Sunday, August 26, 2012

Big Bad Wolves at School Is Not Exactly What You Would Expect

I just fell for the 'ole "do not judge a book by its cover." I did judge... and I was disappointed. As I was searching for a "new" back-to-school book recently, I came across Big Bad Wolves at School. The cover features a teacher wolf scowling at a student wolf with pencils up his nose. I thought, "Perfect! This one will help reinforce rules. And how did I not know about this book before now?"

When my Amazon order came, I excitedly opened it and read through the book. Things were moving right along. Rufus the wolf is carefree, but his parents decide he must go to school so he can survive in the real world. Of course, Rufus is not fitting in at school. He's not listening, following directions, studying, or learning. When the time for testing comes, Rufus is not prepared. That's all good so far, right? Yea, that's what I thought. That's where it takes a turn I wasn't thrilled with. During the test, the alarm sounds because hunters are attacking. Rufus, because of his carefree life before school is the only one prepared to defend the wolves and saves the day. Rufus is reward, and all the wolves give up school. Yikes! I was not expecting the anti-school message. I am just glad I wasn't in front of a class the first time I read it.

Now, that being said, since I believe that every book has value of some sort, you could turn the book into a teachable moment and lead a discussion about the pros and cons of school. You could discuss the moral of the story, and the importance of maintaining individuality. You could also compare and contrast your school to wolf school.

However, I think I will be sticking with my stand-by for helping learn how to treat one another: Do Unto Otters. The book offers a light-hearted and meaningful look at the Golden Rule. I love it, and I find the students always do too. "Do Unto Otters" becomes our class motto of how to treat each other. Tomorrow, I will share some ways I use my favorite otter book in the classroom.


  1. I thought I had ordered Big Bad Wolves this summer, but it must just be on my list. It will DEFINITELY be a buy for next year. Do Unto Otters is a favorite of mine!!! It's sooooo cute!

    First Grade and Fabulous

  2. Oh no! What a disappointment! I'm so glad you posted about this because I would have thought the exact same thing.

    The Teaching Thief