I would be surprised if there are many school library's who do not possess a copy of Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild things are.' Published in 1963 it is one of the most loved children's books of all time, with sales exceeding 20 million copies.
Following the 2009 film release this tale, of imagination and the complexities of childhood emotions, has found a fresh audience amongst both teachers and students.
The story is highly applicable to kids of all ages as it deals with emotions, family issues and how our behaviour and feelings affect the world we perceive around us. It connects emotional balance and behavior through a compelling story and Sendak's amazing illustrations which captivate young audiences.
A colleague of mine, Mark Muldoon, put together a brilliant unit of work for his grade 5/6 students which tied a number of elements of the book, film, soundtrack and artwork into a complete literacy unit which I taught a few years back.
Since then I have added a number of other resources to this post, providing a thorough reference point to teach and explore this book effectively. If you have any others to add I'd love to pop them up. Please email them through.
Obviously, for copyright reasons I cannot post digital copies of the book or film but you can purchase them and many other 'where the wild things are' teaching and learning resources such as the ones included in this post.
Below, I have supplied you with a number of free resources with a descriptor of how you might use them in the classroom.
WTWTA Teaching Support Kit: This is the official Teacher's guide from publisher random house. It was updated in 2010 and is full of great ideas including a Bloom's Taxonomy grid of activities for students to complete. An excellent
Teacher Film Guide: This is the official teacher guide from Warner Bros Pictures based around the 2009 film: It contains a range of activities and tasks for both teachers and students. A great starting point.
WTWTA Teachers Guide for Kindergarten and Junior School: Compiled by Patricia Glennon and Penny Paschal it is rich in ideas for a junior audience. Plenty of creative ideas.
Permission slip to see the film: Use this if your students need parental permission to see the film at school.
What are the themes of Sendak's books? This activity explores the concepts and themes that run throughout all of Sendak's books for students to compare and contrast.
Book review; This is a great example of a quality book review of where the Wild things are and should be shown and modelled to students before starting their own.
Making Family connections: This is a great task for students to do in linking the events that occur in the book and film with those of their own lives.
Cloze Activity: of Book review
Transcript of the Film: You might like to use parts of this in your reading sessions
Write your own Blurb: Use the example to assist you.
When I feel sad I will.. get your students to write about their emotions
Leave your memories of "Where the wild things are" Blog - great interactive activity
Where the Wild Things Are Games and Activities
More Where the Wild Things Are Lesson Plans
Create your wild self: students can use this create a wild monster of their own that they might like to translate into a story. A number of opportunities here.
Here are some videos that might help you better understand the film and the book.
I hope you enjoy these and if you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them
A great narration of the book.
A Complete animated Narration of the text. Download Video
Maurice Sendak on his work, childhood, inspiration - Download Video
Maurice Sendak on What Being an illustrator means.
The official Movie Trailer - Download here.
Some Great School work