A Dickens of a Party
Designed by Patricia E. Carbone
have been invited to a Victorian New Year's Day Party, honoring
Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of Charles Dickens' A Christmas
Carol, and celebrating the changes that he has made to his life in
response to the visits by the three spirits on Christmas Eve.
If you accept this invitation, you must be prepared
to leave behind the 21st Century blue jeans, technology, music, and fast
food. Attending a party during this time period was very different from
Prepare yourself well! The more knowledge you have, the more fun you'll have
at the party.
Scrooge's nephew, Fred, is hosting a New Year's Day Party to celebrate his uncle's
on life. The revelations of his miserly, miserable past have left Scrooge eager
to learn more about those who have helped him to change. In order to
accomplish this, Scrooge hopes to understand the values and customs of
people he meets in this day-to-day life
in Victorian society. Your group will assume the persona of one of Dickens'
from the story and investigate daily life in Victorian
Your preparation will be divided into three stages:
- Group Investigative Roles: you'll work with your group to investigate
the Victorian time period so that you'll know more about what would
happen at a Victorian party.
- Individual Characterizations: you'll choose a specific character to portray
and prepare yourself for the party by exploring how that character in more
- Presentations: you'll portray your character and share information about
the person in class during the New Year's Day Party.
Stage One: Group Investigative Roles
In order to connect with the people and places of Dickens' time, you'll investigate
four aspects of Victorian life using role
cards: history, fashion, etiquette, and entertainment.
Stage Two: Individual Characterizations
Your group will have four investigative roles. Each of you will read and discuss the
essential question, take notes from at least two of the provided Web sites, and share the information with the group. You may print pictures to help with your explanation; but your notes must be paraphrased, and bibliographic citations recorded on note cards.
It's time to get ready for the party! You'll choose a character from A Christmas Carol to attend as and using the information you gathered in Stage One with details about the Victorian period that we have viewed and discussed in class, you need to begin making your plans.
Stage Three: Presentations
Scrooge has spent much of his life ignoring people. Now that he's changed his
perspective on life, he wants to get to know more about the people he meets every
day. Fred has asked every person who comes to the party to write a short essay
that can be presented to the group. You'll leave a copy of the paper for Scrooge
to add to a scrapbook that he's creating so that he can read over this information
about his new friends after
To prepare for the party, complete the Party
Planning Worksheet; then, based on the information that you've gathered,
first-person essay that you'll present to Fred, Scrooge, and the
that tells them
Sketch Assignment for tips on what to include and organizing your paper.
On the day of the party, bring your page for Scrooge's scrapbook and come to
class prepared to portray the character you've chosen. Your presentation
can include costumes and props, but must be realistic and believable. After
everyone has been introduced to Scrooge and shared a presentation, we'll
play Victorian parlor
games and listen to traditional Victorian music.
Your work on this project will be evaluated with three rubrics, one
for each stage of the process:
Bravo! The Sunday edition of the London Times reports Fred's New Year's
Day Party to have been the "social event of the holiday season." The reporter
noted that the guest list included society's elite as well as its downtrodden.
The guest of honor, Ebenezer Scrooge, is said to have had such a good time
that he will be hosting a New Year's Day Party at his house next year.
The Times quoted Scrooge as admitting, "At last, I have learned
that to understand mankind requires going beyond the physical appearance
means. To really understand people, I need to listen to what they say,
watch their actions, and cautiously listen to what others say about them."
You've had a chance to explore these ideas during this WebQuest. By playing
one of Dickens' characters, you learned and applied the elements of characterization.
You studied what your character looked like, how the character behaved,
what the character said, and what others said about your character. Well-done!
Credits & References
Images © 2003 www.clipart.com.
Rubrics Made Using RubiStar.
Based on a template from The WebQuest Page and the information from the WebQuest Design Patterns page.