Sunday, July 21, 2024


by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Roald Dahl

In this award-winning Dahl title, Matilda invents a game of punishing her parents when they treat her badly. She soon discovers that she has supernatural powers.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • The story begins with school reports about different children. Could you write your own school report? Could you write a report for another imaginary child?
  • Matilda visits the library regularly to find new books to read. Visit your school or local library and see what services it offers. Could you make a poster to advertise your library?
  • Matilda reads ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘Great Expectations’ and many other famous books. Can you find out more about these stories and their authors?
  • Matilda loves reading. What is your favourite book? Could you write a review of it to tell other people about it?
  • Matilda’s friend, Fred, has a pet parrot which he lends to her. Can you make a ‘guide’ to teach people how to look after a parrot (or another pet)?
  • Can you write a character for a nice teacher (like Miss Honey) and an unkind teacher (like Miss Trunchbull)?
  • Look through the text for positive words about people (using descriptions of Matilda or Miss Honey) and negative descriptions (about Matilda’s parents or Miss Trunchbull) – see Resources below.
  • Matilda reads a limerick out loud to her class. Find out how about limericks, explore different examples and try to write your own.
  • Miss Honey doesn’t have much success when she tries to talk to Matilda’s parents about her talents. Could you write a letter from Miss Honey to the parents explaining what she was trying to tell them?
  • Write a recipe for the chocolate cake that Bruce Bogtrotter was forced to eat in front of the school.
  • Create a set of class rules for when Miss Honey is teaching. Can you create a set for when Miss Trunchbull comes to teach??(see Resources below)
  • Nigel uses a mnemonic to remind him how to spell ‘difficulty’. Can you think of other tricks to help you spell complicated words?
  • In the chapter ‘Miss Honey’s Cottage’, there are lots of complicated words (e.g. mysterious, phenomenon, precocious, self-consciousness). Can you find out what they mean?
  • Listen to the audiobook version of the story. Could you read and record your own retelling of it?
  • Watch the film version of Matilda and compare it to the story.


  • Mr. Wormwood reduces the mileage on his cars with a high-speed electric drill. Make up some word problems based on this, e.g. Mr. Wormwood has a car with a mileage of 150,000 and he wants to reduce this to 8,000. How much must he reduce the mileage by?
  • Can you solve the Maths problems that Mr. Wormwood sets for his son in Chapter 5?
  • Miss Honey expects the children to know their two times table by the end of Matilda’s first week. Can you think of tricks / strategies to help her to learn them? Can you think of tips to help her learn the other tables? Do you know the other tables yourself? Make a poster which teaches the multiplication tables to people who read it.


  • Mr Wormwood gets a hat stuck on his head with Superglue. Find out about glue and how it works. Investigate different types of glue and the materials that they are best for sticking together.


  • Read the descriptions of Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull in Chapter 7. Use these to try and draw / paint pictures of them.
  • Draw an illustration of Miss Honey’s cottage, using the description in the book.
  • Watch this video broadcast with Quentin Blake which gives information about his life and his work. Can you draw pictures in a similar style to him?



  • Miss Honey describes Matilda as a ‘genius’. Find out about other people who have been called a ‘genius’ throughout history. What were they famous for? What did they achieve in their lives?

Physical education

  • Miss Trunchbull once threw the hammer in the Olympics. Can you practise your throwing skills? Can you find out about different Olympic events?


  • Matilda is extremely gifted and talented at different things. Discuss what we mean by ‘talents’. What talents do you have? How can we get better at things we aren’t quite as good at?
  • Mr. Wormwood cheats his customers. Discuss what we mean by ‘dishonesty’ and why it isn’t nice. Find out about the rules that shops have to follow to ensure that they are honest with their customers.
  • Lots of miracles occur when Matilda is around. Find out what we mean by ‘miracle’. If you could make a miracle occur, what would it be?
  • Matilda practises her special powers before ‘the third miracle’. Talk about what you have had to practice in order to get better at it.


Our Class Rules

Our Class Rules Poster

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Describing the Teachers

Describing the Teachers

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