Joe has a lot of reasons to be happy. About a billion of them, in fact. You see, Joe’s rich. Really, really rich. Joe’s got his own bowling alley, his own cinema, even his own butler, who is also an orangutan. He’s the wealthiest twelve-year-old in the land.
Yes, Joe has absolutely everything he could possibly want. But there’s just one thing he really needs: a friend…
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- ‘Not so long ago the Spud family had lived a very humble life’. Investigate what ‘humble’ means. Can you think of any words which have similar meanings?
- ‘The stock in Raj’s shop was haphazardly laid out’. Discuss what ‘haphazard’ means.
- In Chapter 8, there is a list of teachers’ catchphrases. Make a list of catchphrases that your teachers say. Could you make up some new catchphrases that new teachers might say?
- Chapter 16 has a list of silly names. Discuss why each one is silly and what words / phrases they sound like. Could you come up with some more silly names?
- At one point in the story, there is a petition to get Miss Spite reinstated. Talk about what a petition is. Are there any issues that you would like to change? Think about ways that you could help to make that change. Would a petition help?
- Billionaire Boy has a ‘Postscript’ which gives information about what happened to the characters after the story ended. Could you write a postscript for your favourite books?
- Look at the ‘Thank yous’ section of the book and find out about the different jobs mentioned.
- Listen to the audiobook version of the story. Could you read and record your own version of the story?
- Watch this reading and interview with the author. Think of questions that you would like to ask David Walliams:
- Read Chapter 1 and look at the prices of some of the things that Joe has. How much are these items worth? Could you make some word problems which include the items and their values?
- Investigate vocabulary linked to place value (e.g. unit, ten, hundred… million… billion). Compare the values. Investigate other words used to describe numbers, including fictitious ones (e.g. gazillion) – see this article for more information.
- Mr. Spud used to roll the toilet paper around the cardboard inner tube. Could you use this as a starting point for learning about measurement / distances / circumference?
- Set up a new timetable for Joe at St. Cuthbert’s School for Boys, showing how long each lesson lasts. Could you use this to make up some word problems?
- Share real or imaginary chocolate pieces to learn about fractions.
- Joe and Bob like eating chocolate. Learn about how chocolate can affect our bodies in positive and negative ways.
- Look at Mrs Trafe’s school dinner menu and discuss the items on it! Could you make your own healthy, balanced menu?
- ‘The stock in Raj’s shop was haphazardly laid out’. Design a new, more organised layout for the items in Raj’s shop.
- Design a new ‘Rajmobile’ which will help Raj get around more easily.
- Design a new uniform for St. Cuthbert’s School for Boys.
- Draw a map of Bumfresh Towers and add the different parts / rooms mentioned in Chapter 1, as well as the locations of all of the amazing things that Joe owns.
- Joe’s dad travels to his new school in a helicopter. Think of different ways that you could travel to school and discuss the pros / cons of each. Could you draw a map of your route to school, adding features that you see on the way?
- Boys at St. Cuthbert’s School for Boys have to wear an Elizabethan ruff. Find out what this is and learn about other types of Elizabethan costume.
- Imagine what it must be like to have lots of money and belongings, but without having any friends.
- After reading the first few chapters, think of ways that Joe can try to find new friends.
- Bullying takes place at both schools that Joe goes to. Discuss what bullying is and how we can help those who are affected by it.
- Joe and his dad waste £50 in lots of different ways. Research different charities and how they might spend £50 if that money were donated to them instead.
- Raj explains that Joe’s dad is ‘an inspiration to all of us’. Discuss what is meant by inspiration and talk about who inspires you.
- In Chapters 13 and 17, Joe isn’t very nice when Bob tries to make friends again. Talk about other ways that he could have dealt with the situation.