Enrichment Guide

October 15 - November 13, 2015
Sponsored by:
Media sponsors:
A Note to Teachers and Parents
preparing for the play
Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3–4
About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Lyricist and Composer. . . . . . . . . . . . 6
About the Playwright . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Recommended Reading. . . . . . . . . . . 8
Pre-Show Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Curriculum connections
before or after the play
Listen Carefully!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Money Doesn't Grow on Trees . . . . . 9
Centipede Goes Shopping!. . . . . . . 17
Descriptively Delicious Words. . . . . 10
"We're All in the Same Boat"
A lesson in Idioms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
"Small Piggy Eyes" and
"Long Wet Narrow Lips"
A Lesson in Descriptive Writing. . . . 16
Insects Everywhere. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sweet Dreams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Make a Magic Potion! . . . . . . . . . . .
Can bugs be helpful?. . . . . . . . . . . .
Dear Educators and Parents,
Welcome to First Stage’s 29th Season and our opening production of ROALD DAHL’S
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Based on the classic novel written by Roald Dahl,
and put to music by the team of Pasek and Paul, our production of ROALD DAHL’S
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is sure to bring to life this heartwarming tale that
explores the importance of friends when overcoming challenges and fears. James
goes on an adventure of a lifetime when a magical potion grows a giant peach in his
backyard, which he soon discovers is filled with life-size insects. The Peach’s journey
takes James and his newfound friends far away from home and they must rely on each
other, make courageous choices and learn to trust in one another and themselves.
Enclosed in this Enrichment Guide is a range of materials and activities intended
to help you discover connections within the play through the curriculum. It is our
hope that you will use the experience of attending the theater and seeing ROALD
DAHL’S JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH with your students as a teaching tool. As
educators, you know best the needs and abilities of your students. Use this guide
to best serve your children – pick and choose, or adapt any of these suggestions for
discussions or activities.
Enjoy the show!
Julia Magnasco
Education Director
(414) 267-2971
[email protected]
Follow that Peach!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Post-Show Questions . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Who Said It? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Who Said it? (ANSWERS) . . . . . . . . 21
First Stage Policies
• The use of recording equipment and cameras are not permitted during
the performance.
• Food, drink, candy and gum are not permitted during the performance.
• Electronic devices are not permitted in the theater space.
• Should a student become ill, suffer an injury or have another problem,
please escort him or her out of the theater space.
• In the unlikely event of a general emergency, the theater lights will go on
and the stage manager will come on stage to inform the audience of the
problem. Remain in your seats, visually locate the nearest exit and wait for
the stage manager to guide your group from the theater.
Seating for people with special needs: If you have special seating needs for
any student(s) and did not indicate your need when you ordered your tickets,
please call our Assistant Patron Services Manager at (414) 267-2962. Our
knowledge of your needs will enable us to serve you better upon your arrival to
the theater.
Setting the Stage Synopsis
As young James sleeps in his orphanage bed, he dreams
about his parents. The dream quickly turns into a nightmare where he relives the tragic death of his parents,
killed by a rhinoceros escaped from the London Zoo. He
wakes up searching for the last memories he has of his
parents: a scarf and pair of glasses. He notices a ladybug
and a grasshopper in his room and shows these items to
the insects as he explains how he can’t leave the orphanage because he has no one waiting for him outside it’s
doors. Suddenly, the matron of the orphanage appears
and announces James has two aunts and will be leaving
immediately to live with them in Dover. He is handed over
to Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge who eagerly agree to
take James in after realizing they will be paid for his care.
As James prepares to cut down the tree, he sees an
earthworm being chased by a centipede. As he dives to
capture the bugs, he discovers a mysterious old man in
the bushes. As first scared, James becomes intrigued
when the old man tells him about the spells in his book,
spells that would take James on unbelievable adventures.
James chooses a potion with crocodile tongues, but trips
and spills the potion near the peach tree before he can
put it to use.
