Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Every year I begin my literacy class with a whole-class reading of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I'd like to share what I like to do with the class, and if you read this book with your class, I'd love to hear your ideas as well!

First and foremost, it is important that every time Charlie gets candy, the kids get candy :) I usually use Hershey's Kisses. The first one they get has to be eaten the way Charlie eats it - first, only smelling it. Then taking tiny nibbles. It drives the kids crazy :) Each student will get about eight pieces over the course of the book, plus however you want to celebrate the end of the book.

I also pass out a word collector to gather fun and potentially useful words. I think that this is from the CAFE book? After every chapter, I have three kids share a word that we all must have on our collectors. Then we figure out what it means. Every so often, I make up a sentence that uses one of those words and pause where the word fits. They have to guess which one makes sense in the sentence.

Another fun activity that can be adapted for almost any book is the Facebook sheet that I made. After every chapter, we summarize Charlie's thought from the chapter and write a status update. I also included places where they can draw profile pictures and pictures of friends, photos, and likes. It was hard for them to think of status updates at first, but they got the hang of it around chapter thirteen. You can find a more detailed description here.

So both of those things are ongoing throughout the book. There are some other activities that I do during specific parts of the book. Some of the ideas came from The Mailbox, but I don't remember which issue.

After chapter two, we make a list of the impossible candies that Grandpa Jo describes to Charlie. They are never named in the book, so I have the kids choose one of them to name and draw in a picture.

After chapter six, we talk some about inferencing and how Grandpa Joe knew that Veruca was spoiled without the article saying it.

Before reading chapter seven, get a stack of 100 index cards. Put a small mark or sticker on one of them and keep that one separate until chapter eleven. Every time Charlie gets a chocolate bar while looking for a golden ticket, pass out an index card to each child. Tell them that one of the cards has a sticker and that student will win a prize. Talk about how they're feeling before flipping the card over and the odds of winning (1 out of 100). Are the excited? Anxious? Nervous? Then have them flip the card over and talk about their feelings after not winning. After chapter nine, hand out from the stack of remaining cards. Talk about how their chances are better now and their feelings. Before handing out the cards for chapter eleven, slip in the card with the sticker. Award the student that gets that card with a small prize. Alternatively, you could put a sticker on each of the remaining ones for chapter eleven so that all students win something. This idea was adapted from an activity that I read in The Mailbox.

After chapter sixteen, I have the students take a piece of blank paper and divide it into thirds. In one third, students draw their interpretation of a hornswoggler. Then in the other two sections will be the snozzwanger and whangdoodle.

After chapter twenty-seven, make a list of the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper. Students will make a list of vitamins and what they do. Vitamin A makes you _______________. Vitamin B makes you _________________ and so on.

As a culminating activity, students invent a candy and create a one-page written advertisement for a new candy that does something amazing and impossible. They also create a picture to go with it. Then I have my husband's coworkers judge the entries and decide which ones are the most creative and the ones that they would buy. I award the top three or so with a candy bar of their choice.

1 comment

  1. I do this book to....except at the end of the year. However, I am at a new school, so who knows. I love the idea of it at the beginning of the year. One thing I did and LOVED it, was a Charlie and the Factory folder. Send me your email address and I will send you the copy. I found it on a blog, but can't remember where. The kids loved it!! At the end, we watched the movie. Students had to find the differences between the book and movie....then I introduced expository writing....students had to explain the differences between the book and the movie and which one they like the best...why? It is such a fun book.


    Passports to New Adventures



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