Famous for his gobblefunk, Roald Dahl’s often frothbuggling but no doubt phizz-whizzing squibbling has been delighting human beans (both young and young at heart) since his first book was published in 1942.
(Pssst ... If this paragraph has you crodsquinkled and biffsquiggled, we’ve translated these Dahlisms for you!)
On September 13th the world celebrates the birthday of the illustrious author of so many unforgettable works of fiction, including The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, and Matilda.
For schools and libraries around the world, it’s an occasion to acknowledge the enormous influence of Dahl’s books on encouraging an early love of words and reading.
Just the mention of Dahl’s name invokes memories of the magical worlds he lovingly sculpted for us. Worlds that at first glance seem eccentric and silly, but in reality shaped the lives of many through the profound lessons and messages layered throughout the stories.
Dahl taught us that it’s okay to be different, appearances can be deceiving, and a person who has good thoughts can never be ugly.
We learned that some of the most exciting things we do in our lives will also scare us, that good things come to those who wait, and nothing is impossible.
But most importantly, we learned that just because you can drink your weight in chocolate, doesn’t mean you should.
So how can you celebrate this year?
Froscrottle, the BFG’s favourite fizzy green drink with bubbles that float down rather than up, resulting in … Well … Whizzpoppers.
Making literary dishes is a magical exploration blurring the line between reality and fantasy, and this recipe can be made at home or in a classroom (you just need a blender).
The team at Roald Dahl Charity has created the Roald Dahl Day Dress Up Guide, with some gloriumptious ideas and easy to follow steps (and they even have costumes for grown-ups!). This sounds like a great opportunity for a craft session and costume parade!
These videos make learning fun! Here’s one of three step-by-step science videos based on George’s Marvellous Medicine, produced by Roald Dahl HQ.
We’ve covered some of the things we can all learn from reading Dahl’s books, but curriculum-focused Dahl lesson plans are also available online. Focusing on English, science, geography, health, social education, and more, these lesson plans work by reviewing book extracts and completing related activities, a fun and engaging way to learn.
Available lesson plans include James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, and more.
If you’re looking for lesson plans for younger learners, Roald Dahl’s Fact Pack is a great place to start.
Oxford Owl have published of range of fun word-based activities.
Find out which Roald Dahl character you are, thanks to The Guardian.
Kids will love these simple Roald Dahl colouring sheets.
Why not create a Roald Dahl quiz with golden tickets as the prize? We’ve prepared some fast facts to get you started.
Learn about your students (while they learn about themselves) by reading chapters of Dahl books and asking students to identify their favourite parts and why.
Why not have the students make a note of their favourite parts and share these with other students to build conversational skills. Or ask students to name their favourite Dahl book and have them match the book to the student.
Our children are marvellous ... and happy, and I like to think that all my storytelling has contributed a little bit to their happiness.
- Roald Dahl
Editors note: This blog was originally published in August 2020, updated in September 2023 for freshness, accuracy, and relevancy.