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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.
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.
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.
This musical play was perfect for bringing science content to life for my students! They loved learning the songs and action our the dialogue. Throughout our play rehearsal process, we had important conversations about scientific vocabulary and the life cycles of various plants and animals. The music is very catchy and, overall, this was a great, learning experience!
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!)
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.