Can you trust the story book wolves? A thematic approach

Can you trust the story book wolves?

The topic begins by looking at the traditional image of the wolf in a variety of texts such as ‘The Three Little Pigs’  and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ . The class then receive a letter from the wolf asking Little Red Riding Hood to give him a second chance:


The pupils then write a letter back to the wolf agreeing to help him:


The wolf sends them lots of stories for them to read to show different viewpoints. I have included a number here, as they can be used with different ability pupils or different age groups:

Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood image

The wolfs tale

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goodlittlewolf_operaprima good little wolf

I love Jan Fearnley’s ‘Mr Wolf and the three bears’ as you see a gentle thoughtful wolf who is trying to arrange a perfect birthday party for Baby Bear.

Mr Wolf and the three bears

There are some great descriptions of the food he prepares and a wonderful page laid out like a comic strip describing everything he does to get ready!


However, the party is gate-crashed by a vile Goldilocks, who stuffs the party food into hr very large mouth, ruins the party games and even stands on everyone’s feet! This story has a very clever ending that can be appreciated by all ages.

I always enjoy Emily Gravett’s books and use two for this topic. The first is about a wolf that is treated cruelly by pigs until he shows them that they can’t treat him like a pet!


Wolf won't bite 2


By the end of the book we are desperate for the wolf to stand up for himself.

The other book by Gravett that I think is brilliant for moving from fiction wolves to non-fiction wolves is a very clever text called ‘Wolves‘.  A rabbit is reading a book from the library about wolves, but as he reads the text it seems to be in the book itself:

a wolves

Wolves layoutswolf 3

tretch upper KS 2 pupils!

Whiffy Wilson

This is a wonderful picture book, in rhyme, about a little wolf called Whiffy Wilson who refuses to wash. He is a like-able character, but just hates having a bath! whiffywilson-prv-1-879426

His Mum tries to force him to be clean, but the wolf just runs away so that he never has to wash again.


A little girl called Dotty takes it on herself to try to persuade the cheeky chap to wash himself and the story involves her using every trick in the book!

Whiffy Wilson in the bath

The story is really engaging as it describes how disgustingly filthy little Whiffy is and children always love that. It would be great for descriptive work and really extend children’s adjectival use:

Whiffy Wilson 2

Here is a sample of some of the writing that Year 2, at Broadoak Primary school, have produced:



I can’t wait to read the next book in the series that will be coming out at the end of the summer term:

Whiffy wilson second


There is a beautiful non-fiction book for learning about wolves, that pupils seem to like:

walk with a wolfwalk with a wolf 1

If you want to do newspaper accounts of what happened from a different point of view there are two books that you might find interesting:

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One of the Year 2 classes I have worked with also created their own puppet wolves and undertook a really effective D.T. project to design and make individual creatures:


If you want to know more about this unit of work or find out anything more about the sort of learning journeys that I have created for specific schools or classes just email me on


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