Into the Forest

into the forest

By Anthony Browne

I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Jemima at her school and I am most appreciative of her willingness to share her teaching ideas.  Jemima introduced me to this engaging story, another book for my bookshelf.

I love Jemima’s posts



This story provides the perfect opportunity to …

  • Make a prediction using the blurb at the back of the book.

into the forest

  • Label the nouns in an illustration and then ‘crack open the nouns’ by using an adjective.
  • What does poorly mean? Share your understanding.
  • Make connections with other texts, by finding out which stories the special guest characters appeared in originally
  • Ask questions, students can generate questions about the book before, during and after reading
  • Practise pausing at commas
  • Read the pictures, by searching in the background for interesting items, like beanstalks and bears
  • Analyse decisions made by the illustrator, including why some parts of the pictures are grey and some are coloured
  • Infer the character’s feelings by writing think bubbles for some illustrations
  • Compare texts by finding other books that use known characters in different ways (e.g. Stories about fairy tales told from a different characters’ point of view)
  • Retell the story by creating a story map to show the boy’s journey from his home through the forest to Grandma’s.


I have used this as a mentor text for …

  • Creating a simple opener to a story, by using the first sentence as a mentor sentence
  • Building mystery by looking at the start of the story (both pictures and text) to analyse how the characters feels about Dad not being around
  • Exploring punctuation. There is a wide range of punctuation in this text, can you make a tally?
  • Labelling because the boy creates notes and puts them around the house, like labels
  • Modelling dialogue between two characters
  • Innovating on a text and having known characters make special appearances, e.g. Goldilocks appears in a story


This is a great book is ideal to explore …

  • Shapes – go on a 2D and 3D shape hunt on each page
  • Fractions and measurement in a fruit cake recipe
  • The height of living things. Investigate the different heights of tress. Show your findings by representing the height of trees using wool or streamers.
  • Investigate the distance to travel to someone special in your family. Is it metres or kilometres?

Beyond the Text:

  • Create artworks that have some black and white parts, and some coloured parts to add emphasis to parts of the picture
  • Create a diorama setting for a character to walk through
  • Explore perspective in drawings, particularly on the page when the boy hugs his grandma
  • Bake some treats to share with others in your community
  • Select one illustration from the text and role play what happened before and after the illustration
  • Shadows were evident in the illustrations. Go outside and explore shadows. Take photographs or draw images.
  • Make signs to display as Anthony did in this book.

Enjoy and take care,


Andrea Hillbrick