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Activity Overview

Ebenezer Scrooge changes as he ages. Once a loving, caring young man, Scrooge grows callous and crotchety. Loss in his life leads him to feel sorry for himself, and he soon starts making decisions that he feels will keep him from feeling pain. These choices often lead to a lifestyle that precludes him from having friends and relationships.

After the death of his business partner, Marley, who was also governed by greed, Scrooge is visited by him and the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. These ghosts show Scrooge how his life has unfolded, with his decisions driving how he would manage relationships, or more precisely, avoid having any. Scrooge realizes how empty his life is, and decides that it is never too late to make changes. He awakes on Christmas morning, a new man. Because of the things which the ghosts have shown him, he changes how he relates to people.

Students should take this opportunity to select something in Scrooge's past that caused him to act the way he does. (Identify the underlying cause and effect of Scrooge's miserly callousness.) They should then figure out how something in their past has caused them to act in a particular way. Maybe they were stung by a bee when they were young, so now they have an overwhelming fear of bees.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Think about cause and effect in A Christmas Carol - how does a past event effect present actions? Think about something that happened in your past that influences how you act.

  1. Use the T-Chart template and change the headings.
  2. Select a character and write a sentence or two explaining the cause of their actions.
  3. Illustrate the event in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Do the same thing for an event in your life, making sure to illustrate the event in the cell.

Lesson Plan Reference

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(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Cause and Effect Text Connections
Create a storyboard that shows connections you have made with the text. What event(s) in your life have changed you like they did the characters in the story?
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Text Example(s)
Selected example(s) support understanding of text.
Selected example(s) support some understanding of text.
Selected example(s) do not support understanding of text.
Personal Example(s)
Selected example(s) relate the student's experience with the character's experience very well.
Selected example(s) somewhat relate the student's experience with the character's experience.
Selected example(s) relate the student's experience with the character's experience very well.
Illustrations of Examples
Ideas are well organized. Images clearly show the connections student made with the text.
Ideas are organized. Most images help to show the connections student made with the text.
Ideas are not well organized. Images are difficult to understand.

How To Understand Scrooge’s Transformation


Determine Scrooge's Initial Condition

Describe Scrooge's character at the beginning of the narrative. Draw attention to his miserly, heartless, and selfish attitude. Make a discussion surrounding his feelings regarding the holiday, generosity, and connections.


Investigate Changes

Examine the situations and people that lead to Scrooge's transformation as the students analyze the causes of change. Concentrate on the appearances of the Christmas Ghosts of the Past, Present, and Future. Talk about the ways that each ghost reveals various facets of Scrooge's history, present, and probable future.


Make a Cause and Effect Chart

After carefully analyzing the story, ask each student to come up with one event in the story that resulted in a certain action taken by Scrooge. After all the causes and effects have been noted down, the chart can be displayed in the class.


Reflect on Personal Development

Encourage the students to consider the relevance of Scrooge's change as they consider their own personal growth. What caused his transformation, for instance? How does that affect his relationships and the story's larger point? Ask the students to focus on the general theme of the story and use a holistic way for their analysis.


Make it Relatable

Compare and contrast Scrooge's metamorphosis with instances in real life where people have improved their views and behavior. Discuss the current relevance of empathy and human development.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cause and Effect Connections in A Christmas Carol

How do links between causes and effects improve our comprehension of "A Christmas Carol"?

Cause-and-effect relationships enable us to understand the motivations for and effects of characters' actions. In "A Christmas Carol," they explain how Scrooge's decisions influence his change and how it affects others. They also help us to understand overall themes and view the story from the character’s perspective.

How does Scrooge's behavior with other people influence his change of heart?

Scrooge emotionally isolates himself due to his harsh treatment of others. He is shown his previous deeds by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who also enables him to comprehend the root of his sadness. This makes him determined to change. He also realizes that despite his harsh treatment, there are still people who care about him such as his nephew.

How did Scrooge's transformation affect his relationships?

The changes Scrooge undergoes enhance his connections. His newly discovered acts of charity and kindness resulted in his nephew Fred's forgiveness, good feelings with Bob Cratchit's family, and strengthened links with the neighborhood.

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