grateful to still be able to teach my students the fun songs!

    Alameda, CA

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • goes with my curriculum
    • snake costumes difficult to make
    Love for Bad Wolf Press

    I did two Bad Wolf Press plays this year. Life Cycles and Hansel and Gretel eat Right. Bad Wold Press has a structure where almost every kid can succeed in the part given. The music is catchy and it build classroom community.

    Arroyo Vista Elementary, South Pasadena Unified

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • rich content; BRIEF!
    Life Cycles

    I've turned to Bad Wolf for years now. I thought I might revisit a musical I'd done before but I saw "Life Cycles" was going to coincide academically with my lessons so decided to give it a try.
    One of the first things I liked about it was its brevity. Audience attention spans are limited to about a half hour and many shows go on for forty. Quantity isn't necessarily quality anyway.
    The songs are ridiculously catchy. I thought I was prejudiced because I got to hear them so much but one teacher told me the next day she couldn't get one out of her head a day later. I had one timid little mouse find her inner lion in this play. She played one of the rabbits and blew us all away with her suddenly histrionic portrayal of panic. I typecast the smart aleck snakes and the roles fit one of them particularly well. Heh. "Offspring" went over particularly well with the parents ("Parents resemble their offspring, thank goodness all parents are cute") as one might predict. It lent itself quite well to costuming too-I found a site that provided print-out masks. I found pith helmets for zookeepers, green aprons for gardeners, lab coats for biologists on Amazon. Easy.
    Frankly, content-wise, it had at least as much substance to it as our science text and with all the repeated practice we got, I suspect kids will retain more from this play than the textbook.
    I do my plays in May when most of my curriculum has been covered, the test season and Open House have passed and the kids smell the end of the year like a shark senses blood in the water. It keeps us focused on a goal until the end of the year, and in a school with so many superstar teachers, it's enabled me to claim my own distinctive offering. I'm the teacher whose class puts on a play for the whole school. That is most appreciated.
    I hope to redo this play before I retire because little things occurred to me I could have added but opted not to because I was working with second graders, not seasoned professionals. I'd go with more visuals of caterpillars and flowers changing and I recommend, if you ever use it, to consider including these kinds of features into the play. If you have someone who hates to sing or learn lines, holding up and manipulating visuals might be just what they like.
    I used to write plays for my classes but Bad Wolf does the job quite nicely, an entire package with songs, recordings, scripts and stage directions for the hesitant director. I like that the company also lets you preview their work free so you get a good gist of what each play will be like before purchasing a license. The actual company is quite personally accessible too. You can email them with specific questions and they get right back to you. If you're looking for the means to merge performance arts with curricular content, this is an excellent source. And if your principal is nervous about how much time it takes from attaining those precious test scores, there's even a musical on how to take tests. (Full disclosure: I suggested it to Bad Wolf and they followed through!)


    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • Readily accessible for 2nd graders
    • The kids LOVED the songs
    • Shorter parts available for shy kids
    • Catchy music
    • Just one song: offspring
    Life Cycles

    We really enjoyed producing this musical. There aren’t that many lines (outside of the songs) for the kids to memorize, so it made it possible for all of my students to have speaking parts they could access. The vocabulary they learned was fantastic and I enjoyed almost all the songs.

    The only thing I will cut when I do it again is the Offspring song...I didn’t feel like it (nor the lines that came before it) explained the idea of shared characteristics as it was intended to do.

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • Appropriately matched to standards
    • Vocals not updated
    Life Cycles

    This play is funny while still teaching about ecosystems. It is very appropriate for second grade students. Unfortunately, one verse in the "Metamorphosis" song has the original lyrics on the recording and different (updated) lyrics in the script. If the recording could be updated, this would be a five star play for my second grade class.

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    Funny and Educational

    My kids are so excited about this show! it is funny and educational. I love Bad Wolf Press! I have done a musical every year I have taught...15 so far! Thank you for this wonderful company.

