text / Teacher Joseph / Ren Ai Branch
Here at Cat’s Ren Ai Branch, one of our Lit. Club classes went on a journey through the eyes of an unnamed eight-year-old girl who narrated the story, The Magic Finger, by Roald Dahl. Throughout the month of July, we not only read the novel but also did various activities to accompany the lessons taught. Activities include word walls, voice acting when reading aloud, making a robotic hand with straws, creating bird claws with paper, designing a menu, and filming a video to present to the class.
The Magic Finger
The story started off with the unnamed girl introducing us to her neighbors, the Gregg family. The Greggs frequently hunt animals as a hobby and this did not bode well with our eight-year-old girl. As you may see from the title, the unnamed girl had the power of a “magic finger.” One day, when she witnessed her neighbors towing an animal home, her so-called “magic finger” started to activate because of her anger. This caused a beam of light to shoot out of her finger, shrinking her neighbors, making them develop wings, and eventually turning them into ducks. The craziness did not stop there as now the animals that the Greggs were hunting now had guns and wanted to take revenge! What should the Gregg family do? Will the unnamed girl help the Greggs? Would the Gregg family ever return to their normal forms? Was this the only time the “magic finger” was used? The answers to these questions resulted in a spectacular novel that had many lessons associated with it.
In the weeks following as we read through the book, the Greggs encountered many obstacles throughout their journey. Therefore, the students made various arts & crafts to help the Greggs adjust to their new bodies. For example, since the Gregg family hunt ducks and were turned into ducks, the class made bird claws out of paper. Our class had an opportunity to show their creativity and designed their claws in their own unique way to post online for everyone to see. In the novel, the Gregg family had a hard time eating because their arms were turned into wings. As a result, the children all came up with a menu of food selections the Greggs could conveniently eat. The class even made a robotic hand with straws to accommodate their new form. Everyone was so eager to share their ideas of food and to show their classmates how their robotic arm design would help the Gregg family grip onto things.
Not only did the class show their creativity through arts and crafts, but they also learned about many different themes from the novel they could use in their daily lives. For example, the story taught us that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. I definitely enjoyed reading the novel with the whole class and was pleased to hear the thought-provoking conversations students had with each other about eating meat and how to be more responsible for the well-being of animals on Earth. This book also reminded the students that no matter what, “your actions will always have consequences,” as Blackwell stated. As students grow up, it becomes more and more important for them to know that they will be held accountable for their actions.
Towards the end of the month, the children were assigned to research a bird of their choice. Everyone picked a specific species of bird they wanted to learn about and made a short video to present to the class . There was a huge variety of species students chose to research on such as swans, falcons, eagles, and toucans. Students had to find out where the animals live, what their diets are, their habits, interesting facts, and much more! The whole class enjoyed watching each other’s presentation and learned about various types of birds along with their fellow classmates.
Looking back in the month of July, I truly believe that this class has taught many valuable lessons and led students to become better people. I want to extend a huge thank you to all the teachers, parents, and even students who made this class possible! I hope this has convinced some of you reading this article to pick up a copy of The Magic Finger, or better yet, to sign up and join one of our Lit. Club classes in the future!