Friday Freewrite: Into the Book

Friday Freewrite Into the Book

You are magically sucked into your favorite book. What happens next?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


Movie Night: James and the Giant Peach

Movie Wednesday James and the Giant Peach

James Henry Trotter has lived with his ghastly aunts, Sponge and Spiker, ever since his parents were eaten by an escaped rhinoceros. Life is miserable… until a mysterious old man gives him a bag of magic crocodile tongues, which James accidentally uses to grow a peach the size of a house!

This fantastic fruit, and the friendly insects who live in it, might just be James’ path to a new life of adventure, if he can survive ghost pirates, robot sharks, and the return of the deadly rhinoceros, that is.


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Roald Dahl was and continues to be a beloved children’s author. James and the Giant Peach was one of Dahl’s first and most popular novels for children, and in 1996 it was adapted into a film. Produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi, the film combines live action and stop motion animation elements (it took a whole week to animate one minute of film!) in order to contrast of James’ miserable “real” life with the fantastical adventure he goes on inside the giant peach.

James and the Giant Peach is a scary, warmhearted, and beautiful film for the whole family.

Discussion Questions

  • If you’ve read the original book, how do you think the film compares? Out of the changes that have been made, which ones do you think are the most successful?
  • Does James change during the film or is it just that his circumstances change? Explain.
  • What do you think of the combination of animation and live-action sequences? What other films can you think of that do this?
  • Do the occasional songs seem justified or out of place? Why or why not.
  • Are Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker evil or simply unpleasant? Give examples.
  • Do you think there is a moral to the story? If so, what is it?

Additional Resources

The official Roald Dahl website

The ArrowLearn language arts with the James and the Giant Peach (free sample) Arrow!

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.


7-Day Writing Blitz HIGHLIGHTS

Brave Writer 7-Day Writing Blitz Highlights

Brave Writer’s 7-Day Writing Blitz upends the dynamics of writing and invites your kids to play with words in brand new ways!

Thousands of homeschooling families around the world launched their writing programs this year with the free 7- Day Writing Blitz Guide as a launch pad for creativity. These parents led their children into a creative romp with words that culminated in sharing their writing as a gift!

Kids wrote words everywhere! Words were scrawled on mirrors, pavement, fingers, t-shirts, and dishes. Kids wrote with chalk, paint, mustard, markers, and lipstick. Our Brave Writers wrote sitting in trees and blanket forts, cuddled with dogs and even hanging upside down!

You can use the Blitz any time you’d like to bust through boredom and recast the writing experience.

Each day of the blitz entices young writers to throw out their stale habits and embark on a new relationship with words: whether you trade the pencils for glitter pens, scribble on fence posts, or mash up a couple of poems to create a brand-new verse. The sky’s the limit!

Take a look at what thousands of children like yours did in our first blitz! Use the hashtag #bw7dayblitz when you share your children’s writing on social media so we can celebrate with you!

At the end of the 7 days, print certificates for your kids and celebrate! Your writing life is about to change. Can’t wait to see how! Download the 7-Day Writing Blitz Guide now. It’s free—just like writing.


Writing Outside of the Academic Rubric with Gabrielle and Kim Linnell

Brave Shift Podcast S3E4 Gabrielle and Kim Linnell

Permit me to gush! Gabrielle Linnell was in my very first Brave Writer class way back in January of 2000. Today, she’s a published author working for the Folger’s Library and student at Oxford! (I like knowing that her very first published work lives in The Writer’s Jungle—page 114). Gabrielle and her mom share about their unique homeschooling relationship—how Kim fanned Gabrielle’s passion into the successful education and career Gabrielle enjoys today.

There’s so much to learn from a team like this and I can’t wait for you to hear them share.

Episode 4: Gabrielle and Kim Linnell

Kim and Gabrielle will help you imagine how you can catalyze the passions your kids have into a robust, enjoyable education. Not only that, if you’ve ever wondered how Brave Writer helps kids grow as writers, you won’t want to miss this episode.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the show notes here.

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Brave Writer Podcast

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Friday Freewrite: Magic Envelopes

Friday Freewrite Magic Envelopes

You are given two magic envelopes with invitations inside that you can send to two people in the past to have dinner with you in the present. Which historical figures do you invite and what might your dinner be like?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.