The aunts return, scolding James, but then notice a giant
peach growing from the tree. James realizes it was his
potion that made the peach grow so large. The aunts,
amazed at the giant peach appearing, also realize they
can make a lot of money by exploiting the fruit. James
tries to suggest another trip to the seashore by telling the
aunts that he made the peach grow: instead of believing
him, they break his father’s glasses and tear his mother’s
scarf, telling James he can sleep outside from now on.
They arrive at Spiker and Sponge’s cottage, where James
is told he will sleep in the dirt cellar. James notices the
seashore and asks if they can take a trip to the beach.
Spiker and Sponge think that’s a wonderful idea, but
instead of inviting James, they demand he cut down a
peach tree in their yard and kill any vermin that he finds.
A frightened James notices something new on the peach:
a doorknob. He turns the knob and ventures inside, pulled
in further and further by the magical fruit. Once inside, he
meets Earthworm and Centipede, plus various other creatures, now human sized—Spider, Grasshopper, Ladybug,
and an unseen Glowworm. James realizes they must have
eaten the magic crocodile tongues. Suddenly, the stem of
the peach breaks, causing the fruit to tumble down the hill,
roll through over Spiker and Sponge, through town and
over the edge of a cliff.
The peach floats in the ocean, to the surprise of the
creatures inside. Ladybug determines they are headed
for France and everyone starts to enjoy the ride. Only
Earthworm and Centipede don’t seem too convinced
the peach will make it across the channel. After a while,
James notices that there are no landmarks: instead of
heading to France, they are in the open sea. They have
no food or water, and James suggests they begin to eat
the peach, very slowly. Meanwhile, Spiker and Sponge
survived the rolling peach and decide to flee the country
before the people they signed contracts with realize the
giant fruit is gone.
James, asleep in the peach, has another nightmare, this
time about his evil aunts. The creatures calm him down
and Ladybug gives him some warm peach to eat. They all
agree the aunts are bad people: they killed Spider’s fiancé
and all of Centipede’s family without a second thought. All
of the creatures have accepted James as one of their own
except Centipede, who still believes all humans are the
same. Grasshopper and Ladybug ask where James’s parents are, since he can’t enjoy living with his aunts. James
Setting the Stage Synopsis
tells them his parents are gone. Ladybug reassures James
by saying his parents are always with him: in his heart and
all around, wherever he goes.
Suddenly, New York City appears on the horizon. The
peach has crossed the Atlantic Ocean! But before the
creatures can celebrate, Spiker and Sponge launch an
attack on the peach. A plane slices through the web and
the peach falls to the earth, impaling on the top of the
Empire State Building. The aunts approach with the intent
to fumigate the peach and kill the bugs, but James stands
up to them, telling them they are not his family and these
brave creatures are. The peach splits and falls on the
aunts, squishing them in a similar fashion to the Wicked
Witch of the East. James admits he doesn’t feel sad about
the loss. Centipede finally apologizes to James and the
new mismatched family celebrates together.
Spiker and Sponge have caught a cruise ship to New
York City and on their way see the peach floating in the
ocean! They decide to follow the peach and get back their
money. On the peach however, trouble arises. Centipede
gets seasick over the side of the peach and notices sharks
swimming toward them. The sharks begin eating the
peach while seagulls appear, eating Centipede’s vomit and
scaring Earthworm. Luckily, James comes up with a plan
to get them out of danger. He suggests using Spider’s
web to tie the seagulls to the stem of the peach and fly
them away. The creatures have a hard time convincing
Earthworm to attract the seagulls, but eventually he conquers his fear and gets the seagulls close enough to harness. The peach soars into the air, flying to safety.
Despite James saving the day, Centipede still thinks he
will end up like his aunts: bug-hating humans. In his anger,
he falls off the peach into the ocean. James jumps in after
him and saves his life. Centipede realizes he was wrong
about James and owes him an apology.
About the Author: Roald Dahl
Taken directly from: http://www.roalddahlfans.com/teachers/dahl.php; written by Frankie Meehan, an ESL Teacher at United World College of SE Asia, Singapore.
Roald Dahl was born on 13th September, 1916 in Llandaff, South Wales. Dahl's parents were Norwegian. His
father died while Roald was still a child.
