Ninth grade English students learn modern lessons from A Christmas Carol
The ninth grade students in Katie Eldridge’s English class at Jordan-Elbridge High School recently began reading the classic, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. They started reading the book right after they took a field trip to see the show at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca.
Eldridge said although the story is 175 years old, it still has plenty to teach students.
“This isn’t just about connecting them with classic literature, it’s about connecting them to the community. The Dickens Christmas takes place in Skaneateles and students can learn a lot from that,” she said.
“The story is also a really important commentary on poverty. It’s not easily compartmentalized. There are constraints in place today that were in place back then, and I want kids to really think about that.”
As far as how the book fits into class work, Eldridge said in the ninth grade, the class works on establishing themes and techniques the author uses to tell a story.
“As far as the development of a character, Scrooge (in A Christmas Carol) is great for that,” she said.
“I think another theme is the ability to self-evaluate. Scrooge has to examine himself to grow as a person and I think we can take a lesson from that.”
Jordan Kuhn was one of the 115 students who attended the play and he came back impressed by the characters and depth of the story.
“Everything in it looked authentic and realistic, so you can image how was it back then,” he said.
“It was good to see the play, and now that I’m reading the book, I’m waiting for things to happen.”