Sunday, April 4, 2010

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
[Modern Fantasy/Science Fiction]

Mr. Willy Wonka owns the best chocolate factory in the world. He decides that five children and their parents will get to come to the factory, so he puts gold tickets in five candy bars and whoever gets those candy bars are the winners. The first four tickets went to children who each have detrimental character flaws. The fifth ticket went to Charlie Bucket. Charlie comes from a poor family who lives in a small house with his parents and all four of his grandparents. Charlie's family is very unfortunate and barely makes it. Charlie did not find his golden ticket until the day before the children were supposed to go to the factory. Charlies parents cannot accompany him because his mother has to care for his grandparents and his father has to work to make money for the family. When Charlie finds this ticket, one of his grandfathers gets a second wind and becomes happy and energetic. Grandpa Joe decides that he will go with Charlie to the factory. Out of the five children selected to go to the factory, all but Charlie get kicked out of the factory because of their flaws. When Charlie is the only child left in the factory, Willy Wonka congratulates him. It turns out that their trip to the factory was actually a contest, and the winner gets the whole factory. Grandpa Joe, Charlie, and Willy Wonka get in a glass elevator which charges through the roof and lands back at Charlie's house to get the rest of the family and take them back to the factory.

This story is great to incorporate with a character education lesson. It teaches students the importance of having good character, and that those who do will be rewarded. After reading this story, I would have children think of a time when they've shown good character and been rewarded for it OR a time when they have not shown good character and it has given them consequences. I would then have children write a paragraph about this event, followed by a paragraph about the importance of showing good character and what they think might have happened if they had shown better character in the event they are writing about.

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