    Additional Comments and Reviews:

    "I have been directing plays and coaching students' speeches for 19 years now. About 2 and a half years ago I 'found' your company and have never looked anywhere else since. My students and I adore all of your plays! My students have performed in too many of them to count. Just last month, I directed my second graders in the Noun and Verb Mini and last week my first graders performed your Life Cycles play. Both shows were a tremendous success. The parents said that the Life Cycles play was the best we ever did! Although it was spectacular, I have to admit that they have all turned out wonderful. My only fear is that we are running out of your shows to produce! Your company has been a gem for me. I love the writing and adore the catchy songs. My fifth graders have performed in both of your Character Matters plays with rave reviews. Honestly, every one of your shows has been a hit. Thank you for doing your job so well and making mine a lot easier. Please keep those plays coming!"

    ---Deni Cavrell, Drama Teacher, Portledge School, Locust Valley, NY

    "Life Cycles was perfect for my entire life science unit. It has fun, memorable songs that are extremely educational. The kids were randomly breaking out in song all year, especially 'Metamorphosis.' Some if the dialogue was a little difficult for my English learners, but they really enjoyed trying the long words. They struggled a little during it to get the expression right, but after the musical, I found that they really tried to pay attention to punctuation, italics, and other cues to read with expression."

    ---Krista VanderLugt, Teacher (1st grade), The American International School of Vilnius, Lithuania

    "I really liked it. Every student was able to shine for their own song. It was academic so we were able to combine the play with what were learning in science. Many teachers in our audience commented on the great dialogue. Kids loved the butterflies as they metamorphosized. We had simple, simple costumes. The animals vs. plants song was a huge hit! I can't stop singing 'Predator or Prey.' It really reinforced what we had been learning."

    ---Judy Burgenbauch, Teacher (2nd grade) Mammoth Elementary, Mammoth Lakes, CA

    "I just had to share a scene I witnessed today. Last week my K-4th grade choir performed Life Cycles. After school, a few of my kindergarten girls were watching a bee on a rosebush. I heard them exclaim, 'The bee is flitting from stamen to stamen collecting pollen!' Thank you for your musicals that make science a part of everyday life!"

    ---Jennifer Lew, Conejo Adventist Elementary School, Newbury Park, CA

    "Just performed in our school garden by our third graders this week. Great songs--- lyrics teach/reinforce concepts and music is fun. They loved it!"

    ---Beth Riggs, Teacher (3rd grade) Orchard School, Rio Linda, CA

    "Excellent. Kids loved it!"

    ---Elizabeth Moyer, Teacher (2nd grade) Stone Ranch School, San Diego, CA

    "We had a great time putting on the show (this is my 5th show in two years with second grade!). The songs are a little more difficult in the play, but all all your plays, once you learn them then you can't get them out of your head for weeks."

    ---Meredith Fisher, Teacher (2nd grade) Evergreen Charter School, Asheville, NC

    "We loved it; the tips included were useful. Thanks for making to so easy, fun and successful for the students and me! This play went hand in hand with our science standards. Thanks for making learning fun."

    ---Nancy Murray, Teacher (2nd grade) Sandpiper School, Redwood Shores, CA

    "A great ensemble show. You can have all students engaged most of the time by giving each student more than one part. Great songs and music."

    ---Sharon Silverglate, Teacher (3rd grade), Mar Vista Elementary, Aptos, CA

    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

    National Core Arts Standards


      environmental niche
      global warming

      General Vocabulary Building (words and phrases)

      knock you out
      on edge
      in your dreams
      wraps up
      blow this town
      big shot
      common ground
      a dud
      The Man
      got flair

    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.

    Q: What is your return/exchange policy?

    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.)

    Q: How long does shipping take?

    A: We say that you should allow for one week within the U.S., but most orders are shipped the same day and arrive 1-3 days later. International orders usually take around two weeks to arrive.

    Q: Do I need to pay any performance royalties?

    A: As long as your admission price is less than $5 per ticket, you never need to pay performance royalties with a Bad Wolf show. If you decide to charge more than $5 a ticket, or if you are using one of our plays for a PAID workshop, camp, assembly, etc., pay only a low 1-2% royalty on gross revenues. See our royalty page to view the rates and pay.