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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lessons from Charles Dickens or From the Mouths of Fourth Graders

I spent the week telling some of my favorite tales, even though I had the MOST miserable cold in the world. Thankfully, though the nose was stuffy, the voice never left altogether. It's hard to be a storyteller with no voice.

So, there I was, telling about ninety fourth graders Dickens' Christmas Carol. I've got my retelling down to about forty minutes, which includes a brief prologue about Dicken's life as a child, so they can get a glimpse into what might have influenced him as a writer.

Truly, it is a great story that keeps children on the edge of their seats, even if they've seen a version or two of it on TV. At then end, I asked the students about what they thought the theme of A Christmas Carol might be, you know, just to be literary and all.

What do you think Dickens' message to people was? Do you think he has a secret meaning in his story?

Ben's hand popped into the air.

Me: (handing microphone over to adorable, freckled fourth grade boy). Yes, Ben? What do you think that Charles Dickens was trying to tell people?

Ben: He was trying to tell people that if you are greedy and don't share, ghosts will come back from the grave and haunt you!

Yeah, I think that pretty well sums it up.

Sharing is caring!


P.S. Yes, I have seen the very scary version of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey. I think it went a little over the top....what with the demon horses and all. I prefer the Muppet version with Michael Caine....and Kermit and Piggy as the Crachits.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! Yes, I'd say Ben was succinct and got the most important plotline!
Hope you feel better soon and can enjoy your Christmas, Shelley.

Laura Marcella said...

The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite interpretation. I also really like Mickey's Christmas Carol, but the Muppets are the best!

I haven't seen the Jim Carrey version. It's a very long wait on my Netflix queue, so I won't get it before Christmas. I'll wait and watch it next year.

Get well, Shelley!

Stephanie Perkins said...

I watch the Muppets version on Christmas every year! :)

Lydia K said...

I liked "Scrooged" with Bill Murray, way back when. It was funny but the story was still really true to the original.

Anne Spollen said...

Well, I see Ben's point - bad stuff happens when you don't share.

Great story!

Merry Christmas to you!

storyqueen said...

Tricia-I know! I laughed so hard.

Laura-Mickey's is good, too...and it's short, which I like.

Steph-I haven't had my dose of muppets this year yet. Maybe today.

Lydia-I totally loved Scrooged way back when. Bill Murray was such a crack-up.

Anne-Quite true, don't you think? Happy HOlidays!