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A 'Fantastic' Lesson Plan
Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Ronald Dahl, is a fun read-aloud book for early elementary school students. This classic tale provides a clever way of introducing the idea of character analysis, and allows for interesting classroom discussions. Descriptive language is presented in a humorous way that is sure to engage the students' imaginations.
There are eighteen chapters to this book, easily broken into six lessons, or doubled up into three lessons.
Start by asking the class to listen carefully as the characters are introduced.
Boggis - An enormously fat man, chicken farmer, mean man
Bunce - A pot-bellied dwarf, a duck and goose farmer, nasty man
Bean - A thin man, a turkey and apple farmer, a beastly man
Badger - Respectable and well behaved
Rat - rude, and drunkard
Mr. Fox - hero, a fantastic fellow
Mrs. Fox and her four small children - a fine family
Have descriptive phrases about each character written out on handouts. Let the kids match the characteristics to the right individual. Having space to draw out the characters is another way to engage their imagination.
The books hero, the charming Mr. Fox lives with his family under a hill under a tree, along with his friends; Badger, Rabbit, Weasel and their families. To keep everyone fed, cunning Mr. Fox steals food each night from one of the three bumbling, mean farmers. The nasty farmers seek revenge and try all sorts of tactics to do away with Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox needs to come up with a plan. Luckily Mr. Fox is able to keep his family one step ahead of the determined farmers. This magical tale from Ronald Dahl lends itself to discussion. After each reading, ask the class for their predictions and possible solutions to the problem at hand.
Put together a simple worksheet for the students to fill out.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
What is your favorite part?
What is another way Mr. Fox could have handled the situation?
Why is Mr. Fox the hero?
Fantastic Mr. Fox is full of descriptive words that are easily deciphered in the context of the book. Let the students guess at the meaning of the following words. Incorporate a few words each week into their regular spelling to increase their word power.
Shallow - lacking physical depth, low, not deep
Lurk - move secretly, sneak, creep
Crafty - devious, sneaky, sly
Glum - moody, melancholy, down, sad
Pluck - pull the hair or feathers out
Foggiest - blurred
Suspend - hang freely, dangle
Respectable - worthy of respect, good
Brilliant - dazzling, shining, bright
Accustom - get used to, become familiar with, adjust to
Colossal - massive, huge, gigantic, enormous
About the Author
Ronald Dahl was a prolific story-teller whose books have been translated into thirty-five languages. He is the author of many popular books for children, including The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and many more.
- Dahl, Ronald. Fantastic Mr. Fox. Dramatic Publishing, 1985.
- Teaching experience.