October October – KS2 cross-curricular activity ideas

What's included?

PDF book topic

Key Stage



Years 3-6


October October is a Yoto Carnegie Medal-winning novel by Katya Balen. It explores our connection to the natural world. This download contains three pages of cross-curricular KS2 ideas.

What is October October about?

“We live in the woods, and we are wild…”

October and her dad live off-grid in the woods, and have a deep connection to the wild world that surrounds them. They find, grow or make almost everything they need, and October couldn’t be happier – until her 11th birthday…

Dad has an accident and his daughter must leave her beloved home to live in the city with a mother she barely knows. How will she cope without the wildness she needs?

Why is this book good for KS2?

October’s year of devastating change is a first-person narrative in this stylishly readable stream-of-consciousness account. She cares about her environment in a way that feels personal, immediate, and nail-bitingly important, and she makes us care, too.

Intriguing topics such as mudlarking and rewilding sit alongside questions about our relationship to the natural world. As we’re drawn into October’s tale of owls and scavenging and the power of imagination, we share her discovery that wildness is everywhere and there are many ways of being free.

Talking about the book

Every page of this wonderful book will give you lots to think and talk about. Here are some questions to start:

  • Why doesn’t October’s sketchmap show the road to the village? How does she feel about the outside world?
  • Should adults allow an 11-year-old to drive a quad bike or use a machete? Talk about risk, accidents and the advantages/disadvantages of gaining life skills in this way.
  • How does October deal with difficult emotions? Do you think her reactions are helpful? What advice would you give someone feeling angry or afraid?
  • “She is alive in London the way… Dad is alive in the woods.” Discuss Mum and Dad’s choices. Where would you prefer to live?
  • If Stig the tame owl must learn to be wild, what must October ‘the wild girl’ learn? What does being wild mean?
  • “I never knew if this was the right thing, if the woods were the right place, if the way I lived was fair…” Should October be living wild in the forest? Argue for and against Dad’s choice.

Use this KS2 plan to explore the novel and understand more about how our connection to our surroundings can inform our identity.

Carey Fluker Hunt is a freelance writer, creative learning consultant, and founder of Cast of Thousands. Find out more about how to shadow this year’s Yoto Carnegie Awards at Browse more resources for World Environment Day and Earth Day.

October October KS2 activity ideas
October October – KS2 cross-curricular activity ideas

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