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James and the Giant Peach writing challenge

James and the Giant Peach writing activity

For this challenge, you and your child have got to go outside! Keep your eyes peeled for creepy crawlies because they’ll come in handy.

This book tells the story of James - an ordinary boy who went on an extraordinary journey... in a giant peach! He was joined by some giant insects who became his friends, and some seagulls who helped the peach to fly across the ocean. The giant peach finally lands on top of the Empire State building in New York and it becomes a worldwide news story!

For this activity, you and your child should venture outdoors for a walk (or this could be done in your garden if you have one). Once you’re outside, help your child to look for three different insects that are all different in shape and size. Tell them to imagine that these critters can grow to the same size as you and will become their travel buddies for their very own giant peach.

Encourage your child to write a newspaper report about the journey they made with their new friends. Where will their peach travel – does it land near your house or somewhere far away? Ask them to think about any challenges or obstacles they might come across. They could even include interviews from the insects (maybe they have names) and describe their special skills – in the book, the glow worm uses his tail as a light.

Bonus activity

Help your child to take photos of their chosen insects and write character profiles about them. As well as special powers, they could imagine they have likes and dislikes too. They might also want to include details like their size, their biggest fears, and their personality traits.

Top tips

  • BBC Bitesize has some handy tips on how to write a newspaper article.
  • This James and the Giant Peach activity pack from Puffin includes extracts from the book, minibeast fact files, and bonus activities!
  • Listen to the opening of James and the Giant Peach on Soundcloud for free.