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

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/9] Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3] Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision


(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.

More Storyboard That Activities

A Christmas Carol

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