Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Lesson on Scrooge

In honor of the holiday season, my students are reading "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Now, you may be asking, how can I get away with something so blatantly Christian in a public school. Well, it turns out that story is right there in our district approved Language Arts textbook! The argument is that it represents classic literature, and is therefore okay. It is one of my favorite Christmas stories, so I am delighted to do it every year. In our text, the story has been re-written into a short play while preserving the original wording. The kids all get parts, and we run it sort of like a radio play. No props, but we still do voices, get the actors up on "stage," and try to produce the appropriate sound effects. Most kids seem to enjoy themselves immensely, and the resulting performance is better than you might expect. At the end, we watch the Patrick Stewart version as a reward. All in all, this is one of my favorite times of our school year. Yesterday, I came across an article discussing the origins of Ebenezer Scrooge. It turns about to be a bit of a misunderstanding:

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