Updated: Sep 11, 2021
Roald Dahl is one of my all-time favourites! His stories are so imaginative and engaging. I am yet to meet a child (or teacher) that doesn’t feel the same.
Throughout my time in the classroom, I have shared many of his books with the students I’ve taught. From The BFG, to The Magic Finger, to Fantastic Mr Fox. Every year, I manage to sneak at least one into my class schedule just to read for fun and it isn’t long before the kids share my obsession. Afterwards, I look at them borrowing Dahl books from the library or begging me to read them another one of his books and I smile triumphantly on the inside because that is where readers are born… from a love of reading.
So, what better way to introduce or celebrate this wonderful author than with ‘Roald Dahl Day’ (celebrated annually on the 13th of September). I know teachers are busy people and if you are anything like me, fitting another thing into my busy day is hard. So today, I thought I would share 5 simple ways you could celebrate Roald Dahl Day that require minimal prep to hopefully encourage and grow lifelong readers in your classroom:
1. Set the stage to engage
Surprise your students and dress up as a character from your favourite Dahl story and greet them at the beginning of the day (you could also invite everyone to dress up, however that is a little more labour intensive).
2. Engage with a writing prompt
Such as, ‘Describe three things you would do if you had a magic finger’ or ‘Explain a trick you could play on Mr and Mrs Twit’.
3. Transform students into mini journalists
Ask students to prepare a list of questions they would ask Roald Dahl if he visited their house for dinner. In the past, I’ve also asked students to consider what meal they would serve him and explain why (there is always some pretty interesting and outrageous answers!)
4. Spark Creativity with a design task
A few I have done before include, designing a new chocolate bar for Willy Wonka’s factory and describing its delicious features or designing a model of Miss Trunchbull’s office.
5. Get imaginative and make BFG dream jars
You can do this in a number of ways; students can record their dreams and put them in a jar or you can create artistic jars with coloured water and glitter.
I could sit here and list fun and engaging activities based on Roald Dahl’s novels for hours (don’t worry, I am going to stop right here). No matter what time of year it is, Roald Dahl Day or not, it is ALWAYS a good time to introduce his literature and a love of reading to your students!
Click here to get a FREE copy of four activities based on The BFG, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Twits by Roald Dahl.