Roald Dahl’s The BFG is a firm favourite in schools. In case you don’t know the story the BFG is a big, friendly giant who befriends a little girl called Sophie. They have some interesting, hilarious and slightly scary adventures together. Children respond well to Dahl’s darker vision of childhood and his understanding of the more frightening aspects of growing up. His child heroes and heroines are always resourceful and independent and usually far more competent than the adults around them.
Engage The Learners
Getting Dahl displays right though can be a bit tricky. It is too easy to get carried away making a ‘wow!’ display and forget the need for learners to engage with the display. Quentin Blake’s wonderful illustrations are not too hard for children to copy and making large figures like the BFG can be a good for small group work. A big figure like this can even form part of a literacy learning wall, with room for post-it note questions and exemplars.
Make Dream Jars
I particularly like this table display as it builds on a really powerful activity. The children (Year 5) made these ‘dream jars’ for both happy dreams and nightmares. The jars were then labelled with the contents and names of the children. The activity was linked with aspects of art and PSHE and lead to rich discussions about naming feelings and the way that dreams use symbols. As one the the members of the Classroom Displays Flickr Group said:
What a nice way to “capture” and “contain”… giving children a sense of controlling something that they often feel powerless to control….
Many suggested activities for the BFG do include making dream jar labels but actually filling the jars had much more impact. It was fascinating to see how the children represented their hopes and fears with simple objects.
Note:this photo was taken before the board was finished and later the children added more written work about dreams based on the story.
Roald Dahl The BFG – Resources
Another great place to look is the Official Roald Dahl site which has a pdf full of lovely ideas to download and print.