Online Work, PB, Christmas Carol student play

05/07/2014

Name of Item:
Classroom Resources / Grades K-12 / Student Interactives / Calendar Activity /
December 25.

Brief description of item:
The well-known English author Charles Dickens wrote the classic, A Christmas Carol as a book for quick profit. But at this time during Victorian era of 19th Century England, there were no copyright laws. As a result many unauthorized copies of the book were sold without the author receiving a profit from the sales.
This is a calendar activity and should be performed during the month of December. The student interactive here or what we might simply term as the activity is to write a script version of this famous and beloved Christmas story by Charles Dickens and give a performance of the student version of A Christmas Carol. The dialogue should be on the level of middle school English proficiency, so the language and storyline should be kept simple. The original feeling of the original story by Dickens should be referenced as much as possible. Students with knowledge of computer technology and / or camera use can take and then download photographs of the performance of the play to then share with other students in the school.

Assessment of its use with Young Adult Literature and its connection to Common Core State Standards:
Many of the students in this 9th grade class will most likely be familiar with this well-known Christmas story by English author Charles Dickens. If they have not read the text by Dickens they very likely have seen the film version of this book that is aired each Christmas season on television. Here is an opportunity for the student to see and read from this simple story book by Dickens. The text is easy to read and any words that are unfamiliar to the student because of English origin or simply because they are beyond middle school level of language understanding can be noted and explained to the student. As a prospective teacher who has read this text many times, I would say it is within the Young Adult Literature range of appropriate selected literature for reading and interpretation.
In reference to Common Core State Standards for 9th grade English, this text and its use a tool to modify seems appropriate in that its structure and use of dialogue allows for the student to comprehend and reinterpret its meaning in terms of the students own life experience. This involves the teacher making a decision on the use of this literature in regards to qualitative and quantitative measures of text complexity as described in CCSS for English Language Arts. The level of structure and complexity of meaning of the text must seem a fit for middle school 9th grade learners. This classic story of a Christmas spirit of giving, sharing and expressing seasonal joy and love seems something most students will recognize as an important part of this annual calendar holiday. It involves the student in the very ideas expressed in the text.

Sample of a completed interactive:
A Christmas Bah Humbug!
Our Version of the classic Christmas Story by Charles Dickens.
Mr. Bah Humbug: What a waste of a day this Christmas! Each year I lose a day’s work and you Robert Poor get a “free-loading” day’s wages for no work!
Robert Poor: Christmas is just once a year. It means so much to the family.
Mr. Bah Humbug: Once a year is too often to have you pick my pockets Robert Poor!
Robert Poor: I will still wish you a jolly Christmas all the same, Mr. Bah Humbug.
Mr. Bah Humbug: Be off with you and don’t be late the next day! There will be no job waiting for you! Scrooge Christmas!

Later in the Christmas Story and on Christmas Eve.

Little Lenny: What a wonderful pudding mother! It looks the color of caramel. See how it steams in the bowl!
Mrs. Poor: There’s a turkey for us and a nice soup of potatoes and turnips as well.
Robert Poor enters the sparsely furnished room of the family Poor’s rooms.

Robert Poor: Hello my dear, a Merry Christmas! Little Lenny, where are your sisters and older brother Peter?
Mrs. Poor: They are still at their jobs and Mr. Peter has gone for our turkey.
Robert Poor: What a wonderful Christmas it will be!

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One thought on “Online Work, PB, Christmas Carol student play

  1. Author Response-Paul Bland

    I was really pleased to see this entry on Charles Dickens and the suggested lesson plan that was offered. Dickens though tells us something significant about humanity and the possibility of rising above great misfortune and injustice. There is always the possibility of love and triumph in the face of lonliness and poverty. We learn much about this English Victorian era and yet so much of his writing tells us something about ourselves in the modern day world as well. It seems as human beings we are still very much the same with the same emotional and mental possibilities. The idea of cruelty and kindness seem magnified in this great authors writing. It allows for critical thinking and the examination of social and monetary class structure and its result. Great classic YA Lit.

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