James and the Giant Peach

Plot:
This is the story of young James, who, after his parents have died, must live with two terrible aunts. After an encounter with a mysterious old man, a magic peach begins to grow to the size of a house in the garden. James discovers a tunnel in the side of the peach, and crawls into the pit to find the peach’s magic has also worked to enlarge a number of bugs, including a centipede, a spider, an earthworm, and a grasshopper. The peach rolls out of the hilltop garden down to the ocean. Fortunately, the peach floats, but soon sharks begin trying to take bites out of its side, and later the peach takes to the air with the help of a flock of seagulls. James must think of a way to save himself as well as his strange new friends.

Problems identified by students:

  • James is trapped by a tall fence at his aunts' house
  • The peach is getting eaten by sharks
  • Cloud people throw ice balls at the peach as it flies by
  • The peach gets stuck on the spire of a skyscraper

Solutions designed by students:

  • Prototype of a trampoline and figuring out how to position it so James does not hit the wall
  • A peach-lifting mechanism to hoist the peach out of the sea and away from the sharks
  • Ice-ball deflection system
  • A tube with a built-in slingshot to send the ice balls back at the cloud people
  • Small-scale LEGO crane to lift the peach off the spire and place it on a truck

Grade:
4th