Learning from Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published in 1843: a classic Christmas story, read and reread, told and retold. The Citadel Theatre puts on this production every year for good reason.

With students, I use Adam McKeown’s version retold for young readers: fantastic for teaching both transformation stories and character development. Dickens’ 180-year-old work of art also includes a literary device that has found its way into the new grade 5 language arts curriculum in Alberta: a flash forward. Dickens’ use of a flash forward is an engaging, effective example to share with students. Ebenezer Scrooge visits the future with The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come where he is shown what lies ahead if he doesn’t make changes to his life. This flash forward is instrumental to the story, leading to Scrooge’s ultimate transformation.

Read and enjoy, yes! But also consider the craft of the writer…

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