Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor boy who lives in the town which is also home to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! Charlie loves chocolate, but his family can only afford one bar per year, which he receives each birthday. The chocolate factory intrigues Charlie and he longs to know more about this mysterious world and its famous owner, Willy Wonka and his candy inventions. For now though, Charlie must make do with Grandpa Joe’s tales of the famous inventor! One day Willy Wonka announces a competition in which five lucky finders of a golden ticket, hidden inside the chocolate bars’ wrapper, will be invited on a magical tour of the factory. The final golden ticket is found by Charlie and he embarks on the most amazing adventure!
Charlie and the Chocolate factory is a wonderful book for a class novel study. There are many important themes addressed in the book. These include:
- Poverty and wealth
- Deceptive appearances
There are many issues that this book addresses and so many learning opportunities that make this such a great novel study. Read on for my top Charlie and the Chocolate Factory activities and ideas to accompany this wonderful book study.
The characters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all represent particular traits. Augustus Gloop – greed, Violet Beaureguarde – boastful, Verucca Salt – spoilt, Mike Teevee – obsession with electronics and violence and Charlie Bucket – kindness and humility. Each of the characters’ fates in the factory is closely linked to their undesirable or desirable characteristics. This makes for great discussion points around these themes. Compare and Contrast the other children with Charlie and compare their traits and personalities. Think about any moral that may be in the story. How does Roald Dahl make his point through these characters? Willy Wonka is also a great character to study. This is a great opportunity to develop descriptive language and write descriptions about the inventor. Think about his appearance, his personality, his likes and dislikes, his background, his strengths and weaknesses.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Reading Activities
Why not create your own book reviews with students based on the novel or create a profile of the author, Roald Dahl. This about who would enjoy this story and summarizes the chapters. Students could also make connections with events in the story to world events, other book or themselves. It is also interesting to make connections between events and think about cause and effect. A great way to assess students understanding of the book is through chapter questions and quizzes.
There are so many interesting settings in story to use a basic for a setting description. This includes Charlie’s house as well as the various rooms inside the factory such as Chocolate Room with the chocolate river and the inventing room. Ask students to imagine that they are in the setting. What can they see, hear, smell and touch? For example, the creaking door in Charlie’s house or the sound of the potions bubbling over in the factory. Encourage them to use descriptive language and look up adjectives and adverbs in a dictionary and thesaurus. Collect a bank of vocabulary students can use to describe these places. Think about adjectives, adverbs and figurative language.
You can create writing tasks across a number of fiction and non-fiction genres, using Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a basis. Ask students to write newspaper articles about Charlie finding the final Golden Ticket in the shop. This pushes students to write formally and use the features of report writing. Discuss key information (who, what, where, when and why) as well as including newspaper features such as quotes from the characters in their report and picture captions. This is also a great opportunity for students to generate their own engaging headlines.
Students could record new and unfamiliar words they hear in the story. They could look up meanings in dictionaries and find synonyms in a thesaurus. If students aren’t yet ready to use dictionaries you could ask students to match words with their definitions.
You can use Charlie and the Chocolate Factory activities to promote many science learning objectives. The novel is great to use as a basis for a unit on plants. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the cacao tree and study the life cycle of the plant. You could also investigate what plants need to grow well, such as sun light, warmth, water etc.
States of matter is another science topic that lends itself to the story. Use chocolate to investigate and compare the properties of solids and liquids.
While chocolate is a delicious treat, it is important to highlight the importance of a healthy diet and this is great chance for students to learn about food groups and plan a healthy meal.
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel study is a great opportunity to study a country where the cacao plant grows. Students could produce fact files on the country and learn key facts, main cities, rivers and what life is like for the people who live there. Students could learn about foods, language, national holidays and landmarks in those countries. Possible country studies could focus on Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, Ghana or the Ivory Coast.
Technology Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Activities
There is so much scope here to develop students’ skills. A fun class project could be to ask your students to design their own chocolate product. Ask students to explore possible ingredients which could go in their candy bar. They could think about packaging and create a persuasive poster advertising their product. They could make their new chocolate product!
If you would like to try any of the above Charlie and Chocolate Factory activities, all the ideas above, plus many more are included in my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study. It includes full teacher instructions and is full with fun activities, chapter quizzes, ideas and activities your students will love.
Also included are cross-curricular activities all about chocolate, including the life cycle of the cacao tree, a country study and worksheets for designing a chocolate bar!
The unit also includes chapter questions with answers to assess your students’ comprehension and understanding of the book. Find out more about this Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel study here!
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Read about my ideas for the following novel study activities: