Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Tadpole's Promise

Tadpole’s Promise

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Jeanne Willis

Tadpole loves his rainbow friend, the caterpillar, and she tells him she loves everything about him. “Promise that you will never change,” she says. But as the seasons pass and he matures, his legs grow, and then his arms – and what happens to his beautiful rainbow friend? As he sits on his lily pad, digesting a butterfly, Tadpole little realises that now he will never know!

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write a new story about two other animals that fall in love.
  • The caterpillar describes the tadpole as a ‘shiny black pearl’ and the tadpole describes the caterpillar as a ‘beautiful rainbow’. Can you think of other ways of describing different animals?
  • Write an alternative ending for this story.
  • Imagine that you are the caterpillar. Why did you fall in love with the tadpole? Why didn’t you want him to change? How did you feel when he did change?
  • Record your own narrated version of the story.


  • Can you explain what metamorphosis is?
  • Write a report that explains how tadpoles change into frogs and caterpillars change into butterflies.
  • Can you collect some frog spawn and observe it as it changes?
  • Can you find out about different types of frogs?


  • Make some stop-motion animations that show how a tadpole changes into a frog and how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.
  • Draw a picture of a tadpole and a caterpillar using painting software.

Design Technology

  • Draw the stages of a frog’s life cycle around the surface of a paper plate. Attach another paper plate on top using a split pin and cut out one section to reveal one of the stages at a time.


  • Make a set of illustrations that show the changes to the tadpole and caterpillar throughout the story.


  • Compose a piece of music to accompany this love story.


  • Think about the habitat where these creatures live. Are there any similar habitats in your local area?
  • Look at the illustrations. How does the weather change throughout the story?


  • The caterpillar never wants the tadpole to change. Why do we change?
  • How have you changed since you were born? How will you change in the future?
  • The tadpole breaks his promise. What is a promise? How does it make others feel when we break a promise?
  • The caterpillar eventually forgives the tadpole. Why is it important to forgive others?

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