8-10 yrs old
Reading and Writing
Art and Design
The Roald Dahl Museum and Minecraft: Education Edition team up to bring you this beloved story to your classroom.
August 15, 2017
James and the Giant Peach Full lesson
Download the whole lesson to use with your students.
Show the students a picture of a spike.
• As a class, create a mindmap of associative words around the picture, using these questions:
- What can a spike do? - Where might we see spikes?
- How would you feel if you saw this spike in front of you?
• What might the spike tell us about the type of person Aunt Spiker is?
• Show objects or pictures of a pig, a sponge, a witch/hag and a cabbage to continue the discussion.
• Elicit more ideas associated with each word to add more dimensions to the discussion; for example, pigs are greedy; an overboiled cabbage wouldn’t smell very nice; witches/hags cast spells on people.
• Pairs could be allocated one picture each and then feedback ideas.
Group or Independent Activities:
Working in pairs, the children create another awful aunt for James, following these questions:
- If the aunt was an animal, what animal would she be? Why? - If the aunt was a vegetable, what vegetable would she be? Why?
- If the aunt was a thing, what thing would she be? Why?
- What does she do and what does she talk about? Why?
- What is the aunt’s name? (you could use one of your above answers to help you) Explain your answer.
• Independently, the children draw a picture of the new Aunt and write some words to describe her around the picture.
The awful aunts are put in a hotseat in turn. The rest of the class ask the hotseated aunt questions in order to find out more about their character.
• The class vote for the most awful aunt.
• Read to the end of Chapter 2, looking at the dialogue and the way Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker speak to James (“you disgusting little worm”.) In groups of 3 or 4, the children role play a continuation of the scene. This could show Aunt Spiker, Aunt Sponge and James and could also include the new aunt.
Minecraft Extension Activity:
“Come right up close to me and I will show you something wonderful.” The curious old man gives James a magical bag which transforms his life forever.
Ask your students to recreate a scene of their choice from this wonderful book in Minecraft. Now ask them to describe their creation using details, metaphors, and other literary devices.
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