A Merry Scrooge to You

Tis the season.  It is one of my favorite times of year.  Especially since I will get to see so many awesome holiday movies. One of my favorites being “A Christmas Carol,” it is also one of my mother’s favorites as well.   So I was so happy to read in a magazine that they are taking the classic story and creating a language arts activity.  This is post is not me being lazy but I would not have been able to summarize this so I decided I will just share the whole article.   If you want to see what other tips, and lessons some educators have to offer please check out  Think Teachers at http://www.thinkteachers.com

But now here we go:

A Turn of the Scrooge: What in the Dickens is up with our favorite ghost story?

Long before Jim Carrey portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in Disney’s 3D version of A Christmas Carol the story written by Charles Dickens in 1843 has been performed in countless films, operas, television specials, and live theater.  All of them take on new adaptations of the core story, which has remained pretty similar over the past 166 years: In short, the grumpy old man is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and teach ole’ Ebenezer the value of values and he finds redemption in the Christmas spirit.  Just like any growing legend, time adds history…Here are some to get you in the spirit of the season:

  • Charles Dickens spend part of his childhood in prison after his father was arrested for failing to pay his debt. At the time, entire families of prisoners would go to jail with this prisoner.
  • In 1843, Dickens was exposed to tin mines where children worked. These impressions helped him relate to the poor working class.
  • Dickens’ book was originally a short story titled A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
  • The book was first published on Dec. 19, 1843 and cost 5 shillings (which in today’s money was a little more than $5). The first run 6,000 copies sold out by Christmas Eve.
  • The story inspired American classics such as the 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and Dr. Seuss’ 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
  • Three different stage productions opened on Feb. 5, 1844 and by the end of the month, eight shows were being performed.
  • Patrick Stewart (aka Professor X in the X-Men movies) has performed his one-man reading/acting of the story throughout London theaters and in New York City on Broadway.

So once you share these little tidbits with your students you would want to get on to the actual activity.  So here we go.

First you would want to get a picture to represent each of the ghosts in the story (Past, Present and Future).

Make three columns on a piece of paper and put a picture at the top of each column.

Next have the students complete the following:
In A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge learns his lessons after the three ghosts visit him.  If you were to get visits, what would the ghosts tell you?  Write your answers below.

After I read this article I started laughing to myself because depending on the age range the answers will be hilarious.  Remember you can always preview this lesson by reading the book in class, or even watch one of the movie versions or play each ghosts’ section of the movie to emphasis what is being asked.   Thought this was a fun little activity and I wanted to share.
“A Turn of the Scrooge: What in the Dickens is up with our favorite ghost story?.” Think Teachers. Dec 2013: 28. Print. <www.thinkteachers.com>.


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Filed under Books, Language Arts, Reading

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