The Selfish Giant

Author(s): Tim Taylor

Theme: The Selfish Giant

Main Curriculum Focus
Science, Reading, Art & Design, Geography

Inquiry Question
"“What responsibility to do we have to each other’s well-being and happiness?”"

Expert Team: Garden designers

Client(s): The Giant’s Sisters

Design a garden in memory of the giant and his friendship with the children


This unit begins with the children taking on the responsibility of designing a park in memory of the giant from the story ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde. Commissioned by the giant’s sisters, the park is to be built on the site of the giant’s castle and original garden. The sisters would like a park designed in the spirit of their brother’s friendship of children and love of flowers, trees and birds. They also would like the park to tell visitors about the giant’s life and the story of how he changed from being a selfish person, who didn’t want to share his garden with local children, into a kind and generous person, who knocked down the wall he built to keep the children out and then welcomed them in.

In working on the commission the students will study subjects across the curriculum, in particular science, geography, English and art and design. Furthermore, after designing and making the park the designers might extend their remit and find further commissions with other giants, possibly attempting to ‘rehabilitate’ the ones with poor reputations.

Children’s literature has many stories about misunderstood giants or giants that change, the obvious ones being, Roald Dahl’s ‘Big Friendly Giant’ and Raymond Briggs’ ‘Jim and the Beanstalk’. Both of these books would make very good contexts from follow up clients and commissions.

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