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Lesson Plan

Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party

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Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Ten 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia E. Carbone

Palmer, Massachusetts


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students are invited to attend a 19th Century party as a character from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. To play this role, students must understand the values and customs Dickens' characters represented in Victorian society. This lesson is divided into three stages: Group Investigative Roles, Individual Characterizations, and Individual Presentations. Students collaboratively research the life and times of Charles Dickens as it relates to a character, and write and present a first-person character analysis.

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Party Planner: This handout, used for planning a Victorian-themed party, can be used to plan a variety of literature themed parties.

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This lesson blends the interactive strategies of Bernie Dodge's WebQuest Taskonomy with the reading and writing character workshops outlined in Donald Graves' book, Bring Life into Learning. This lesson can be used to teach characterization, elements of drama, and presentation skills. It engages students in cooperative learning, note taking, and roleplaying activities. Students research print and nonprint sources, and search selected Internet sites in an effort to understand the motives, actions, and symbolism of Dickens' characters. The researched information is synthesized into a first-person character analysis.

Further Reading

Graves, Donald. 1999. Bring Life into Learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Dodge, Bernie. 2002. "WebQuest Taskonomy: A Taxonomy of Tasks." The WebQuest Page. Web. http://webquest.sdsu.edu/taskonomy.html. Accessed October 28, 2003.


O'Day, Shannon. 2001. "Creative Drama through Scaffolded Plays in the Language Arts Classroom." Primary Voices 9.4 (April): 20-25.

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