Teaching "A Christmas Carol" - A Favorite Holiday Tradition

I'm linking up with the Secondary Smorgasbord today, and I couldn't be happier.




There are a bunch of secondary teacher-authors participating. So, be sure to check them all out at ELA Buffet's blog and Desktop Learning Adventures. This month's theme is TRADITIONS. I thought I'd share one of my favorite instructional traditions for this time of year.

If you're a middle school teacher, you know that there's a wonderful (and complicated) dance that goes on in the middle school classroom. It's a tango between elementary school and high school.

Middle Schoolers are caught right in the middle of this dance.

In the classroom, I've found that students yearn for many of the elements of an elementary classroom - crafts, interactive projects, centers, and stories. Yet...they feel an intense pull to be "over" those things and act more high-school-ish. With that in mind, I love to teach units that tap into the learning that they loved when they were younger and disguise it into a unit that seems much more sophisticated. That's where my yearly unit of "A Christmas Carol" comes in. It's the perfect combination of fun and rigor. It's a traditional story that I love to make a yearly tradition in my classroom.





  

In the end, we have a lot less of this...


And a lot more of this...



It's a tradition worth keeping!  If you'd like to give it a try in your classroom, you can check it out here.




10 comments:

  1. What an awesome assignment--and tradition!

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  2. Middle school students are the best. Thanks for sharing what works for you and your students in December.

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  3. Great post as always, Mary Beth! I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! To accept the award (and pay it forward) click on this link:

    http://literarysherri.blogspot.com/2014/12/thank-you-for-liebster-award.html

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  4. Mary Beth, I completely understand the 6th grade dilemma. Most of my teaching was in 6th grade at the elementary level. Before the Winter Holiday break, they needed to be in elementary. And then, something happened during break because they always came back acting like middle schoolers. This looks like a fun activity they could enjoy, no matter what building they were in! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Mary Beth, I know exactly what you mean about middle school students. They're neither here not there, and it's up to us to dance that dance right along with them! Your unit for one of my all-time favorites, "A Christmas Carol," looks wonderful! I'll bet the kids love it!
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Darlene
    ELABuffet

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  6. This was a fun post to read and a great activity for kids! I also love the "bah hum bug" reference!!

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  7. I love that you bring in the elementary elements into your tradition. Middle school students really do like to do the fun things. I enjoyed reading your tradition.
    Have a Happy Holiday,
    Judith

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