Where the Wild Things Are – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

Here is #23 in the picture books that I am sharing for the next 30+ days. These picture books can be used to teach literary skills to middle or high school students. Just because they are in the older grades doesn’t mean that picture books can’t be a great resource on its own or as a paired passage.

Where the Wild Things Are – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

Description from Amazon:61t+t7ptmgL._SY452_BO1,204,203,200_

In the forty years since Max first cried “Let the wild rumpus start,” Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation to Max’s imaginative journey to Where the Wild Things Are.

Literary Skills that can be taught with the book Where the Wild Things Are?


Why did Max get sent to his room without food? How did Max’s room become a jungle?Why would Max punish the wild things in the same way he was punished? Why was Max’s dinner waiting for him even though he was punished?

Narrative Structure

Create a plot chart of events for the story labeling the initiating event, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Point of View

In which point of view is the story written? Rewrite this story from the point of view of Max.


How does this story use imagery? Give text evidence for each sensory statement that shows imagery.

Compare and Contrast

How does the wild things love differ from a parent’s love?


The wild side of someone can be magical

Imagination is powerful

There is no place like home

Writing Activity

Write about an adventure Max had while crossing the water in his boat during the weeks and almost over a year to the island. Write words for the pages of pictures that are lacking story.

Extension Activity

Watch the movie and make comparisons to the book.

Where the Wild Things Are can be found on Amazon click HERE

Want more? There is more and can be found on the resource at TpT.

Follow this blog and my TpT store for more great picture books to teach to secondary students.

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