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Novel Unit - James and The Giant Peach

Compiled By: Mrs. G

James is an orphan who lives with his mean aunts. James was given a bag of magic that was suppose to make his life wonderful. He accidentally spills the magic and a giant peach grows. Use some of these engaging activities when reading James and the Giant Peach.

James and the Giant Peach
Posted by: Jennifer

Language Art
As the students read the story have the students to list on chart paper each problem, crisis, in the story. As a class, write beside each problem how James solved the crisis or problem.

Let students take everday junk into fantasy sculptures. Have students collect objects. provide art supplies. Have the students to construct fantasy sculptures of creatures inspired by the animals in the story. Encorage their imagination.

Have tstudents write about being in the moonlight in chapter nine by using descripitive words or phrases. Have the students write about they have received a box of magic crystals they need to include in their writing how they got the crystals, what they did with the crystals, places they visited, adventures they had, and problems they solved. I got this idea from a literature book.
Make a peach dessert or icecream teaching measurements
Bulletin Board
Cut out peaches and allow students to write words that they learned through out the book on the peaches and title the board " Words That Soar"

James and the Giant Peach Activities
Posted by: Melody Madej

There is a variety of words that my students were unfamiliar with, so we made a vocabulary booklet in the shape of a peach and anytime a word came up that no one could identify it was added to our booklet and looked up in the dictionary. Made a great tool for the students and an excellent resource to create some interesting Vocabulary tests.

Small groups took sections of the book and made puppets to retell the story. We made a cute puppet stage using a large cardboard box and had the kindergarten classes came in for the show. Everyone had fun!

Posted by: Harriet

The whole message didn't post!
Here's what I have saved from other lists:
"In Roald Dahl's book, James and the Giant Peach, Dahl teaches us many facts about the creatures James meets inside the peach. We divided the class into small groups. Each group did research about one of James' friends.
We then made a giant centipede with 24 pairs of boots. Each student decorated a pair of boots. The students wrote the name of the creature researched on one of the pairs of boots along with a caricature of the great creature from the book. On the matching boot, they wrote an interesting fact they learned during their research along with a realistic sketch of the insect studied."
Sorry but I don't know the original author of this idea!

No title
Posted by: Kermit

I would do it as a read aloud, but incorporate it more than maybe you normally would with activities and maybe some reader's theatre. The script is pretty available. We have it in a book in our school library, so you could probably look for it in the public library- it's in an anthology.

There are some other activities you could do, like write letters to the aunts and tell them just what you think of them! write a tour guide brochure for the peach when it is on display. Research the different bugs, RAISE SILK WORMS! (There are kits for this!) and whatever else you can think of. Aside from which, I think this book may end up being too hard for some of the kids.

I say a read aloud is best. Then, after the play, watch the movie together (there are probably a couple versions, cartoon and maybe live action or animated?) Anyway, the kids could compare the book to the play AND the movie, or just choose to compare two of them. I have not taught the book, but I directed the play a few years ago. We did a few of these activities as part of the rehearsal process. The others I just thought of, so I don't know how they would work.

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Ideas for James and the Giant Peach
Posted by: Runner

You could get a peach for each pair of students. Then do a creative writing activity on how the peach looks, smells. Maybe you can have some cut up so that they can taste the peach. Something like a sensory poem even. Then have them think about what they would do if the peach became the biggest peach they'd ever seen.

I love this story and I've read it to my class and they really enjoyed listening to it. You can also watch the movie after you've read the book and compare them. Another idea, you could get a cut out of a peach and maybe some peach color felt or fuzzy material and make a book jacket in the shape of the peach then as you read create the other characters and put them on their peach. Just some ideas. :)

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James and The Giant Peach
Posted by: Mrs. G

As a culminating activity you could make a recipe using peaches like Peach Cobbler. The students could brainstorm a list of things made with peaches.

You could even do a text to text relationship with this. They could name other books where peaches are part of the story like the book Holes or The Terrible Wave.

Peach Journal
Posted by: Mrs. G

Have students keep a "Peach Journal." They will record the adventures and problems that James and his friends faced while traveling in the peach.

This can also be enriched by having students choose a character and keep the journal based on that characters point of view. (This is a great way to differentiate instruction for your advanced readers.)

James and The Giant Peach
Posted by: Mrs. G

This story has soooo many characters. Have students work in groups to create a T-chart. On one side have them list the characters names and on the other they should briefly describe who or what the character is.

Hang a few of these around the room so students can refer to them while reading the story. This will help them keep the characters straight.

Do it!
Posted by: walkingdi

I used this book as a novel unit at the end of the year. I was lucky enough to have a copy for every student in the class. I prepped the class that there would be one word in the book that is unacceptable for us but it had a different meaning at the time the book was written. The questionable word is used 3 times and we looked it up in our scholastic classroom dictionary where it was defined as a stupid/silly person. Whenever the word came up the class said donkey instead of the word. It made for a good class discussion as well as a springboard for the students to start checking out other Dahl books. If you do the book you have to go on the official Roald Dahl site and enter his writing hut. It is fantastic. Have fun with the book.

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Integrate Writing with James and The Giant Peach
Posted by: Mrs. G

After reading James and the Giant Peach. Have you students write about how life would have been different for James if his aunts were nice to him instead of mean?


What would have happened to James if he had drunk the bag of magic instead of spill it?

You could always have your students rewrite a section of the story or the ending.

Posted by: Mrs. G

James and the Giant Peach is filled with idioms like:

"All in the same boat"
"Pulling my leg"
"Flood of Tears"
"Work Like Mad"
"White as a Sheet"

Discuss what idioms are and the meaning of the ones found in the story. Have students draw and color a picture to represent the literal meaning of the idiom. Then display them on a bulletin board or have the students share them with the class.