Ideas for using the Wild Tribe Heroes as part of the wider primary National Curriculum (UK). Read the books or use sections of the books to generate discussion and to inspire children to make changes to the world around them. The books can be used as a stand alone lesson or series of lessons or can be used to introduce a concept to the children such as recycling, glitter free, plastic-free lunch boxes etc.


  • ​Choose another marine animal e.g. a whale or dolphin. Write a story about how they need help from people e.g. seagull swallowing a fishing hook, a whale stuck in a net, a shark hit by a boat, a dolphin stranded on a beach.
  • Choose one setting from the book and write a list of descriptive words – now use those words to describe a different or opposite setting e.g. on the first page we learn about Duffy’s natural habitat – warm, tropical, sun, shallow sea – using the opposites of these words – cold, dark, deep etc.
  • Imagine you are a piece of rubbish. Describe your journey from land to sea – e.g. drinks bottle, balloon, food wrapper. Thrown away, down a drain, into a pipe, into a river, out to sea. Can illustrate your journey – cartoon strip.
  • Choose a setting from the book – write a poem or song about how Duffy was feeling. Explore the wider setting and add in other characters. Eg during the storm – lost, lonely, afraid – can add in a seagull who helped her find her way or a fish who didn’t help her.
  • Pick a page from the book and underline all the descriptive words. Now write out their opposites and draw a picture to show the different setting those words describe.
  • Write a set of instructions which teach people one way of looking after the environment eg beach clean, litter pick, how to recycle, how to save water – make a video.
  • Using their persuasive writing skills, ask the children to write letters to local businesses, councillors, festival/event organisers etc asking them to consider and reduce their use of single use plastic. This is one of the most important things that you and your children can do to help raise awareness in your community and inspire the adults to make the changes our environment so desperately needs us to make. If every school in your community is doing this then there is a powerful momentum for change. Thousands of children across the country are writing letters and together, we can all be the change we long to see. 


  • Carry out a plastic survey in your classroom or at home – how many items are made of plastic, could they be made of something else that is reusable e.g. plastic bottles could be made of glass, plastic chairs could be made of wood etc. Display your results in a chart or graph.
  • Sort out recycling into different categories – plastic, glass, paper, cans etc – how many fall into each category? Display as a chart or graph.
  • Big numbers – because this is a global problem there is a lot of big numbers used to show the scale of the problem. 100 million sea creatures die every year due to plastics in our oceans. 1 million sea birds, 100,000 whales and dolphins etc. Can the children think of ways to portray these numbers in an infograph – could design this on the computer.
  • Measure how big you are compared to the size of the animals e.g. are you as big as a Leatherback? Could mark the sizes of the turtles on the wall and each child measures themselves to see where they fit in. What other things are as big as a turtle e.g. a chair is as big as a Hawksbill. What other animals are as small as Marli – eg rabbit/cat. Measure Nelson on your school playground or field – how many children can fit inside him? Could portray these results as a class graph.
  • Sort any collected beach rubbish into categories for recycling or others e.g. rubbish from people, rubbish from fishing boats, rubbish from industry.


  • Draw a table comparing sea turtle/whale/puffin characteristics – can do research at home or school, on computer or in library. Include how heavy, how long, what food they eat, where they live, what they look like, how many are left in the world etc – could also do this as a card sort activity. Could then be separated into groups to produce a poster on each type of turtle i.e. one group is Leatherbacks and they have to produce a poster and then present it to the rest of the class.
  • Watch the first few minutes of Finding Nemo. Talk about what a coral reef is like – warm, shallow sea, lots of different types of creatures and corals etc. Has anyone ever visited a coral reef? What was it like? Why do you think so many animals live here?
  • Sea Turtle adaptations – how have sea turtles adapted from tortoises for their marine environment? Larger front flippers for powering through the water, smaller back flippers for steering, specially designed throats for eating jellyfish, specially adapted beaks for eating coral and crustaceans etc
  • Whale adaptations – how have whales adapted from living on land eg legs have turned into flippers, adapted breathing, special filters for filtering out krill
  • ​Draw and label the parts of a turtle/whale/puffin


  • On a local map on the whiteboard or on photocopies, trace the source of your local river. How many towns does it pass through on its way to the sea? Where does it come into the sea? What problems might the town at the coast have to deal with that the town further inland wouldn’t? i.e. plastic pollution washed down the river, flooding, agricultural runoff – pesticides and fertilisers will affect beach water quality. Redraw the route of the river into workbooks. Make sure it is labelled and has a key.
  • Show a picture example of sea pollution in a poor country – why is the problem worse in poor countries? What can be done about it.


