Friday, November 20, 2015

Reading Period 10: November 21 - December 4: A Christmas Carol

Class meeting: December 4
Due date: December 3, 7pm

Long read:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Staves 1 and 2.

Short read:

"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.


"The Child is Father To the Man" by Gerard Manley Hopkins
"Christmas in the Workhouse" by George R. Sims

If you've been doing NaNoWriMo all through November, your vacation from creative and writing assignments is officially over! Congratulations on writing 5000 words of a novel! Now get back to work! 

Creative Assignment:

Draw two pictures: one of Marley's ghost and one of the ghost of Christmas past. Use specific details from the story to inform your drawings. Next week there will be an assignment to draw the ghosts of Christmas present and Christmas yet to come, so if you're interested in those, choose a medium that you can sustain to make four really good portraits.


Our poem today is an argument that Gerard Manley Hopkins, a British poet, is having with William Wordsworth, the British poet who wrote "My Heart Leaps Up." He doesn't understand one of Wordsworth's lines, or else he has a big problem with it, philosophically. Write a dialogue between these two poets. They never met in life -- in fact Hopkins was only six when Wordsworth died. In the spirit of our Dickens story, pretend the ghost of Wordsworth visits Hopkins and has a conversation with him. What would they say to each other? Why do you think Hopkins had such a hard time with Wordsworth's line "The Child is Father To the Man"?

Writing Assignment:

Ebenezer Scrooge suggests that as long as there are workhouses for the poor to live in, he doesn't need to give to charity. But what are workhouses? We don't have them today. Learn about the Victorian workhouses by visiting these pages: Workhouse food, Workhouse rules and punishment, Workhouse labor. Write an essay of at least 100 words about workhouses -- what are they, who goes there, and what happens there?


Read the poem, "Christmas in the Workhouse" by George R. Sims. Sims was a journalist who wanted to expose and protest the awful conditions in workhouses, so this poem is meant to be a protest poem. Write 100 words summarizing the story the poem tells, and explaining why the man in the poem doesn't want to eat the Christmas pudding that's been provided for him by the rich visitors.


This quiz is about finding evidence in the text to support an idea.

1. In Stave One, the story opens by telling us about the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge. Find two specific physical details the author gives us about Scrooge to establish that he is a nasty, bitter person.
2. Find two specific lines of description that support the idea that the weather was cold and gloomy.
3. Find two specific lines of dialogue that show Scrooge does not like Christmas.

4. In Stave Two, Scrooge sees himself in his old school, the only child left there at Christmas. Find a line that gives evidence Scrooge once had a boyish imagination.
5. Find a specific line of dialogue that shows the reader Scrooge is reconsidering his behavior in his current life, after looking at scenes from the past.
6. Find a line in the scene where Scrooge sees himself talking with his fiance that shows he had already begun to turn into a money-loving miser, even in the past.

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