6 Ways to Use A CHRISTMAS CAROL in Homeschool

“He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

As a literature teacher, I get to indulge my love of all things Christmas by studying special holiday classics with my students. One much-loved story to pull out at this time of year is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Dickens was a master at creating unique, unforgettable characters and bringing home powerful truths within a riveting plot. This story highlights all the elements of a typical Dickens’ tale, and the frequency with which the movie version has been remade is proof of how old and young alike love this story.

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Here are ways to incorporate this classic Christmas tale in your homeschool lessons.

Read it!

I find that most students in junior high and up may be familiar with the title and have a vague idea of the storyline, but few have actually read the novel. Working their way through this rich literature will challenge and enhance their vocabulary skills.


Research the Setting

Find out what life was like in that time and place. What about the story is realistic?


Discuss Theme

What are the prevailing themes in the story? What point is Dickens trying to make? Is there a message for us in a time period and place far away from that of the story?


A Reader’s Theatre Play

Dickens’ novel has been made into a short play: A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley by Israel Horovits & Charles Dickens. This is a fun drama to read with students. Don partial costumes—wigs, hats, etc.—for inspiration. How about adding some sound effects? And don’t forget to hone your very best British accent!

“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Compare and Contrast

Make time to watch a film version of the novel/play. My personal favorite stars George C. Scott as Scrooge and features some of Britain’s finest character actors. Available on Amazon Prime.

Any of the following versions make a creative comparison for discussion or creative writing.

Students can compare and contrast various film versions as well as compare and contrast the story with film versions.


Go and Do Likewise!

Use the theme of compassion and generosity and brainstorm ways your family can help those in need this Christmas season.

A Christmas Carol contains depths of meaning and enjoyment that make it a classic worthy of revisiting year after year.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.   The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens



Renee Ann Smith teaches literature in a Christian high school by day and writes stories by night. She reviews books and shares inspirational posts on her blog Doorkeeper at http://reneeannsmith.com/. You can also find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ReneeAnnSmith.