Dahl attended Llandaff Cathedral School for just two years. Then from the ages of nine to thirteen he attended
St. Peter's Preparatory School in Weston–super–Mare, England. He did not enjoy the school because many of the
teachers were cruel and often caned the students. Dahl was good at cricket and swimming, but he performed
poorly in class. One of his main hobbies was reading, and some of his favourite novelists were the adventure writers Rudyard Kipling and H. Rider Haggard.
When Dahl was thirteen his family moved to Kent in England, and he was sent to Repton Public School. Sadly,
Repton was even harsher than his old school. The headmaster enjoyed beating children and the older students
used the younger ones as servants. However, there was one good thing about the school. Every few months, the
chocolate company, Cadburys, sent boxes of chocolates to Repton for the students to test. This happy memory
gave Dahl the idea for his most famous novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
After school, Dahl decided that he wanted to travel. He got a job with the Shell Oil Company and two years later
was sent to East Africa. In his autobiography, Going Solo, he recounts some of the exciting adventures there,
including the time a black mamba entered his friend's house and a snake catcher had to be called in.
In 1939, World War II started. Dahl joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) and learned to fly warplanes. Unfortunately, on his
first flight into enemy territory he ran out of fuel and crashed in the Libyan desert. He fractured his skull but managed to
crawl out of the burning plane.
Dahl started writing in the 1940s while based in the USA. His first story was a newspaper account of his air crash. In
1945 he moved back home but in the early fifties returned to America, where he met his first wife, the actress Patricia
Neal. They had five children together but got divorced in 1983. Dahl remarried soon after. The last years of his life were
very happy and he wrote some of his best books during this period: The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Roald Dahl
died on 23rd November 1990 in Oxford, England.
About the Lyricist and Composer: Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
Taken Directly from: http://pasekandpaul.com/about/
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony-nominated
songwriters of the Broadway musical, A Christmas
Story, The Musical, which opened in November 2012
and enjoyed a critically acclaimed, record-breaking run
at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. In addition to the Best
Original Score Written for the Theatre nomination, A
Christmas Story, The Musical also received Tony nominations for Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical.
The holiday musical was named one of the Top 10
Plays and Musicals of 2012 by TIME magazine, shared
recognition as the Best Musical of 2012 in USA TODAY,
and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for
Outstanding Musical and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding New Broadway Musical. Pasek
and Paul’s score for A Christmas Story, The Musical
also received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding
Music. Pasek and Paul are also the composers of the
off-Broadway musical Dogfight, which premiered in July
2012 at Second Stage Theatre. The show received a
nomination from the Drama League for Outstanding
Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical,
was the winner of the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Musical
Award and received Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and
Outstanding New Score. As television songwriters, their
original songs were featured on season two of NBC’s
Smash and rose to the top 25 on the iTunes Pop Charts.
The duo made their debut as songwriters with their widely
acclaimed musical Edges. Other theatrical works include
Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Their
musical work for TV can be seen on Sesame Street
and Johnny and the Sprites (a Disney television series).
Performances of their songs have been featured on Late
Night with Jimmy Fallon, The View, Good Morning America,
CBS’ Sunday Morning, VH1’s Big Morning Buzz, The Rosie
Show, Fox & Friends and more. Pasek and Paul are the
recipients of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical
Theatre from the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
a 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship, the 2011 ASCAP
Foundation’s Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the
2011 ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award and a 20072008 fellowship from The Dramatists Guild. They are the
youngest recipients of the Jonathan Larson Grant (2007)
in the foundation’s history. They have participated in
ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project
and were named one of The Dramatist magazine’s “50 to
Watch” in contemporary theatre. They are currently at work
on an original musical with playwright Steven Levenson
and director Michael Greif and a new musical for Disney
Theatricals with playwright Rick Elice. Benj and Justin are
proud graduates of the University of Michigan.
About the Playwright: Timothy Allen McDonald
Taken directly from: http://timothyamcdonald.com/Biography.html
Tim is originally from Northern California where he wrote his first of many musicals usually starring his sister and the neighborhood kids and featuring a score of whatever pop
music was available in sheet music form. One might call them the original jukebox musicals, but this was long before the term was coined. Many bed sheets were sacrificed for
curtains, many curtains became costumes and a good time was generally had by all.
