The Wild Guide to Starting School.

Laura and Philip Bunting

Published: 1st January 2022

Buy the book at BOOKTOPIA

Hey, wild thing! Are you about to start school? Then it’s time to get set for your wildest adventure yet.

Follow this simple guide and you’ll learn everything you need to know.

Hello everyone!

A totally engaging book that explores 18 tips to start school.

This is a book for all ages! I believe we can all make connections about returning to school – including me!

Front Cover:

  • Share photos of the first day of school in the past. How did you feel? What is the same and different?
  • What are your predictions?
  • Tell me something that you recognise? What do you know about…?
  • Use your five senses to describe an object as clues for you partner to guess the object!
  • Why did Laura and Philip use different fonts in the title?
  • Create a survey to find out the most popular animal on the front cover.
  • Can you see the letter in the envelope? Write a letter to your family about your first day of school.

End pages/papers:

I adore end papers!

Philip and Laura didn’t disappoint!

  • Explore the shapes on the page
  • Sort the objects presented on the page and label
  • What would the echidna be thinking and saying? Draw and write your ideas in bubbles
  • Write descriptions for the objects – exploring nouns, verbs, and adjectives
  • Collect items in your classroom to create a similar layout and photograph or video
  • Make an image using leaves
  • I can spot a thermometer. What is the minimum and maximum temperature for the first week of school? How would you record these?
  • Connect the objects to generate an idea for writing; for example, the koala usually munches gum trees but as a treat he nibbled on sandwiches and donuts!

Your Classroom Tip 8:

  • Play I Spy with this illustration and in your classroom.
  • Mathematicians can draw a plan of their classrooms.
  • Select an object in the picture and brainstorm rhyming words.
  • Can we find an object in our classroom and put into alphabet order?
  • Order objects in your classroom by length or weight.
  • What time is on the clock? What time is on your classroom clock? Make a clock to show the time.
  • Create a triangular garland. How many triangles and how many corners? What is the length of the garland? Can you show of colour pattern?
  • What month of the year is displayed on the wall? Who has a birthday in this month? How many days will you be at school during this month? Show the number/total using different materials.
  • Make connections from the posters on the wall to Philip and Laura’s other books. The images on his website will help!
  • I can see books in the illustration. What is your favourite book? Why?

Your Teacher Tip 9:

  • The image is sharing inside a teacher’s mind. My favourite is the – supersized enthusiasm lobe. 
  • Model writing to provide a peek inside your mind to inspire your writers to share their feelings and thinking.
  • The writers draw an outline of their head, or a buddy does this for them. They draw, write, and label their thinking and goals.
  • what are your wonderful qualities? Create a Venn diagram to share.
  • I love the teacher ID card. Can you create your own card?

Play Time Tip 15:

There is some much mathematics in this illustration!

  • What shapes can you see on the page? Create a tally to show your findings.
  • What angles can you see?
  • What positional language do you use to describe the picture? Koala is inside the hula hoop!
  • Create a may to show how to get to your playground at school.
  • Design a survey to find out what other learners like to use at the playground.
  • Take a photograph of your school playground and label.
  • Using materials create a patterned snake.
  • Make and measure a snake to twist around the bar in your playground.
  • Write to entertain – the day the echidna was sliding down the slide!

Making New Friends – Tip 16:

Laura and Philip use their words and pictures to share what to avoid when making friends.

  • Use as a mentor text for labelling
  • Explore verbs – then play charades with the verbs
  • Investigate the ‘ing’ ending
  • Infer what the characters are thinking and saying
  • Create a chart, video, or classroom book of what to DO to make friends!

PS I love the pawnote!

  • What would be your pawnote?

Added Extras:

  • Adopt one of the animals as your classroom mascot.
  • I would love the older learners to write a guide for their younger buddies.
  • Model the use of Canva to make an infographic of tips to start school.
  • Vote on the most important tip! What is the reasoning?
  • Create a version of tips for your parents or teachers.

Have an awesome start to the school year!