Week 2: Seed of an Idea

Posted by
The Learning team at the Roald Dahl Museum
Posted on
11:00am, 30th July
James, Museum
Make Stories Like Roald Dahl - week 2

Welcome to week 2 of our Make Stories Like Roald Dahl summer challenge. This week you will discover how Roald Dahl used fruits and seeds to begin telling an unexpected story!

Tree gazing

Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut was at the bottom of his garden, surrounded by fruit trees. All through the summer he would watch as tiny apple blossom buds grew into delicious fruits.

Roald Dahl's Writing Hut

Above: Roald Dahl's Writing Hut

A seed of an idea!

This sparked a thought and made him wonder – what would happen if the apples just kept on growing and didn’t know when to stop? A little seed of an idea was planted, and this blossomed into James and the Giant Peach.

Not so peachy...

But Roald Dahl tried writing about lots of other ginormous fruits before he decided that a peach was perfect. Along the way he experimented with apples, pears, plums and cherries. In the end, he used all of his senses to pick a peach that was big and squishy, with a stone in the middle for James and his insect friends to live in.

The floor was soggy under his knees, the walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling…The peach flesh was sweet and juicy, and marvellously refreshing.

James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

Which just goes to show that great stories can grow from the smallest seed of an idea. 

Some of the other fruits Roald Dahl considered using

Above: some of the fruit rejects!

Family challenge

Take a leaf out of Roald Dahl’s book and find a seed of an idea for your own story!

Choose a selection of fruits and vegetables. Cut them in half. Then use your senses to explore what they are like together.

Think about

  • What do they look like? Are they big or small? What shape are they?
  • How do they feel? Are they smooth and shiny, or soft and furry? Are they firm or squidgy?
  • What do they smell like?
  • How do they taste? Would you want to eat them on a long journey?


Pick the most interesting

Now start a story:

  • What could happen to your fruit or veg? Would it grow bigger or smaller? Would you add something to it?
  • What would happen if it started to move? Would it roll, bounce or boomerang?
  • Where would it go?

You should now have the seed of a story. Just water it with a little imagination to make it grow! Write it, draw it, act it out or just tell us about it using #MakeStoriesLikeRoaldDahl.

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With Rachel, our Collections Manager and Archivist.

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