In 1990 after college, Tim and many of these very same neighborhood kids formed their
own light opera company: "Chico City Light Opera" (CCLO) where they learned their
craft the old fashioned way, by presenting show after show with Tim serving as producer,
sometimes director, sometimes performer, often selling tickets and fixing toilettes and
taking out the trash when necessary.
This led Tim to be recruited by Freddie Gershon, CEO of Music Theatre International in
1997. Freddie tapped Tim to develop and create the first education division in a major
musical theater licensing firm.
This provided Tim with the perfect opportunity to further his craft as a playwright. During
his tenure at MTI, Tim adapted many musicals for the educational markets, working side
by side with the shows authors if they were alive, and hoping not to be haunted by them
if there were no longer with us and were perhaps not pleased with his work. (It’s hard to
collaborate with the dead.)
Authors included Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Schwartz, and Sheldon Harnick to name a few.
In 2003 Tim teamed with Disney Theatricals to lead the team adapting Disney animation titles for the stage. In two years 8 shows
were released into licensing, virtually creating the "direct to licensing" musical theater market. Titles include Disney’s Aladdin,
Disney’s The Jungle Book, Disney’s Cinderella and Disney’s Mulan.
During this same period Tim began work on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory writing the book with Leslie
Bricusse and adapting the score from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Leslie and Anthony Newley. This led to
record-breaking productions at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a three-year national tour as well as a
special command performance for the President and First Lady at the Whitehouse.
In 2006, with Freddie Gershon’s blessing, Tim left MTI to form his own company: iTheatrics. iTheatrics continues the legacy of
educational theater with an added focus of developing new musical theater works as well. Currently iTheatrics boasts both MTI
and Disney as clients as well as MacMillan McGraw Hill publishing and the Jim Henson Company to name a few.
Pre-Show questions
1. James goes from having no family to having the most perfect imperfect family one could find! What makes your
family perfect for you? What adventures have you had with them?
2. James makes a magic potion, but it doesn’t work out quite the way he expects. If you could make a magic
potion, what would it help you do?
3. ROALD DAHL'S JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is based on a book, and has also been made into a film. Have
you read the book or seen the movie? How do you think the show will be different? What will be the same?
4. Centipede doesn’t act friendly to James at first. However, when James saves his life, he realizes he owes James an apology. When have you had to apologize to a friend? When has a friend apologized to you? How did you feel afterwards?
Recommended Reading by Roald Dahl
Children’s Books
The Gremlins
The Mildenhall Treasure
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Boy- Tales of Childhood
The Magic Finger
Going Solo
Fantastic Mr. Fox
My Year
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes
Tales of the Unexpected (Volume 1)
Sometime Never
Tales of the Unexpected (Volume 2)
Taste and Other Tales
The Witches
Short Story Collections
Twenty Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life
Two Fables
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
The Best of Roald Dahl
Esio Trot
The Collected Short Stories
of Roald Dahl
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke
Completely Unexpected Tales
The Minpins
Further Tales of the Unexpected
Revolting Rhymes
Rhyme Stew
Tales of the Unexpected
My Uncle Oswald
Dirty Beasts
Skin and Other Stories
Someone Like You
The Enormous Crocodile
George’s Marvellous Medicine
A Roald Dahl Selection:
Nine Short Stories
A Second Roald Dahl Selection:
Eight Short Stories
Danny, Champion of the World
The Twits
Selected Stories of
Roald Dahl
The Great Automatic Grammatizator
and Other Stories
Kiss Kiss
The Umbrella Man and Other Stories
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
and Six More
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Fantastic Mr. Fox
James and the Giant Peach
Lamb to the Slaughter and Other Stories
More Tales of the Unexpected
The Roald Dahl Omnibus
Over to You
A Bug’s Life
Money Doesn't Grow on Trees
Math Classroom Information and Activity
Adapted from: http://kids.rivercitybankonline.com/money-center/how-is-money-made/, http://www.takechargeamerica.org/wp-content/themes/tca/pdfs/teaching-resources/grade-two-keeping-track-of-our-money.pdf
How is money made?
