Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Year Published: 1982
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Grade Level: Grade 4 to Grade 7
Theme: Friendship, being accepting of others
Skills Taught: Creative writing

Summary: The BFG, short for Big Friendly Giant is unlike many of his peer giants.  In a world where giants give children nightmares and eat people, the BFG is different, putting dreams in the bedrooms of children.  One night, a little girl named Sophie sees the BFG and he captures her because no one is suppose to know about giants.  He explains everything to her about the giants, and they eventually build a very good friendship.  Both Sophie and the BFG work together to put an end to the giants terrorizing and feasting on humans by getting help from the Queen of England and the military.  

About the Author: Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, Wales.  Surprisingly enough, Dahl did not enjoy school, but school would later influence him to become a great writer.  His first piece of writing was an article for the Saturday Evening Post about his experience of the war while with the Royal Air Force.  The first children's book he wrote was The Gremlins, which was a picture book published in 1943 that he never thought was considered for children.  His interest for writing children's books started when he would create bedtime stories for his daughters, and soon enough came James and the Giant Peach in 1961 and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964.  On November 23, 1990, the world would lose a legend as Roald Dahl passed away at the age of 74 with a rare blood disorder.  (

For the Classroom

Pre-Reading Activity: As a huge fan of Roald Dahl, I would like my students to know about him and other books he has written.  Students would go on to the computers and visit his website, exploring and taking notes of at least five things they learned or found interesting.  When all students have finished taking notes, I would begin a class discussion asking for volunteers to explain their notes.   

Post-Reading Activity: When the class has completed the independent reading, we would then start a class discussion about dreams, including people, places, activities, hopes, and other things we like to dream about.  I would then introduce graphic organizers, but focus modeling on only one of them (Three-Box Flow Chart).  Labeling the top box "Beginning," the second box "Middle," and the third box "End," students will fill in each box, telling a dream they would like to have.  I would continually be checking their flow charts and reminding the class the ending is when they wake up.  This reminder will help all students flow smoothly during the assignment.  When the flow chart has been made into a rough draft and checked for punctuation, spelling errors, and grammar by a peer, the student will then write their final copy on a paper cut-out resembling a jar, to be hung up around the class.        

Reflection: Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors and this was the first book I read from his collection.  Every book he writes is filled with characters the reader immediately likes; Sophie and the BFG continue that in this story.  I like how the dialogue consists of a unique and humorous language of the giants.  Many important life lessons are taught throughout the book, including team efforts are better than individual efforts, never judge someone until you have met them, and make good decisions regardless of what others do.  

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