Teacher's Bookish Pick

Teacher’s Bookish Pick: October 2016.

I’m back again with another suggestion and review of what I’ve used in the classroom this month. I’m super excited to share my ideas about this children’s classic – rereading this again for myself was a blast! Here we go!


Title: The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me

Author: Roald Dahl

Published by: Puffin, first published in 1985.

Age Range:¬†7 upwards probably, but younger if you’re reading together.

My Class: Scotland P4 age, all around 8 years old.


Revisiting Roald Dahl classics this past month has been a dream! I’ve loved going back into his fantastical world. I reread The BFG earlier this summer and loved it (in fact, the P3 class beside me have that as their term’s topic and have had lots of fun with it!). So sharing this with the class was an easy decision for me!

Why am I reading this book?

We started reading this in class around the celebrations of Roald Dahl’s birthday and finished it early this month. The children are all very aware of Dahl’s books and love them, but only a few had read this particular novel. It’s probably one of the lesser thought of books, but we loved it in class! It’s also fairly short so can be covered quite quickly as a flash topic. And again, it was great to use alongside the other Dahl inspired tasks we were doing for his birthday celebrations.

How we used this book:

  • We read it together whilst some of the children brought in their own copies and read along with me. I am a firm believer that having a “story time” type activity is a great thing, even as they begin to grow older. I have a big class with quite a few children who can’t sit still and concentrate but I kid you not, for the 15-20 minutes we read this book every day, there wasn’t a peep out of anyone. They were all really engaged and interested in the story.
  • We did a focus on characterisation – especially the use of voice and body language since we were reading aloud. The children loved discussing and trying out different ways of portraying the characters of the Giraffe, Pelly, Monkey and more. When I cracked out some voices, we were all in giggles!
  • This book also linked in really well with Drama, and we acted out many parts of the novel. We also did a focused lesson on ‘becoming the animal characters’ which was a lot of fun – children have the most amazing ideas!

If you haven’t read any Roald Dahl, teacher or not, you are missing out. His writing is so engaging and funny and relevant and – just all the things! He really gets children and their boundless imagination and, even though he visits some quite dark topics, he manages to guide the reader (child or adult) well through each of his stories. They are perfect for the classroom – use them if you can!


I know what I’m focussing on for the month of November and I’m so excited! But I’m keeping it secret for now. Have any of you used other Roald Dahl novels in your classrooms? What are your favourites? Let me know below!


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