So, who was Roald Dahl?
Roald Dahl was a children’s author of many best-selling children’s books. In fact, he wrote 19 of them selling more than 250 million copies worldwide. Before Dahl started his writing career, he lived an interesting life.
When Dahl graduated from high school in 1932, he went on a month-long expedition to Newfoundland. Later, the Shell Oil Company hired him to work in Tanzania, Africa.
In 1939 at the age of 23, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force. He became a World War II fighter pilot. When Dahl’s plane crash-landed in Alexandra, Egypt, Dahl received several serious injuries. After his recovery, Dahl was sent to an RAF base in Cairo. In 1941 Dahl joined this squadron in Greece. When headaches prevented Dahl from flying, he was transferred to the British Embassy in Washington, D. C. where he served as an assistant air attaché.
Dahl began writing stories about his life in the Royal Air Force. Saturday Evening Post published these.
In 1961, Dahl began writing children’s literature. His first wildly successful novel was James and the Giant Peach. Three years later, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published. Other mega-hits include Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970), The BFG (1982), The Witches (1983), and Matilda (1988). All of these well-loved books have been turned into movies for the big screen.
Dahl tells his stories from the perspective of children. They feature adult villains. Usually, one adult character is kind and helps the child battle the villains in a good versus evil theme. Dahl’s novels include dark humor and wild imaginative scenes. Dahl encouraged readers to use their imaginations. He invented over 250 words. You can find an Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary of these words.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.— Roald Dahl, The Minpins
Activities for Roald Day Day
Download this free printable. Students will have a great time comparing the main characters of six of Dahl’s most famous books.
Register for a free party pack at the Dahl Day website. All you have to do is fill out a short registration form and you will be sent a link to download the pack. This website contains many great activities including lesson plans, recipes, and things to make. Be patient. This site takes a while to load.
Visit the Twinkle website to download printables to go with specific books as well as a great biography on Roald Dahl.
Have students draw characters from Roald Dahl’s books. Youtube has many videos depending on the books your students have read. Below is a sample.
Teacher’s Pet has 42 downloadable resources for students. These include fact cards and a timeline of Roald Dahl as well as displays for specific books.
National Geographic Kids offers a free Roald Dahl: English Primary Resource. This includes 2 posters with facts about Dahl.
Are you looking for a full novel study for one of Roald Dahl’s books? Here are six you may wish to check out.