This lesson plan for primary-aged learners is designed to be used with the picturebook 'Wild' by Emily Hughes.

Gail Ellis


Wild is a story about a feral girl. No one remembered how she came to the woods, but all knew it was right. She is taught to talk by Bird, to eat by Bear and to play by Fox. All live happily together in the forest, free from human restriction, until one day the child is caught in a trap by two hunters and taken back to civilisation.

A psychiatrist and his wife try to get the girl to speak and eat and live like them, unsuccessfully, and the girl is unhappy. However, the story has a happy ending as she returns to live in the forest, along with the psychiatrist's pet dog and cat! Everyone remembered how she left, and all knew it was right.

This is a story of nature versus nurture, which can be used to support personal, social and emotional development. The story sparks lots of book talk opportunities and raises many thought-provoking questions from children.

Drawing Words

The story notes for Wild are aimed at children of primary school age*. However, picture books operate on many levels, satisfying children of different ages and with different language abilities, so it is difficult to be specific about age-level suitability. A picture book can be used as a springboard for a wide variety of related language and learning activities. You know your children best, so the suggestions in the story notes are for you to select from and to adapt accordingly.

You will need a copy of the picture book. Study the picture book and the story notes carefully and decide which key vocabulary you may need to pre-teach before you read the story aloud, but only pre-teach vocabulary that may be difficult for children to work out the meaning of themselves. The story notes are divided into three stages, before reading, reading the story, and after reading. Decide how long you will spend on each stage, depending on your time available and your children's interests and language abilities. The main linguistic and learning aims are indicated in the attached document Scope and sequence.

*The primary age range varies from one education system to another, with some children beginning at age five in some countries and at age seven in others, and some children finishing at age 10/11 in some countries and at age 13/14 in others. The average age is 6–11 years.


  • The lesson notes and student worksheets are available to download below in PDF format
  • You will need a copy of the picturebook 'Wild'

See our other lesson plan by Gail Ellis in the Drawing Words series - 'A Dog Day' by Emily Rand

Find out more about Drawing Words - an exhibition curated by Lauren Child

Language Level


Hello, As mentioned in the notes above, you will need to buy a copy of the book. It is available to buy online. The ISBN is 1909263087. Hope that helps, Cath TE Team

Submitted by Jason Jixun M… on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 03:24

This story reminds me another Chinese story talking about Monkey King's before... He was also a happy baby stone-born monkey living in a wild place named 'Spring-curtain Hole-land' with many lovely common monkeys... Then, one day, he had to take the responsibility from 'Sky'... Finally, he did also get back to his kind after thing's completed... It's a good story... yes, picture book usually carries an interesting story as the theme (aim) for kids to read. The story might be long or short as life's going-on... The hearts of us might be sweet in reading

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