• The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing makes all the country’s paper money. There are two places that print
money. The main building is in Washington, D.C., and another is in Fort Worth, Texas.
• Paper money is made with fibers from cotton, linen, and silk, too!
• The process of how coins are made is called “minting.”
• Each of the many coins the U.S. produces must be approved first for design by the United States Congress, coinage
committees, and the Secretary of the Treasury.
• The U.S. Mint has locations across the country. Headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and coins are produced in
Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point. The U.S. Mint also stores gold at Fort Knox.
• After money leaves the presses, it is considered to be “in circulation,” meaning that it’s ready to be used by businesses
and people for buying and selling things.
• Coins and bills are shipped from the presses to banks in the United States and all over the world.
View a video on from Reading Rainbow with LaVar Burton on how money is made:
Practice writing the following money amounts. Check to make sure you place the dollar
signs and decimal points correctly.
two dollars: ______________________________________________________________
ten dollars: ______________________________________________________________
twenty-five dollars: ________________________________________________________
one dollar and fifty cents: __________________________________________________
four dollars and twenty-five cents: __________________________________________
five dollars and five cents: _________________________________________________
three dollars and seven cents: ______________________________________________
Descriptively Delicious Words
English Language Arts Student Worksheet
Spectacles: eyeglasses to help correct imperfect vision
Massive: extremely large, bulky, heavy
Melancholy: a thoughtful or gentile sadness
Cautiously: showing care, thoughtfulness, lack of haste
Affectionate: loving, feeling or showing love
Anxious: worried or afraid, especially about something that is going to happen or might happen
Majestic: greatly impressive in appearance
Suspended: something hanging from above
Famished: to be extremely hungry
Genius: someone with exceptional intellectual or creative ability
Create a sentence to describe each of the characters illustrated below using the vocabulary words from
"We're All in the Same Boat" A lesson in IdIoms
English Language Arts Classroom Activity
Taken and adapted from: Scholastic Frindle lesson plan. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/frindle-lesson-plan
Idioms are expressions that don’t exactly mean what they say. For example, when we say
that someone “spilled the beans,” we don’t mean they actually spilled beans – we mean
someone talked too much and accidentally told a secret.
Ask students if they can come up with other examples of idioms that they hear or use in their conversations. The story of JAMES
AND THE GIANT PEACH has a number of idioms used throughout the novel – if you are reading the story in class, ask students
to recall or identify some of these idioms, and if possible, have students define the figurative meaning of each idiom.
Below is a list of idioms from JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. If you are reading the book in class, find these idioms and
read the idiom in context as it was used in the story.
Give each student a large, blank sheet of paper and have students choose and then write one of these idioms at the top of
their paper, along with the figurative meaning of the expression. On one half of their paper, have students draw a picture of
the literal meaning of the expression, and on the other half, have them draw a picture of the moment in the story of James
when the idiom is used.
"All in the same boat"
“The money came rolling in”
"Pulling my leg"
"Flood of Tears"
"Work Like Mad"
"White as a Sheet"
Insects Everywhere
Science Classroom Information
Taken directly from: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/general-facts-about-insects-and-bugs
The following questions were answered by zoo biologist Ellen Dierenfeld and entomologists John VanDyk and Steve Kutcher.
Q: Is there a difference between an insect and a bug?
A: Yes, there is a difference.
A bug is a certain type of insect. Some examples you might be familiar with are the boxelder bug, milkweed bug, assassin
bug, and stink bug.
True bugs have a stylet (a mouth shaped like a straw) that they use to suck plant juices from plants. The assassin bugs use
their stylets to suck blood from other insects.
The front wings of true bugs are thickened and colored near where they are attached to the insect's body, and are clearer
and thinner towards the hind end of the wing. The hind wings are usually clear and tucked underneath the front wings.
Q: What is the largest insect?
A: In the book Beetles by Bernard Klaustnizer, there is a beetle called the South American longhorn beetle (Tytanus giganteus) that measures 25 cm! The heaviest insect is probably the African goliath beetle (Megasoma elephas), weighing up to
3.4 oz. And the longest insect is a huge stick insect (Pharnacia serritypes). The females can be over 36 cm in length!!
