Roald Dahl’s unusual books for children have delighted the 9-12 age group for years. They are sometimes compared to fairy tales because they can be violent and controversial. Yet they can also be humorous, as the young characters have amazing adventures and triumph over evil adults.
The Revolting Recipes book was an idea that came about just before Dahl passed away. He and his second wife, Felicity, talked about putting together a book with the variety of foods that appeared in Dahl’s children’s books. Felicity describes the recipes as “scrumptious and wonderfully disgusting dishes”. Use this book to enhance your lesson or unit on one of Dahl’s books.
Cooking in the classroom can be a daunting task and a safety issue. However, adding a recipe to enhance the study of one of Dahl’s books will be a memorable cross-curriculum event for your students. Using the recipes involves reading and following directions. Any measuring you do involves math skills. Shopping for ingredients can mean adding up prices. Science is involved when you watch a mixture boil and change form.
Look at your own situation and decide what would be the best way to add a recipe or two to your book unit. Do you have parent volunteers available to help? Do you have access to the school’s kitchen? Do you have access to a microwave, toaster oven or crock pot? *** Be aware of any food allergies that any student may have.***
If cooking in the classroom is not an option, you may want to assign a recipe for students to try at home. Have the students bring in samples of what they created.
James and the Giant Peach
As a culminating activity for this book, you can plan a day of cooking and eating. This will be a cross-curriculum event! Read the recipes. Use math when measuring and timing the cooking. Make graphs of the favorite foods that were made. Brainstorm to create a list of adjectives that describe the food creations.
If you are able to have an outdoor cooking experience with your students, choose the “Fresh Mudburgers” recipe with “Onion Rings”. Assign each student an ingredient to bring. Mix the ingredients and cook outside on the grill. Your students will long remember eating mudburgers!
“Stink Bugs’ Eggs” can be colored and mixed by the students using hard boiled eggs made ahead of time.
“Hot Frogs” could complete the meal. Students can do most of the preparation on this. All that is needed is an oven for 20 minutes.
“Peach Juice” can be measured and made in a blender by the students.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
If your students are doing a unit on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there are a few recipes that go along with the book, which could be done in the classroom. We all love candy and chocolate!
“Candy-Coated Pencils for Sucking in Class” is a recipe the students will love. Imagine being allowed to suck on a pencil in class.
“Toffee-Apple Trees” will have the students using a melon scoop and scooping out apple balls. An adult should monitor the hot toffee mixture, but students can do everything else.
“Strawberry-Flavored Chocolate-Coated Fudge” recipe makes enough for “10 greedy children”! Make this at home and share with the students at the appropriate time.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
“Bunce’s Doughnuts” is a recipe that could be done in the classroom. You could prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate. Then have the students roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out the doughnuts. Have an adult cook the doughnuts in the hot oil. Students can coat the cooked doughnuts in a sugar mixture.
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes also includes food selections from The Twits, The Witches, The BFG, Boy and Rhyme Stew. There are photographs to see what the finished product should look like and delightful drawings to add to the charm of the book. This book is a great tool to enhance your lessons and to provide cross curriculum learning.