Singing About Decomposers (FBI)

Part of the "Rotting Away" Collection


Students will learn about decomposers: Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates.

Estimated Time

30 Minutes

Setting Required



  • S2L1b. Students will relate seasonal changes to observations of how a tree changes throughout a school year.
  • S2L1d. Students will identify fungi as living organisms.
  • S2E3a. Students will recognize the effects that occur in a specific area caused by weather, plants, animals, and/or people.


  1. Explain to students that decomposition is the work of fungus, bacteria, and invertebrates.
  2. Sing FBI by Banana Slug String Band together.



The FBI… whenever something dies

Oh, the FBI… is there on the scene

The FBI… is working overtime

Oh, the FBI, to pick those bones clean

Fungus (fungus!)… Bacteria (bacteria!)… Invertebrates (invertebrates!)… the FBI



There’s fungus all among us and it’s breaking things down,

Returning nutrients into the fertile ground

Millions of mycelium underground that’s why

When you hold a handful of the earth you hold the FBI.



There are billions of bacteria in that soil over there

Microscopic life is in all water, land and air

You should know that they are there though they are too small for your eye

These are secret agents of the FBI



Insects, bugs, slugs and worms are working night and day

The invertebrate crew are special agents of decay

To remove whatever’s rotten they will hop, crawl, hide or fly

Enforcing nature’s laws they are the FBI.



Lay down very still in the duff and learn their ways

Lift up a rotten log and you will surely be amazed

Go creeping through the forest, learn to see and be a spy

In search of evidence of the FBI