Featured — 04 November 2011
Author of the Month

Our School Council have introduced an ‘Author of the Month’ initiative, starting this November. Ryan, Chloe, Max and Louis are leading the initiative and we are starting off with a familiar favourite, Roald Dahl. As part of the initiative there will be a number of competitions (closing 30th November) linked to Roald Dahl. These competitions will be presented as one of the Learning Log homework options for children in the juniors. For infant aged children we think the competitions would be great fun to do alongside a parent, grandparent or older sibling, as the younger children would benefit from some support. The three competitions for this month are as follows:

Book Review Competition

Children to produce a book review for one of Roald Dahl’s books. They will of course need to read, re-read, or have the book read to them as a starting point. We advise children that their review should contain a summary of the story, a bit like the ‘blurbs’ that are commonly found at the back of a book. This would be a good opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the importance of a ‘blurb’, and how it can give an insight into the content of a book. We suggest that children try to make the review ‘persuasive’. The whole point of a review is to recommend the book to somebody who might not have read it! Why do you recommend the book? Is it a thrilling story, full of suspense? Is it full of humour? Are the characters interesting? Why does the content of the story appeal to you? Children might also recommend an age-range. Many of Roald Dahl’s stories are great for any age range, but some of his stories might be aimed at upper junior or teenage (eg Going Solo or Boy) whilst others might be aimed at younger children (eg The Enormous Crocodile). Entry sheets for this competition can be obtained from the class teacher.

Create a Character Competition

This is based on the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The children have been asked to imagine that there is going to be a sequel (other than Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator!) and that their challenge is to create a new character for the sequel. We have suggested that children read or re-read the book and consider the ‘revolting nature’ of characters such as Augustus Gloop or Veruca Salt, but try to make their character a bit different rather than base them on one that already exists. The children must name their character, write a brief description, and draw a picture of the character that they have created. Entry sheets for this competition can also be obtained from the class teacher.

Write a new chapter for The Twits

The structure of The Twits is very much based on the two disgusting characters, Mr and Mrs Twit. Mr Twit will play a trick on Mrs Twit, Mrs Twit retaliates, so Mr Twit plays another trick on Mrs Twit… and so it goes on! To create a ‘new’ chapter it is essential that the children read or re-read the book and think about the nature of the characters and the style of the book. We have suggested to the children that they need to think of a new trick rather than coming up with a second helping of wormy spaghetti or finding another frog in the bed! The Twits chapters are fairly short but the children can write as little or as much as they like, and if they wish they could illustate their chapter too!

We will make a lovely display of the children’s work and there will be some fantastic prizes for competition winners, such as Roald Dahl book vouchers! We think it’s a great idea from the School Council and look forward to receiving some inspirational writing from our young Skyswood writers!

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