Q: What do insects eat?
A: Just about anything! There are so many different insects and each one may eat something different. Lots of them eat
plants. Some of them eat other insects. Some of them eat blood (like mosquitoes). Nectar from plants is also a popular
food. And many insects (like cockroaches or ants) will be happy to polish off that cookie you dropped on the floor!
Q: What's the fastest insect?
A: Sphinx moths, or hawk moths, have been measured at 53 km/h. However, a horsefly (Hybomitra hinei wrighti) was
recently clocked at 145 km/h! More research needs to be done in order to determine the fastest insect.
Q: Do all insects bite?
A: There are lots of insects that don't bite people but do bite plants or other insects! Insects have different kinds of mouthparts. There are mouthparts for biting/chewing, straw-like mouthparts for sucking, and razor-sharp mouthparts for biting
people. The vast majority of insects, however, do not bite people. They are content to eat plants, or nectar, or other insects.
Q: Why do insects have three parts to their bodies?
A: That's a difficult question to answer. Maybe we can turn it around and ask, why don't you have three parts to your
body? Or why don't you have a hard shell instead of soft skin? The answer is, no one knows. That is the way things have
happened. We call animals with certain characteristics, like three main body parts, antennae, spiracles, etc., "insects." If
they had eight legs and two main body parts, we would call them "spiders."
Follow that Peach!
Geography classroom activity
Using the picture below, draw out the peach’s travel paths in red.
Dover, England to France
Dover, England to New York City
Ladybug thought the peach was going to France, but it ended up in New York. In other words, the
compass went WEST instead of SOUTH. Draw a navigation compass next to the map so the
creatures won’t get lost again.
If you could take the flying peach anywhere in the world, where would you go? Draw your travel
plans on the map in blue.
Sweet Dreams
Science classroom information/English Language Arts Worksheet
Information taken directly from http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/emotions/dreams/article2.html
People have been trying to discover the truth about dreams for centuries, and the simplest answer is this: dreams are basically stories and pictures our brains create when we're asleep.
Most dreams happen during the times of night when we are most deeply asleep, and our eyes begin to move around
quickly under our eyelids. This may sound creepy, but it's totally normal, and it's called Rapid Eye Movement, or REM.
Dream researchers used to think that REM was the only time people dream, but now most experts agree that we can
dream at just about any time of the night. Maybe REM dreams are just our most memorable and realistic dreams.
• Some say dreams are our brains "twitching." Because our brains are basically huge collections of information, pictures,
and feelings, when they "twitch" in the night, all kinds of strange things come out and get thrown into dreams.
• Some say dreams are a way to process all the events and emotions of the day, and are important to our mental and
physical health. Our brains are always "on" even when we're asleep, so dreaming could be a time for them to do their
own version of cleaning up the "hard drive."
• Other experts say that dreams exist to solve specific problems in our lives. The stories and images we experience as
dreams are like way-out versions of our emotions, and our brains are working through those emotions.
James has a few bad dreams. He keeps remembering his parents being in the path of an escaped rhinoceros. Use the
prompt below and make his bad dream a good one!
PROMPT: James sees his parents smiling and happy: his father wearing glasses and
his mother wearing a polka-dot scarf. Suddenly, a voice screams, Look out! It’s a rhino!
Escaped from the London zoo! Everyone panics! The rhino is heading for the Trotters
Make a Magic Potion!
Science classroom Activity
Taken directly from http://www.kidzone.ws/science/magicpotion.htm
A bowl
2 TBSP vinegar
1 TBSP baking soda
optional: food coloring (a few drops)
Put the vinegar in the bowl.
Add the baking soda all at once.
Observe what happens! Write your observations below:
Bubbles! More specifically, carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide is created when an acid (vinegar)
and base (baking soda) are mixed. This is called a chemical reaction.
Try something just a bit different: put 4 TBSP vinegar into a container with an opening small enough to
put a balloon around.
Pour 2 TBSP baking soda into a balloon that isn’t
blown up.
