The Twits – English Lesson Plan

This excellent lesson plan was sent to me by Mrs. Madonna Roderick, a 4th grade teacher at Caningeraba State Primary School, Burleigh Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Mrs. Roderick’s class studied various aspects of the novel “The Twits,” and then pairs of children tried to write new chapters in Dahl’s style. She even promised them that she’d send me the best chapter to post at my site! (GREAT idea!) If you’d like to contact her about her lesson plan, email her here. Thank you Mrs. Roderick, and thanks to all your students as well!

“Eye Ball Rice”

by Jordan and Kate (age 9)

Mrs Twit wanted to pay back Mr Twit. So she decided go get some pigs eye balls from the farm for Mr Twits’ dinner that night. She cooked some rice, then she put eye balls in Mr Twit’s dinner, covered them with sauce and cheese over the top so Mr Twit wouldn’t notice. Mrs Twit had meat balls with her rice instead of eye balls. When Mr Twit was half way through his dinner he said, “what is this green stuff in my meal and why does it tast funny?”. “It’s a new kind,” Mrs Twit said, pretending she didn’t know anything. “It tastes very crunchy, next time buy the normal meat balls.” After Mr Twit had finished his meal Mrs Twit said “do you want to know why your meat balls were so crunchy, and tasted funny and why there was a bit of green in the meat balls?” “Why?” said Mr Twit. “Because you were eating pigs eye balls!””Yuk!” cried Mr Twit and Mrs Twit fell off her chair screaming and laughing her head off. Mr Twit said, “I’ll get you back sooner or later!” Mr Twit went off stamping to his room.

English Lesson Plan

Topic: Language and English
Year: 4
Subject: Author Study
Time: 40-45mins over two lessons
Aim of Lesson: The students will attempt to write an additional chapter to add to the novel “The Twits” by Roald Dahl

Objectives – Does each child:

  • Attitudes:
    • Participate in a class discussion
    • Respect other students feelings and ideas within the class discussion
    • Build upon their self-esteem by being able to succeed at the task
    • Develop an enjoyment of novels and literacy through fun attainable objectives
    • Work as part of a group
    • Feel that they can take risks within the environment of the classroom and not fear making mistakes
  • Processes:
    • Understand and express humour
    • Express their ideas in both a verbal and written context
    • Choose relevant information
    • Demonstrate the ability to plan, edit and publish a piece of writing
    • Use grammar, spelling and punctuation when writing
  • Skills:
    • Verbal recall to clarify ideas
    • Use strategies for spelling and use of grammar
    • Use language appropriate to the story and genre
    • Effectively comprehend the task
  • Knowledge:
    • To extend their knowledge of the genre and how this author uses humour
    • To understand the principle aspects of the genre and the language used in that genre
    • To demonstrate knowledge of the use of planning, editing and publishing
    • Resources: Novel “The Twits”, butcher paper

  • Orientation
    • Children to mat
    • Explain the task to the children – to have a go at devising an additional chapter to the novel – one in which either Mr or Mrs Twit play a trick on the other partner
    • Ask the students to recall some of the tricks that the Twits played on each other
  • Enhancing
    • Read through a chapter – Mrs Twit puts her eyeball into his beer
    • Outline on the board the sequence of how the author wrote the chapter
    • Tell the readers what the trick is going to be
    • Describe how she did it
    • Start to build up the audience’s anticipation – the trick has begun
    • How does Mrs Twit act? – innocent
    • Is Mr Twit suspicious? Why?
    • The trick continues until Mr Twit realises that he has been tricked
    • Advise the children that before they begin they should decide on their trick first and then start to write following a similar sequence as that on the board
  • Synthesis
    • Children return to desks and work in pairs to write their own version of a chapter where Mr or Mrs Twit is tricked
    • Children will do a rough copy on a large sheet of paper and then edit and do a copy for publishing
    • Each group will read their chapter to the class
  • Assessment
    • Use of grammar, spelling, and vocabulary
    • Use of planning, editing and organisation of chapter
    • Understanding of the genre and use of humour
  • Evaluation
    • Do the children have a better understanding of this author’s use of humour after the completion of this task?
    • Have there been improvements in the children’s use of spelling, grammar and vocabulary?
    • Did this exercise contribute to a greater enjoyment of literature?
    • What aspects of this exercise worked well? What would I change in the future?