The Twits, by Roald Dahl is a humorous book with disgusting characters that children will remember and giggle about many years later. What follows are suggestions for educational activities that can be used for either a topic on Roald Dahl or for an in-depth response to this book.
The Twits offers the opportunity for children to create their own version of detestable characters with bad habits. Using the detailed character descriptions younger children can listen to the story and recreate them. Older children can write descriptions about Mr and Mrs Twit.
Books or story boards can be made that allow the children to show the main parts of the story. Roald Dahl invented new words and the children can find the examples in the book and then come up with their own.
In drama the novel can be role played out or children can choose a particular character to act out and see if the rest of the class can guess who they are by their mannerisms.
Days of the week could be used for each of the tricks the couple play on each other. Length features in the story when Mr Twit allows his wife to believe she is shrinking when he alters her walking stick. Measurement activities can be linked in from the book. The Roly-Poly bird has travelled many miles to visit his friends so distance problems could be made up or problems based on the characters can also be used in the classroom.
The couple are unhygienic and the book is appropriate for discussing the importance of being clean and taking care of oneself. Mr Twit and his wife are badly behaved. The book gives children a chance to look at the consequences of actions, mistreating others and how the characters really feel about the couple.
Some of the animals are far away from home and there are children in school who may have travelled hundreds or thousands of miles and had to change schools and home. This is an area that can be looked at during circle time to help the new children adjust to their environment.
In History the children could create a timeline of the author and events that occurred during Roald Dahl’s life time. They could also research how he became an author and what jobs he had prior to that.
The animals in the book are exotic creatures. There is the Roly Poly Bird, an African bird and the hero. There is Muggle-Wump and his family who are far from home. Looking at other cultures and finding Africa on a World Map are all activities that can be explored in the primary classroom.
*Art/Design and technology
The children can draw characters, or use papier mache to create characters for a display. The animals turn all the furniture upside down in the house so pictures or models could be made to show this. Posters, illustrated books are all examples of how Art can bring the book to life in the classroom.
The novel has great opportunities to be used on several levels across various subjects.
Puffin, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-141-32620-7