How Teachers Can Use A Halloween Carol in the Classroom
The holiday season is an excellent time to introduce students to The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol. It’s the perfect classroom book for numerous reasons:
- Students will love it!!
- It’s wonderful for numerous grade levels.
- In addition to the humor & spookiness, students will enjoy the word-play found throughout.
- It makes a great comparison novel along with A Christmas Carol.
- It’s filled with exquisite, context-rich vocabulary.
- It’s perfect for classroom reading/learning/literature activities.
Comparative Literature: A Halloween Carol & A Christmas Carol
Everyone knows the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens. Now, there’s a contemporary Halloween version of the book that makes for wonderful comparisons that will allow students to utilize critical thinking skills as well as providing an opportunity for rich classroom discussions. As you can see by the chart that is located to the right of this blog-post, the comparisons between these two books are plentiful. The contrasts are delightful also.
Vocabulary Enrichment Through Reading
All reading teachers know the importance of developing vocabulary skills in students. A Halloween Carol is filled with new vocabulary words surrounded by helpful context clues. It provides a great opportunity for teachers to present vocabulary acquisition lessons using a fun & memorable Halloween novel.
Is A Halloween Carol Right for Your Classroom?
Obviously The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol is a great read for students of all ages. It is currently ranked highly on Goodreads & Listopia for 5th & 6th graders. In fact it is near the top of the list for Books to Read to 5th Graders. But depending on how you plan to use the book, it could be just as good a book throughout middle school and well into high school. If Charles Dickens is part of your high school literature curriculum, then A Halloween Carol would make a wonderful counterpoint or even as a way to generate interest in the Dickensian classics. For the younger readers, it involves just enough spookiness to draw them into the book, but it is not a horror book by any means.
Applied Literature and Reading Activities
While reading A Halloween Carol or afterwards, you have many higher level reading activities that may not be available with other books. For one thing, the author of A Halloween Carol is a former teacher and would love to receive emails from students who have questions or comments about the novel. Another great activity is for students to write a persuasive letter urging their favorite movie producer/director/actor to make A Halloween Carol into a movie. There’s even a petition for making The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol into a movie and another to make A Halloween Carol into a graphic novel. Students could use these as forums for brushing up on their persuasive writing skills.