George's Marvellous Medicine

Age Range: 5 - 11

George's grandma is a grizzly, grumpy, selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog's bottom. Four times a day she takes a large spoonful of thick brown medicine, but it doesn't seem to do her any good. She's always just as horrid after she's taken it as she was before. So when George is left alone to look after her one morning, it's just the chance he needs...

Book Author: Roald Dahl

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write a character profile for George and his grandma.
  • Think of words and phrases to describe the characters in the story. These could be written around pictures of them.
  • Write a biography for George's grandma... What happened to her during her life? Why did she become so grumpy? Carry out a 'hot seat' activity with grandma to reflect on the story from her point of view.
  • Make a poster to advertise George's new medicine to farmers.
  • Ask children to think of more examples of alliteration (Marvellous Medicine, Grumpy Grandma...). Can they make up a title for a new book which includes alliteration?
  • Make a shape poem inside a picture of a medicine bottle (see Resources below).
  • Think of vocabulary to describe the medicine.
  • Could you turn the story into a play and perform it? Use this video for inspiration:
  • Write a set of instructions to teach someone how to make their own marvellous medicine?(see Resources below).
  • Listen to the audiobook version of the story.
  • Retell the story using expression and thinking about the performance. Watch this Youtube video for some inspiration:


  • Look at the capacity of different containers... Which size container might George need to make a new medicine? What capacity would the container need to be to make medicine for all of his dad's farm animals?


  • Look at different types of materials... Which ones would dissolve in George's medicine? Which ones would melt? Which ones would float / sink?
  • Think about medicines that the children are familiar with. What do they do to our bodies? How can we use them safely?
  • Investigate pharmaceutical companies... what do they do? What rules do they have to follow?


  • Design a label for the bottle of George's Marvellous medicine. What information would it need to include?


  • Create a storyboard which retells the main events of the story.
  • Draw an animal who has just been given a new mixture of George's marvellous medicine.


  • Make a plan of George's house and his dad's farm, showing all the places that appear in the story and the rooms that he visited to collect ingredients.


  • Make a timeline showing the events in the story.


  • Think about the feelings of each character (George, his mum, his dad, his grandma, the animals) as the story progresses and what they think by the end.



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