Roald Dahl Day 2021

Monday 13th September 2021 is Roald Dahl day! This special day is a celebration of this iconic children's author whose books remain timeless and a firm favourite amongst children (and adults!) today. It celebrates the wonderful worlds, characters and stories created by Roald Dahl. There are so many ways for your school to get involved with Roald Dahl Day 2021! What better way to encourage a love for reading and literature? 

Who was Roald Dahl?

Who hasn't heard of some of Roald Dahl's classic stories, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach!? The aforementioned titles are just some of the incredible works of Roald Dahl. It is clear Roald Dahl possessed one of the most creative minds in history with his fondness for creating entirely new words, such as 'Oompa Loompa' and 'Gremlin' (not to mention the tongue twisting words featured in The BFG!). He was, and still remains to be, one of the greatest writers in history.
Did you know...?
  • Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales, on 13th September 1916 to Norwegian parents.
  • Roald Dahl was named after Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian who had been the first man to reach the South Pole. 
  • He was sent to Repton boarding school in Derbyshire in 1929.
  • During his time at boarding school, many strange events took place which inspired many of his stories. For example, a particularly impressionable memory was when students at Repton were invited to trial chocolate bars, inspiring ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ years later.
  • Roald Dahl served in the Royal Air Force.
  • He married American Actress Patricia Neal and they had 5 children. 
  • Patricia and Roald divorced after 30 years of marriage.
  • Roald Dahl remarried to Felicity “Liccy” Crosland, who has helped to further Roald Dahl’s legacy through the foundation of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
  • Roald Dahl passed away, aged 74, on the 23rd November 1990. He is buried in Great Missenden. This Buckinghamshire village is the location of The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
Bringing Roald Dahl Day to Life in Your Classroom This Roald Dahl Day

Designed to inspire children (and adults!) all over the world, Roald Dahl Day raises money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, funding specialist children’s nurses in communities across the UK. The nurses provide expert care and support to seriously ill children and their families.
The Roald Dahl website has an entire section dedicated to teaching. The resources supplied cover the National Curriculum and have been designed according to the KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum objectives. Moreover, the resources do not just cover English. There are lesson plans covering STEM subjects to Art and PSHE. You can find lesson plans dedicated to specific books, such as 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'The Twits'. 

Aside from the fantastic Roald Dahl resources, there are multiple ways to celebrate Roald Dahl Day this year!

Organise a dress up day - Invite pupils to come into school dressed as their favourite Roald Dahl character! Turn this into a fundraising event for Roald Dahl's children's charity by asking for a donation. 

Story Time - Teachers, this is your opportunity to show your love for your favourite Roald Dahl text! Pick your favourite Roald Dahl story, tell the children why it is your favourite and read aloud your favourite extracts. Schools can add an extra twist by encouraging reading sign-ups. Teaching staff will note down the text they want to read and children go around and sign up to attend story time of their choice. 

Film Time - If your class deserve a treat, why not organise a film screening? To ramp up the learning, choose specific extracts from the text and then compare the text extract to the same scene in the film. This can lead into a discussion of similarities and differences between the story book and the film adaptation. 

Match the Quote to the Story - Photocopy or write down some key extracts or quotes from different Roald Dahl stories. Can your class identify which Roald Dahl book the quote belongs to?

Fact or Fiction - Create a list of 'real words' and words that Roald Dahl created. Can the children sort them into words you can find a dictionary and words that Roald Dahl made up himself? 

Partner Up - This is a great opportunity for collaboration. Partner up with a different class, preferably with an age-difference, and put the children into pairs (one child from each class). The children should select a Roald Dahl text to read and take it in turns to read aloud to each other. For younger children, it might work best for an Upper KS2 child to do the reading! This is a great opportunity to practice Speaking and Listening Skills.

Favourite Quotes

Even if you do not have time to include Roald Dahl inspired activities in your classroom, why not try starting or ending a lesson with one of these inspiring quotes:
Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.” (‘Matilda’). 

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” (‘The Twits’). 

A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” (‘Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator’).

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely of places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” (‘The Minpins’). 

If you enjoyed this blog, why not read our blog 'J.K. Rowling and a Magical Impact on Education' next?
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