‘A Christmas Carol’ Activity for Teachers (free pdf.)

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I love the story, but Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is also a great way of practising the tenses. If you’re an ESL/EFL teacher, you’ve got the lesson plan and worksheet free to download as pdf. The idea behind this lesson is simple; to tell the story, using the past with the Ghost of Christmas Past, the present with the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the future simple with the Ghost of Christmas Future (Actually, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – but let’s not make it any more complicated!

Pdf. at Bottom of Page!

Let’s go step by step:

1. Check Vocabulary

If you want to pre-teach the vocabulary, these are the words that your students are less likely to know:

MURDERER
THIEVES
SWINDLER
DEBT
NEEDY
NEPHEW
CLERK
PENNY
WRAPPED
CHAINS
PUNISHMENT
KIND (nice attitude)
SCENE
FIANCÉE
GUILTY
GREED
LAUGH

2.  Read Introduction: Charles Dickens

This might be a good moment to ask them if they know the story. There are lots of versions (Disney, Muppets….), so it’s quite likely that they do.

3.  Cut out Squares

The text of the story (1 – 9) is in order, but the pictures (a – i) are not. Tell them to cut out the 9 + 9 squares. As they go through the story, they have to match the picture with the story and stick them together into their notebooks or onto some paper. Choose one student to read one square, and the others must find out which is the correct image.

These are the answers:

1A
2E
3H
4D
5B
6I
7C
8G
9F

4. Fill in Gaps

From square 4 to square 8 the students will have to use the verb table. Each space has a number, and each number represents a verb, with its form in past, present (3rd person singular = __s) and future (will). For the Ghost of Christmas Past, use the past. Fill in the verb in the present tense with the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the future simple with the Ghost of Christmas Future. For example:

  • Number 4/Ghost of Christmas Past:

Scrooge (1)_WAS__ in
bed when the first ghost
(2)_WOKE___ him up. It
(3)_TOOK_ Scrooge to his
village when he was young.

  • Number 6/Ghost of Christmas Present:

The second ghost
(2)_WAKES__ Scrooge up. He is
the biggest and happiest ghost.
He (3)_TAKES__ Scrooge to
other houses in London. He (4)
_SEES__ people
celebrating Christmas.

  • Number 8/Ghost of  Christmas Future:

Scrooge (1)_WILL BE__ alone in his last
years. Nobody (5) __WILL LOVE__
Scrooge. Not even his nephew
(4)__WILL SEE___ him.

In the table, number 3 is ‘TAKE’, number 4 is ‘SEE’ and number 8 is ‘SHOW’.

Got it? It sounds complicated, but with the table it is actually quite easy, and it’s a great way to for them to gain confidence switching tenses. You can back it up with scenes from the film, or with the Muppets song.

‘IT FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS’ MUPPETS CHRISTMAS CAROL

CHRISTMAS CAROL PASSIVE STORY

Download Free pdf.