This engaging and informative lesson students to make sustained and developed links between Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and its social and historical context. In particular, students learn about the harsh treatment of the poor in Victorian society, the selfishness and cruelty of those in power, and attitudes towards sin, religion, and the supernatural. The lesson explores how Dickens explores these ideas through the allegorical nature of the text.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Understanding key information about Charles Dickens, his life, and influences;
- Researching and sharing key contextual understanding about the rich, poor, healthcare, and religion in the 19th Century;
- Reading Stave 1 of 'A Christmas Carol' and identifying evidence of contextual influences;
- Analysing how Dickens presents his views about the cruelty of 19th Century life through the opening of the text;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts.
- Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
- Extract - Chapter 1 of A Christmas Carol;
- Template for researching 19th Century life (and completed answer sheet for teachers);
- Analysis template with success criteria for creating well-structured responses;
- Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. This was originally taught to mixed ability year 10 groups, but can easily be differentiated for groups of different ages and abilities.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.