A Christmas Carol
Age Range: 5 to 11
This book makes this famous Christmas story available to a young readership while still capturing the atmosphere and suspense of the original. A classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable, tight-fisted old man who finds that the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are capable of changing his selfish ways to embrace the spirit of the festive season.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Can you find out more about the author, Charles Dickens, and use the information to write his biography?
- Make a list of questions that you would ask Charles Dickens if you could?
- Can you think of reasons why Scrooge hates Christmas?
- If you have the chance to interview Ebenezer Scrooge, what would you say to him?
- Make a list of words that are used to describe Scrooge in the book. How would you describe him at the end of the book?
- Carry out a role play activity in which different people try to persuade Scrooge to celebrate Christmas and spent time with his friends and family.
- Can you turn part of the story into a playscript and perform it to an audience?
- Read the story and pause at different points. Can you imagine what Scrooge might be thinking / feeling at those points? How might those feelings change as the story continues?
- What does each spirit teach Scrooge? How do they do this?
- Make a list of all of the characters in the story. How do they feel about Scrooge?
- Make a list of words and phrases that are used to describe each ghost.
- This story has been retold in lots of different ways. Could you write a new version of it?
- Could you create a version of the story that is suitable for younger children?
- There are also lots of films based on the book. Watch a few of them and explain which you prefer.
- Use art software to create illustrations of scenes within the book or the characters that appear.
- Could you use digital cameras to create still images of some of the scenes in the book?
- Can you make some stick puppets of the characters and use them to perform the story (or part of it)?
- Make a storyboard showing the main events of the story.
- Create some illustrations of each of the spirits that visit Scrooge.
- Compose a tune that could accompany a new animated version of the story.
- Watch some of the videos above and think of ways of describing the music that is used. What instruments can you hear?
- When is the story set? How are things similar / different to today?
- Read the story and identify any references that show what life was like in the nineteenth century.
- Make a timeline of Scrooge's life, using the information about him in the story.
- Does the story have a moral? Is it trying to teach us something? Discuss this with a partner.
- The Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge to beware of Ignorance and Want. What does this mean?
- Take a look at our History resources in the Victorian section of Teaching Ideas: