Empowering Writers

“The Giant” – A Character-Problem-Solution Narrative

Narrative: The Giant

Reading the book, The BFG by Roald Dahl, is one of my all – time favorite read alouds in class. The engaging story and sense of anticipation that is built up in this text along with the humor always gets my class begging for more. Of course we only have limited time for a read aloud but it is still a delight when we find a book that we can all dive into.

Great literature is always a starting point for my writing lessons and the BFG is one I use every year. There is such a big push nowadays for “personal experience” narrative writing but I tell you, my students’ eyes light up when I suggest we write something a bit more imaginative. Using the BFG as our jumping off point I introduce our writing theme, imagine you meet a big giant. There are cheers all around, how refreshing!

Writing to sources in the narrative genre can be a bit tricky. Literature as the vehicle to springboard writing is nothing new. What is new is how to use the literature; characters, setting, theme, etc to write something entirely creative that doesn’t sound like the original. The sample provided here is a creative approach to an element of the literature that we read together. Nothing about this sample resembles the original, or does it? Can you pick out the ways that this author emulated Roald Dahl? Here’s a hint: read the last page of chapter one in the book, The BFG.