Without tipping the baking soda, put the balloon over
the top of the container. Use your hand to keep a
good seal around the bottle opening.
Allow the baking soda to fall into the bottle.
Watch the balloon inflate! Grab another balloon and
"Small Piggy Eyes" and "Long Wet Narrow Lips"
A Lesson in Descriptive Writing
English Language Arts Student Worksheet
Adapted from http://www.roalddahl.com/docs/Lesson1JamesandtheGi_1434985648.pdf
Roald Dahl uses lots of descriptive writing in his books, including James and the Giant Peach. Authors use descriptive
writing to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader's mind. It makes a story
more interesting and full of details. Descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five
Read the passage below from James and the Giant Peach and underline the phrases the
describe Aunt Sponge in RED and the phrases that describe Aunt Spiker in BLUE – if a
phrase describes both the aunts, then underline the phrase in RED and BLUE.
Aunt Sponge was enormously fat and very short. She had small piggy eyes, a sunken mouth and one of
those white flabby faces that looked exactly as though it had been boiled. She was like a great white
soggy overboiled cabbage. Aunt Spiker, on the other hand, was lean and tall and bony, and she wore
steel-rimmed spectacles that fixed on to the end of her nose with a clip. She had a screeching voice and
long wet narrow lips, and whenever she got angry or excited, little flecks of spit would come shooting out
of her mouth as she talked. And there they sat, these two ghastly hags, sipping their drinks, and every
now and again screaming at James to chop faster and faster. They also talked about themselves each
one saying how beautiful she thought she was.
In the picture frames below, draw a descriptive portrait of Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge,
based on their description you just read in the paragraph above.
Centipede Goes Shopping!
Math Classroom Activity
Adapted from http://alex.state.al.us/lesson_view.php?id=32189
Lesson plan provided by Lynda Wilder
Centipede has a new hobby: baseball! He plays outfield for the Speedy Crawlers. But before
he can play, he needs new shoes. Centipede has 100 legs so will need 100 new shoes. He
decides to go the insect shoe store where they sell shoes individually and not in pairs; just
in case someone needs an odd number. He finds the perfect pair; luckily the store has 100
shoes in stock.
Each shoe costs $0.75. What a great deal! Centipede decides to get all 100 shoes. How much money
will he spend? Write your answer below:
If tax is 10% of the total purchase, how much will Centipede spend total shoes plus tax? Write your
answer below:
Centipede gets home to try on his shoes and realizes he forgot to buy socks! As a class, decide on the price
of socks. If he will need 100, plus 10% tax, how much will he spend on socks? Write your answer below:
How much will Centipede spend total on socks AND shoes? Write your answer below:
Oh no! One pair of laces breaks on Centipede’s new shoes. If laces are $0.10 for 20, how much will
Centipede pay to buy 100 matching laces for his shoes? Write your answer below:
Draw one pair of Centipede’s socks and shoes below and label it with the price.
Can bugs be helpful?
Science and Language Arts Student Worksheet
Adapted from http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/cricket.html
Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge think all bugs and insects are pests; things to be killed. But
how do bugs help humans? Below, list positive things the characters of JAMES AND THE
GIANT PEACH do in real life to help humans:
Sometimes, bugs and insects are pests. Too many grasshoppers can destroy crops, and a centipede bite can be very unpleasant. But these creatures are also food for many others: birds,
mice, beetles, and sometimes, even humans! Would you eat a grasshopper or centipede?
Crickets (a similar species to grasshoppers) can be used to tell the temperature. The number of chirps
you hear in 15 seconds plus 37 will give an approximation of the outside temperature.
If you heard 37 chirps, what is the temperature? ________________________________________________
If you heard 20? ___________________________________________________________________________
What if you heard 55? ______________________________________________________________________
Go outside for a few days and see if you can hear a cricket chirp. Try telling the temperature from the
number of chirps you hear and share it with the class or with a family member.
Listen Carefully!
All purpose Classroom Activity
Taken directly from educationworld.com, listening lesson plan
James is given specific instructions to make his potion, but does not follow them as the old
man tells him to. How good are your students at following directions?
