Every year at Christmas time I talk about A Christmas Carol in my classes for many different reasons. It is a wonderful Christmas tale and it allows to study some aspects of British literature, as well. We usually watch the last Disney movie and we read some excerpts from the book.
This year I thought of a flipped lesson. Students have to gather information and do some research about the tale before watching the movie or reading the book. Then, they will discuss the topics concerning the novella, the author and the Victorian Era in their classroom. As a teacher, I will just provide the learning material, suggest the websites to surf outside the classroom and guide my students to apply their knowledge during class activities.
As usual, I prepared a lesson with the help of some digital tools. I created a mindmap with Cacoo and I made it interactive with Thinglink.
If you move the cursor over the image below, some icons will appear. Click on them to open the links. You will find some information about Charles Dickens, the main characters of his novella and some fun activities.
The following is a deepening on the Victorian Era for more advanced students. I prepared this mindmap with Popplet. You will find some videos, links and a PowerPoint presentation.
Click on the image below to open it.
Inside the classroom the students will discuss what they have learned outside the classroom. They will actively and interactively apply their knowledge.
Some ideas for class discussion
- What are the moral lessons in this story?
- Describe how Scrooge changes during the night of Christmas Eve.
- Would a visit from the three spirits of the tale impact your life? How?
- How would you describe the Victorian Era?
- Can we see any typical aspects of the Victorian Age in the novella?
- What is Dickens' position towards the social problems of his era?
The following are some quotations from "A Christmas Carol".
Can you tell me who and when pronounces these words?
“I wear the chain I forged in life....I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”
“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
“They are Man's and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
"Business!" he cried, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“Bah," he said, "Humbug.”
“And therefore, Uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that [Christmas] has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
“If they would rather die, . . . they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
“God bless us, every one!”
“Come in, -- come in! and know me better, man! Look upon me! You have never seen the like of me before!”
“Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”
“Are there no prisons?”
“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”
If you need more information here is a list of some Charles Dickens websites:
Simplified reading activity for students with special needs