  • Copy one illustration from the book – focus on the setting e.g. bright colours for coral reef, dark shadows for when Duffy is lost – think about the emotion Duffy is feeling and how that links in with the illustration.
  • Draw or make a sea turtle/whale/puffin – use a variety of mediums – eg paper plate and tissue paper, crayons and paints, sketch and fine detail.
  • Design a beach clean poster to educate people about how to do a mini beach clean – can be all the safety rules or just focus on one.
  • Design a beach clean poster to advertise for an upcoming event your school or group is doing – the best one can then be sent out to all students and parents.
  • Create something out of beach rubbish – can be abstract or a picture, individual or a group – see Zillah’s Art for inspiration.
  • Add illustrations to any of your literacy work e.g. poem, story etc.
  • Can you think of any ways to help solve this problem – get creative e.g. a giant sea hoover – what special features would you want it to have – can be funny and imaginative.
  • Create an underwater diorama in a shoe box.


  • Beach clean or litter pick around school or clubhouse – physical activity in an outdoors environment – encourage the children to run, jump and shout as they do it.
  • Using music from any of the underwater children’s films e.g. Finding Nemo, Reef, Sharks Tale, Little Mermaid, ask children to come up with a simple dance routine or series of movements – think of a turtle swimming and diving or just freestyle dancing!
  • Get creative with games – substitute traditional games with turtles e.g. whats the time Mr Wolf? Whats the time Mr Turtle? You can all be pieces of rubbish or jellyfish that the turtle is trying to catch. Grandmother’s footsteps – Catch the Whale – all the children creeping up are fishing nets trying to creep up on the unsuspecting whale (like ghost fishing gear). Stuck in the Mud – every time the children are tagged they are a turtle stuck on the surface of the water.
  • Thinking about tropical reef environments, try to get a calypso beat going with the children – use musical instruments – can sing along or tap along to any of the children’s films Little Mermaid – Under the Sea for example.
  • Listen to a clip of whales singing. Could imagine what they are trying to say to each other. Design an instrument that could recreate a similar sound.


  • Choose a country and language e.g. Mexico & Spanish. Design a poster that can be used to educate children about the ways they can help save ocean creatures or how plastic is a danger to animals. Make it very visual and use simple language.


  • Research skills to look up turtle/seabird/whale information.
  • Design a poster.
  • Typing out final copy of a poem or short story for display.
  • Code a simple game on collecting rubbish in the ocean.


  • Why do we use so much plastic? How was it invented and how long have we been using it for? How long does it take to break down – what will the world be like in 500 years time?
  • How long have sea turtles been around for? What other animals lived at this time? Why are there so few turtles left now? – people hunting them for meat, eggs, shells, decoration etc.
Whole class portrayal of their use of plastic - what can and can't be recycled.
Letters sent to local businesses asking them to stop their use of single use plastic. Year 4
World Book Day - dressed as Marli the Puffin
Year 4 Beach Clean - great effort everyone!
Year 3/4 Beach Clean and underwater diving metal detectorist!
Beach Clean - sorting lunchbox plastic into a line - how far will it stretch
Focus on recycling using Duffy as inspiration
Duffy Sculptures on the way to school
Reading Duffy in the Library
Duffy Art & Poetry Workshop
Ellie just finished reading Duffy to 450 children!
Bottle Lid Mural - Year 5/6
New books sponsored by local businesses
Beautiful classroom display
Duffy magic spell
New stories written using Duffy as inspiration
Whole school focus on ocean plastics - Duffy junk sculpture