This activity can be done at any time and is a great way to teach listening carefully and
following every direction they hear.
Provide students with a piece of lined writing paper. Let them know the activity you are
about to do will prove how well they listen and follow directions. Let them know that you
will state each instruction, pause, then repeat the instruction. Add, but I will not repeat any
instruction a third time, so you must listen very carefully. Give the instructions below:
1. Write your first name on the last line of the paper at the left-hand margin.
2. On the first line on the paper write the numbers 1 through 9. Start at the left and print the numbers.
Leave a space between each number.
3. Circle the number 6.
4. Draw a star in the upper left-hand corner of the page.
5. Fold your paper in half the long way.
6. Open up your paper, then fold it the opposite way.
7. Use the tip of your pencil to poke a hole in the center of the paper
(the place where the two folds meet).
8. Draw a heart around the hole you made in your paper.
9. Write the first initial of your last name in the upper right-hand
corner of the page.
10.On the last line on the page, write the word done near the right
Repeat the activity every so often. Do the students improve over
the course of a few months? Change it up every so often with
new, slightly different instructions to make sure the students aren’t
memorizing patterns and are indeed listening to every word you say.
1. Is that all you’ve got? No clothes? No toothbrush?
2. Oh Jeff! How we’ve missed you!
3. I told you that peach tree was full of vermin.
4. Do you think we could move to the seashore? Or maybe take a trip?
5. Come on James! Only you have the power to change the course of your wretched little life. What’s it going to be?
Victim? Or hero?
6. The only thing I’m waitin’ for is dinner. I’m starving—
7. Little boys are the worst of his kind.
8. A lady always carries extra bloomers.
9. This peach will never make it to France!
10.We can eat the peach.
11. It’s worse than bad you twit! We could go to jail.
12. James, your parents are with you always.
13.We should all get some rest. It’s going to be a long night.
14. A first class cruise to New York City! How continental we are!
15.Hold on everyone! The sharks are coming back!
16.If an aeroplane can take to the sky, why can’t a peach?
17. Come ‘ere seagulls, let’s ruffle some feathers.
18.It is indeed, remark-u-lous-ly fan-tas-ma-rific!
19.But we’re the only family you’ve got! Ha!
20.And what a peculiar family we are.
1. James’s aunts, Spiker and Sponge, act selfishly while James chooses to share, and even risk his life for his
friends. In the end, the aunts’ behavior causes negative consequences for them. What ways can we be more like
James in our own lives?
2. The peach travels from England to America by crossing the Atlantic Ocean. If you could go anywhere in the
world, where would you go and why?
3. The aunts keep saying that they are James’s only family, but he finds a new one. How do you define family? Is it
always the people you are related to?
4. The aunts don’t like bugs because they are different from them. In what ways do the creatures in the show help
James? How do these creatures help humans in real life?
1. Is that all you’ve got? No clothes? No toothbrush? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MATRON
2. Oh Jeff! How we’ve missed you! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3. I told you that peach tree was full of vermin.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SPONGE
4. Do you think we could move to the seashore? Or maybe take a trip? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES
5. Come on James! Only you have the power to change the course of your wretched little life. What’s it going to be?
Victim? Or hero? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LADAHLORD
6. The only thing I’m waitin’ for is dinner. I’m starving—. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7. Little boys are the worst of his kind.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8. A lady always carries extra bloomers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LADYBUG
9. This peach will never make it to France!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EARTHWORM
10.We can eat the peach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES
11. It’s worse than bad, you twit! We could go to jail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12. James, your parents are with you always.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LADYBUG
13.We should all get some rest. It’s going to be a long night.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GRASSHOPPER
14. A first class cruise to New York City! How continental we are!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SPONGE
15.Hold on everyone! The sharks are coming back!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES
16.If an aeroplane can take to the sky, why can’t a peach?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES
17. Come ‘ere seagulls, let’s ruffle some feathers.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EARTHWORM
18.It is indeed, remark-u-lous-ly fan-tas-ma-rific! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GRASSHOPPER
19.But we’re the only family you’ve got! Ha!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SPIKER
20.And what a peculiar family we are.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GRASSHOPPER