Every month I have my 3rd graders read a chapter book a month, and then we watch the film. Afterwards, I make them write a report. They can write about the book, the movie, or write a compare/contrast report on the two. This month’s Book-of-the-Month was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Roald Dahl’s book about a reclusive chocolatier named Willy Wonka is as timeless as it is fun. Willy is a lonely, and mischievous man who holds a contest where the five winners are allowed to tour his chocolate factory. When he meets the children, he immediately dislikes many of them, and manipulates the naughty children into traps.
After we read the book, I had the children watch the 2005 film starring Johnny Depp. I prefer the book to the film, because I like the Oompa-Loompa’s songs more. Also, I like how the book ended. Director Tim Burton added additional scenes to the film to explain Wonka’s motivations for wanting to harm the children, but I prefer not having everything explained.
Even though I had already seen both versions of the film before reading the book, I was still able to use my imagination. The book is so descriptive that it makes it easy to escape into the book. If you haven’t read any of Roald Dahl’s books, I suggest you check out Charlie. It’s a fun book that also has a great message: The importance of family. Warning: profanity tends to pop up, so expect your kids to snicker when you have them read those particular lines.