Published by Flying Eye Books. Authored by Emily Hughes.

Recommended for: Year 1.

Suggested length of study: 3 - 4 weeks.

"You cannot tame something so happily wild." In this beautiful picture book by Hawaiian artist Emily Hughes, we meet a little girl who has known nothing but nature from birth--she was taught to talk by birds, to eat by bears, and to play by foxes. She is unashamedly, irrefutably, irrepressibly wild. That is, until she is snared by some very strange animals that look oddly like her, but they don't talk right, eat right, or play correctly. She's puzzled by their behaviour and their insistence on living in these strange concrete structures: there's no green here, no animals, no trees, no rivers. Now she lives in the comfort of civilisation. But will civilisation get comfortable with her? In her debut picture book, Hughes brings an uncanny humour to her painterly illustrations. Her work is awash with colour, atmosphere, and a stunning visual splendour that will enchant children while indulging their wilder tendencies. Wild is a twenty-first-century answer to Maurice Sendak's children's classic--it has the same inventiveness, groundbreaking art, and unmissable quirkiness.

Why choose this book? Lessons and resources Supplementary books

Why choose this book?

Wild is a deceptively simple narrative with a patterned structure, which makes it accessible for children in year. However, it has the potential to introduce complex, philosophical discussion around the themes of freedom, nature, education and civilisation.

Text potential

This diagram gives an overview of the potential for teaching offered in this text. If you teach the entire sequence, you will cover these aspects. We advise teachers to produce their own text potential diagrams as this helps them to get to know the books well. Our Getting Started with Take One Book course for new schools has a module about Text Potential.

Curriculum connections

  • Geography
    • physical features: forest
  • Science
    • animals including humans: human and wild animal relationships

Lessons for this book

Our lessons are organised as meaningful chunks of learning. Most of them will fit a standard 45 minute to 60 minute session. However, some of them are shorter and others will run for a series of linked sessions. It is anticipated that you will not teach all the lessons. Select those that suit the needs of your class and add them to your personalised plans.

Download the full scheme of work

Before Reading



Making an emotional connection with the main character.


Born to be Wild

Exploring the concept of wild, associations and key vocabulary.

Friend or Foe Bingo

Analysing the characteristics of wild animals as a precursor to thinking about the feral nature of the wild girl.

During Reading

First Encounters

Wild: First Reading

Reading aloud to establish literal understanding and develop fluent reading.

Required reading: Whole book

Wild: Think Aloud

Using the Think Aloud strategy to model inference strategies and comprehension monitoring

Required reading: Whole book

What Does it Mean?

Identifying key vocabulary and thinking about how it reflects the story’s themes.

Required reading: Whole book

Picture Detectives: Searching for Clues

Close reading of an illustration to locate important clues

Required reading: Pages 17-18

Happy and Not Happy

Exploring contrasts in the story

Required reading: 9-10, 11-24

Digging Deeper

The Missing Page

Exploring two consecutive pages to find a ‘readerly gap’ and make inferences.

Required reading: Pages 13-16

Wild: Changes

Identifying changes that take place in the story

Blurb, blurb, blurb

Reading the blurb to look at how readers interest is piqued.

Required reading: Back page

After Reading

Review and Reflect

Wild or School?

The themes of freedom and choice are discussed in relation to children's experience

‘And here is today’s news…’

Working in role as investigative journalists to build the story context.

Required reading: Pages 15-16

Learning to be Human

Exploring big ideas through text to world discussion.

Required reading: Whole book

To Take or Not to Take?

Exploring a dilemma using Conscience Alley.

Required reading: Pages 11-14

Jungle School

Which animals would best teach Wild the rules of the jungle?

Required reading: Pages 3-8

Writing Opportunities

Newspaper Report

Writing a report based on how the girl came to be rescued from the wilderness.

Required reading: Pages 11-14

Missing Poster

Designing a missing poster using descriptive language.

Required reading: 13

Wild’s Bedroom

Using information about Wild’s character to design an ideal bedroom.

Required reading: Pages 23-26

Wider Learning Opportunities

Wild All Around

Using sound and music to deepen a response to mood.

Required reading: Pages 1-10

Scientist Report

Communicating ideas to an audience.

Required reading: Pages 15-18

Supplementary Books

These books are recommended for wider reading and further research to support this teaching sequence. A supplementary pack is available from our bookselling partner, Best Books for Schools. Books can also be purchased individually.

Where The Wild Things Are

Author: Maurice Sendak.

The Stick Book : Loads of things you can make or do with a stick

Author: Fiona Danks. Illustrator: Jo Schofield.

On a Magical Do Nothing Day

Author: Beatrice Alemagna.