"Fantastic Mr. Fox" by Roald Dahl: Book Activities for Grades 2-4

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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.

Character Analysis

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.

Book Discussion

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.