We didn't do as much for this book as I wanted to. I really wanted to do a Paper Mache peach, but we just never got around to it.
Before the Book
We looked at the cover and discussed what it might be about. Noodle's guesses were pretty cute - he guessed the giant peach might be alive.
We briefly read about the Author and what other books he has written - such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which also both have movie versions!
The setting of the book is partially in the UK so there was some different language. We discussed what words we might encounter and then when they came up as we were listening, we paused the CD and briefly reviewed what it meant in the context that we heard it.
Here is a sampling of our Vocabulary words for this book:
nuisance, despair, beauteous, pulpy, primly, bibbling, aghast, pandemonium, kipper and steeple jacks.
During the Book
The characters in this book are fabulous and provide many opportunities for discussion, some of a serious nature.
Of course the book opens with introducing the reader to James Henry Trotter, the main character. We learn right away that his parents were eaten by giant Rhinos. We discussed that it wasn't really a likely scenario, but nevertheless it was really sad! Poor James had to go live with his two horrible aunts, Aunt Spike and Aunt Sponge. They call him names and treat him terribly. Noodle did not like them at all!
James ends up meeting a mysterious man who gives him some magic crystals that ultimately are responsible for a Giant Peach growing in the yard. The book is about James' adventures with the peach and friendships with the creatures that inhabit it.
Characters: James Henry Trotter, Aunt Sponge, Aunt Spiker, Old-Green Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, Earthworm, Silkworm and Glow-worm.
One fun activity we did during the book was make stick puppets. Noodle put on a couple of stick puppet shows and acted out some scenes from the book.
We talked a little about how people express themselves with figurative language. We have been learning about idioms lately so this sort of fit right in with that.
There were several phrases used in the book that I could hold out as examples. For instance:
"You must be blind!" - it really means "You don't understand."
"What absolute rot!" - it really means "How ridiculous. You must be joking."
"You're absolutely off your head!" - it really means "You're crazy!"
There were so many more that came up during the story, that Noodle was regularly pointing them out.
After we finished the book, we watched the movie. Noodle absolutely loved it!
That was all WE did. We enjoyed the book and really enjoyed the visuals that the movie provided. Had I really had my act together there is so much more we could have done. I keep thinking we should do "Author Studies" and read several books by the same author, instead of just one at time separated by multiple other titles.
If we were doing biology or life science we could have worked in lots of science activities and learning all around the creature characters.
We could have done a Paper Mache peach.
We could have made a peach pie or peach cobbler!
We could have done some geography studies on England and New York.
We could have worked in some Oceanography topics during the peach's journey across the Atlantic.
Could have, shmould have. We didn't do those things, but you could!