THE GIANT PEACH
PRE- READING ACTIVITIES
Once upon a time there was a boy named James Henry Trotter. James lived with his parents in a house near the beach. They were pretty happy until, one day, a rhinoceros escaped from the London’s zoo and ate his parents, who were visiting this city. After that, they died and James stayed all alone.
For this reason, James had to move into his aunts’ house. He had two aunts, they were very bad women who mistreated him and forced him to work. The house in which they lived was very old and was placed in the top of a hill. Around them there was nothing, only an old peach tree without peaches.
One day, James was cutting down some firewood when a pretty strange thing happened. That day, James was crying because he felt very alone and suddenly, an old man appeared behind him and said:-“Come next to me James. I have something that will make you stop crying.”
James came up to the old man, who gave to James a little bag that contained a lot of green crystals. Before disappearing, the old man told to James:
- “You have to put this green crystals in a water glass, and drink it. Then, you will feel happier. But… ¡be careful! Because, if this green crystals fall in another place, they cause effect on the place where they have fallen.”
James was excited and started running to the house. But, suddenly, he tripped over a root of the peach tree and he fell down… and all the green crystals too! In seconds, all the crystals have been absorbed by the ground, and James felt very sad.
With tears in his eyes, James continued working until, by surprise, he realized that in the highest branch of the peach tree a little peach had appeared. And this little peach began to grow, and grow… And in less than five minutes, the peach had the size of a giant house!
James and his aunts were very surprised with the size of the peach. Firstly, his aunts thought in eating the juicy peach, but soon they realized that they could make a lot of money with this strange and giant fruit. The next day, a lot of people visited the peach tree and James’ aunts sold a lot of tickets for seeing the giant peach. Meanwhile, James was the whole day locked up at home.
When night came and everybody was gone, James had to clean the garden. Unconsciously, he came up to the giant peach and when he did it, he discovered a big hole at the bottom of the fruit. So, curiously, he entered by the hole, and he discovered a long tunnel.
James slid through the tunnel and, little by little, he arrived at the peach stone. When he arrived there, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing… a lot of insects with the same size as James!
There was an old green grasshopper. And next to the old green grasshopper, there was a big spider. And next to the big spider, there was a giant ladybird with nine black spots on her red shell. And near the giant ladybird, there were a centipede and a worm. And, in a corner, there was a fat silkworm. And, in the ceiling, there was a firefly who lighted up the whole peach.
Soon, James and all these insects were good friends, and James felt happy because he had no friends since he moved into his aunts’ house. James decided to spend the night with his new friends, and the big spider wove a bed for James. Next morning, James woke up with the shouts of the centipede:
James didn’t understand what the centipede was saying, and then, the insects explained James that they have decided to leave that horrible place and live a lot of adventures far away. And, after explained that the spider climbed to the top of the peach and cut the branch that hold it and the peach fall down.
The peach rolled over and over until it arrived to the sea and splash! It sank as a heavy stone. But to this moment it went out floating off the water, none wise where they were, so they decided to go out to the surface and verify it. When they went out to the surface they saw that they were in the sea, and suddenly they were surrounded by hungry sharks!
Then, James had an idea and said: “Guys, we have to escape from here, I have a plan!”. The child saw that in the sky there were many gulls and thought that they would be able to catch them with the spider web using the worm as a bait. After a while, they had caught more than five hundred gulls, and the peach started rising as a globe, letting them escape from sharks.
All of them were very happy and they started to dance, and the grasshopper played the violin with his antennas. Suddenly the centipede fell to the sea and James went to save it. The spider threw one of his spider webs up to the sea, so the boy managed to rise with the centipede. “Thank you for saving me ”– said the centipede gratefully.
After that they saw something strange in clouds, and they thought they could be the monsters that were living there. They were throwing hail down, practicing for the winter. They tried to pass over for his side without doing noise, but the centipede started shouting, at the time very angry Cloud-Mens started throwing hail against the peach that remained full of holes and giving up juice throughout.
When they had left behind the Cloud-Mens they tried to repair the hurts of the peach, but suddenly they saw something in the distance and James said: They look like more Clouds-Mens painting a rainbow! Then they all were fascinated seeing the precious rainbow, but suddenly they realized that they were approaching him very fast. Oh no! We could be shocked –shouted the Ladybird.
The ropes of the peach tangled up with the ropes of the rainbow and Cloud-Mens were very angry and started to throw rainbow´s paint. The painting gave him to the centipede and stayed with the legs stuck and could not move. In this moment they passed under a black cloud and it started raining. This way the centipede remained liberated of his paint.
On the following morning, the spider asked:
- "Where are we?". They all looked down, and saw a big city with high buildings…It was New York! James and his friends wanted to come to the city. So that they were cutting the ropes that were joining them to the gulls in order that the peach was descending little by little.
When they had cut five ropes, they saw approaching a few witches who were flying very fast in their brooms. These witches had heard the news from which a giant peach had come to the city and wanted it. But without realizing, that they were approaching to the peach, the witches broke the ropes and the giant peach fell down quickly in The Empire State Building.
The people were observing the peach. Then the police and the firemen came and helped James and his friends to go out from the giant peach. After telling this long adventure, they sold the peach and were rich and famous and they all lived happily in the stone of the peach.
1. Answer the following questions.
1. Why was James sent to live with his Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker?
2. What happened to the bag the little old man gave to James?
3. What was James’s life like before he went to live with Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker?
4. What was so unusual about the insects James found inside the peach? ________________________________________________________
5. What was James’s plan to save the peach from the sharks?
6. What happened to the giant peach at the end of the story?
2. Unscramble the words. Use the words for help.
PEACH RHINOCEROS CENTIPEDE FIREFLY CRYSTALS GRASSHOPPER
LADYBIRD SILKWORM SHARKS RAINBOW WITCHES CLOUD
3.Read each of the statements below. Write the letter in front of the character’s name on the line to show which character in the Story that the statement is describing. Some of the characters will be used more than once.
James Centipede Firemen
Miss Spider Little Old Man Firefly
1. _________ He described himself as a musician because of his ability to play music in the ‘violin style.’
2. _________ He gave James a bag full of tiny green crystals.
3. __________ She had nice black spots on her scarlet shell.
4. _________ She was responsible for providing light inside the giant peach.
5. ________ They painted a rainbow in the story.
6. ___________She wove a bed for James.
7. ___________ He was orphaned when his parents were eaten by a giant rhinoceros.
8. ___________He was saved by James when he fell to he sea.
9. ___________They helped James to go out of the giant peach.
4. Order the following pictures:
5. Draw your favorite scene and describe it.
6. Read each of the following. Circle the letter in front of the correct answer.
1.James lived peacefully with his parents in a house by ______ until he was about four years old.
a.some mountains b. his aunts c. the Empire State Building d. the sea
2. His parents were eaten by an angry __________which had escaped from the London Zoo.
a.elephant b. rhinoceros c. Grasshopper d. tiger
3. Where did the giant peach land in New York City?
a.the Statue of Liberty b. the Empire State Building c. Central Park d. the Public Library
4. The little man told James to drink the mixture made with the green crystals and he would never be ____________________ again.
a.fabulous b.tremendous c. miserable d. marvelous
5. When they arrived to New Yorfk, what did they do with the giant peach?
a. They ate it b. They gave it to the mayor c. They sold it d. They broke it
6. The giant peach rolled and rolled until arrived to the _____________.
a. Farm b. Sea c.Heaven d. City
7. Find the words.
8. In groups of four dramatize a scene of the story.