Tales Of Mischief – Roald Dahl Creative Writing Homeschooling Lesson

May 15, 2020 by Minerva Tutors,



Read the amazing mischievous passage from Roald Dahl’s Boy at the bottom of this page and spot all the ways he makes the story exciting and draws us in: similes and metaphors, vivid details and descriptions, dramatic use of exclamation points, leaving us on a cliffhanger at the end…these are all techniques you can use too when telling your own story!

Kaiya’s Golden Rules

Be yourself

Be specific

Be playful and have fun

Exercise 1

Think of a time when you or somebody you were with did something mischievous!

  • What happened?
  • What were the consequences?

Exercise 2

Think about the context, the circumstances of the event…

  • Where did it occur?
  • What triggered/led to it?

Exercise 3

List some specific details of the scene…

  • What were you wearing?
  • Can you remember the weather?
  • What were the names of your accomplices? Or were you alone?

Exercise 4

Try to describe how you felt…if you can, use similes and metaphors!

  • How did you feel before the event?
  • How did you feel after the event?


Write the story of this mischievous incident, using as much detail and vivid description as you can! Use the Story Plan below…

This shows you how to write mischievously

If you like drawing, why not illustrate your story when you finish?

We would love to read your mischievous tale – you can send it in to us at lawrence@minervatutors.com!

For more homeschooling lessons Visit our free resources page and for homeschooling videos see Minerva Tutors TV

Extract from Roald Dahl Boy For Kaiya’s Homeschooling Lesson. A most mischievous passage

The sweet-shop in Llandaff in the year 1923 was the very centre of our lives. To us, it was what a bar is to a drunk, or a church is to a Bishop. Without it, there would have been little to live for. But it had one terrible drawback, this sweet-shop. The woman who owned it was a horror. We hated her and we had good reason for doing so.

Her name was Mrs Pratchett. She was a small skinny old hag with a moustache on her upper lip and a mouth as sour as a green gooseberry. She never smiled. She never welcomed us when we went in, and the only times she spoke were when she said things like, ‘I’m watchin’ you so keep yer thievin’ fingers off them chocolates!’ Or ‘I don’t want you in ’ere just to look around! Either you forks out or you gets out!’

One day, when we lifted it up, we found a dead mouse lying among our treasures. It was an exciting discovery. Thwaites took it out by its tail and waved it in front of our faces. ‘What shall we do with it?’ he cried.

‘It stinks!’ someone shouted. ‘Throw it out of the window quick!’

‘Hold on a tick,’ I said. ‘Don’t throw it away.’

Thwaites hesitated. They all looked at me.

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty. I must tell you, therefore, that it was I and I alone who had the idea for the great and daring Mouse Plot. We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.

‘Why don’t we’, I said, ‘slip it into one of Mrs Pratchett’s jars of sweets? Then when she puts her dirty hand in to grab a handful, she’ll grab a stinky dead mouse instead.’

The other four stared at me in wonder. Then, as the sheer genius of the plot began to sink in, they all started grinning. They slapped me on the back. They cheered me and danced around the classroom. ‘We’ll do it today!’ they cried. ‘We’ll do it on the way home! You had the idea,’ they said to me, ‘so you can be the one to put the mouse in the jar.’

Thwaites handed me the mouse. I put it into my trouser pocket. Then the five of us left the school, crossed the village green and headed for the sweet-shop. We were tremendously jazzed up. We felt like a gang of desperados setting out to rob a train or blow up the sheriff’s office.

‘Make sure you put it into a jar which is used often,’ somebody said.

‘I’m putting it in Gobstoppers,’ I said. ‘The Gobstopper jar is never behind the counter.’

‘I’ve got a penny,’ Thwaites said, ‘so I’ll ask for one Sherbet Sucker and one Bootlace. And while she turns away to get them, you slip the mouse in quickly with the Gobstoppers.’

Thus everything was arranged. We were strutting a little as we entered the shop. We were the victors now and Mrs Pratchett was the victim. She stood behind the counter, and her small malignant pig-eyes watched us suspiciously as we came forward.

‘One Sherbet Sucker, please,’ Thwaites said to her, holding out his penny.

I kept to the rear of the group, and when I saw Mrs Pratchett turn her head away for a couple of seconds to fish a Sherbet Sucker out of the box, I lifted the heavy glass lid of the Gobstopper jar and dropped the mouse in. Then I replaced the lid as silently as possible. My heart was thumping like mad and my hands had gone all sweaty.

‘And one Bootlace, please,’ I heard Thwaites saying. When I turned round, I saw Mrs Pratchett holding out the Bootlace in her filthy fingers.

The flush of triumph over the dead mouse was carried forward to the next morning as we all met again to walk to school.

‘Let’s go in and see if it’s still in the jar,’ somebody said as we approached the sweet-shop.

‘Don’t,’ Thwaites said firmly. ‘It’s too dangerous. Walk past as though nothing has happened.’

As we came level with the shop we saw a cardboard notice hanging on the door.

We stopped and stared. We had never known the sweetshop to be closed at this time in the morning, even on Sundays.

‘What’s happened?’ we asked each other. ‘What’s going on?’

We pressed our faces against the window and looked inside. Mrs Pratchett was nowhere to be seen.

‘Look!’ I cried. ‘The Gobstopper jar’s gone! It’s not on the shelf! There’s a gap where it used to be!’

‘It’s on the floor!’ someone said. ‘It’s smashed to bits and there’s Gobstoppers everywhere!’

‘There’s the mouse!’ someone else shouted.

We could see it all, the huge glass jar smashed to smithereens with the dead mouse lying in the wreckage and hundreds of many-coloured Gobstoppers littering the floor.

‘She got such a shock when she grabbed hold of the mouse that she dropped everything,’ somebody was saying.

‘But why didn’t she sweep it all up and open the shop?’ I asked.

Nobody answered me.

We turned away and walked towards the school. All of a sudden we had begun to feel slightly uncomfortable. There was something not quite right about the shop being closed. Even Thwaites was unable to offer a reasonable explanation. We became silent. There was a faint scent of danger in the air now. Each one of us had caught a whiff of it. Alarm bells were beginning to ring faintly in our ears.

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