Art by Lisa K. Weber

A Christmas Carol

Adapted from the classic story by Charles Dickens

Art by Lisa K. Weber

CHARACTERS

Check the character you’re going to read.

*Starred characters have larger speaking parts.

  • *Narrators 1, 2  (N1, N2)
  • *Ebenezer Scroogea rich businessman 
  • *Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk 
  • Fred, Scrooge’s nephew
  • Ghost Chorus, to be read by a group
  • Jacob Marley, the ghost of Scrooge’s dead business partner
  • Ghost 1, the Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge’s first employer 
  • Ghost 2, the Ghost of Christmas Present 
  • Tiny Tim, the Cratchits’ sickly son 
  • Ghost 3, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come NOTE: This part has no speaking lines.
  • Passersby 1 and 2
  • Boy

SCENE 1

N1: It’s Christmas Eve in London, 1843. 

N2: Ebenezer Scrooge sits at his desk counting money. 

N1: He is an old man with red eyes and a cold heart.

Scrooge: Forty, forty-one . . . 

N2: A freezing wind sweeps through the office.

N1: Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in a thin coat. 

Bob Cratchit: Mr. Scrooge, sir, may I add coal to the fire?

Ebenezer Scrooge: No! Coal costs money. 

N2: Scrooge’s nephew Fred arrives full of Christmas cheer.

Fred: Merry Christmas, Uncle!

Scrooge: Bah! Humbug! What good has Christmas ever done for you?

Fred: Many things do us good without making us rich. It is a time for kindness and charity. 

Scrooge: Humbug!

Fred: Merry Christmas, Uncle. Merry Christmas, Mr. Cratchit!

Cratchit: Merry Christmas!

Scrooge (to himself): What does Cratchit have to be merry about? He can barely feed his family, and his child is sick. 

N1: Scrooge and Cratchit prepare to leave for the night.

Scrooge: I suppose you’ll want Christmas Day off.

Cratchit: Please, sir.

Scrooge: It’s not fair I have to pay you for not working.  

Cratchit: It’s Christmas, sir.

Scrooge: Fine. But be here early the next morning.

SCENE 2

N2: That evening, Scrooge sits alone by his fireplace. 

N1: He hears a loud clanking noise and heavy footsteps. 

Ghost Chorus: Owooooh!

Scrooge: What is that? 

N2: A door flies open. A ghost with death-cold eyes enters. 

N1: A long, heavy chain is wrapped around its body.Scrooge recognizes the ghost.

Scrooge: My old business partner, Jacob Marley! But . . . you’re dead! 

Jacob Marley: Indeed I am. 

N2: Marley points to the chain. 

Marley: Each link in this chain is punishment for a good deed I failed to do.  

Scrooge: But you were such a good businessman!

Marley: My business should have been the happiness of others. Now I drag this weight forever. Change your ways, or your chain will be longer and heavier than mine.

Scrooge: What can I do? 

Marley: You will be haunted by three spirits. They are your only chance to escape my fate.

Ghost Chorus: Owooooh!

Marley: Expect the first when the clock strikes one.

SCENE 3

N1: At 1:00 a.m., the first ghost appears. 

Ghost Chorus: Owooooh!

N2: The gentle spirit has long white hair and a white gown.

Ghost 1: I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. I will show you your life as it used to be.

N1: Scrooge and the ghost pass magically into Scrooge’s past. 

N2: They are standing in an old warehouse full of people.

Ghost 1: Don’t worry. They can’t see us. Do you remember this place?

Scrooge: I held my first job here. There’s old Mr. Fezziwig. 

N1: A cheerful man calls out.

Fezziwig: It’s Christmas Eve! No more work. Let’s celebrate!

N2: There is food and music. 

N1: Everyone dances joyfully, including a young Scrooge. 

Ghost 1: Some would say this is a waste of money . . .

Scrooge: A waste? Look how little it cost Fezziwig to make everyone so happy. 

Ghost 1: Your smile is so wide. Who are you dancing with? 

Scrooge: It’s Belle.

Ghost 1: You loved her, but you didn’t marry her.

Scrooge: We were both very poor. I wanted to become rich.

Ghost 1: Ah, you chose wealth instead of love.

Scrooge: You torture me!

N2: The spirit disappears. Scrooge is suddenly back in his room, alone.

SCENE 4

N1: The clock strikes two.

Ghost Chorus: Owooooh!

N2: The second spirit is a jolly giant in a bright-green robe.

Ghost 2: I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Come, see things as they are now. 

N1: The ghost and Scrooge appear at the Cratchits’ house. 

N2: Cratchit’s large family gathers around a small table.

N1: Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, hobbles in using a crutch.

Tiny Tim: There never was such a grand Christmas goose!

Scrooge: So excited over a small goose! 

Ghost 2: It is all they can afford.

Scrooge: But they are happy. 

Cratchit: A toast! To Mr. Scrooge, for our feast.

Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one!

N2: Mr. Cratchit holds Tiny Tim’s withered hand. 

Scrooge: Will Tiny Tim live?

Ghost 2: If things do not change, the child will soon die.

N1: The ghost vanishes. Scrooge is back in his bedroom.

SCENE 5

N2: At 3 a.m., a ghost in a black cloak appears. 

Scrooge: Are you the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?

N1: The ghost does not answer. It points a bony finger forward.

Scrooge: Ghost of the Future, I fear you most.

N2: The spirit takes Scrooge to a lonely, weedy cemetery. 

N1: A coffin is being lowered into a grave.

Scrooge: Whose funeral is this? Why is no one here? 

N2: Two people pass by.

Passerby 1: Little good his money did him. Not a single person to mourn him!

Passerby 2: But he saved money on this cheap funeral! 

N1: The ghost points toward the gravestone.

N2: Scrooge creeps toward the gravestone and reads aloud.

Scrooge: Ebenezer Scrooge.

N1: Scrooge falls to the ground. 

Scrooge: No! From now on, I will be kind and generous. I will honor Christmas!

SCENE 6

Art by Lisa K. Weber

N2: The next morning, Scrooge jumps out of bed.

N1: He opens his window and calls to a boy passing by.

Scrooge: Fine fellow, do you know the prize turkey hanging in the butcher’s window?

Boy: The turkey as big as me?

Scrooge: Yes, that one. I’ll pay you to go buy it and take it to the Cratchits.

Boy: Yes, sir! Merry Christmas!

Scrooge: The Cratchits won’t know who sent it. Oh, joy!

N2: Scrooge spends the day spreading Christmas cheer.

N1: The next day, Scrooge arrives at the office early. 

N2: Cratchit enters, shivering. Scrooge pretends to be angry. 

Scrooge: You’re late!

Cratchit: I’m sorry, sir. A kind stranger sent us a turkey. We were merry into the wee hours. 

Scrooge: I won’t stand for this any longer.

N1: Poor Cratchit is certain he’s about to be fired.

Scrooge: Mr. Cratchit . . . I’m doubling your salary!

Cratchit: Wh . . . what?

Scrooge: And whatever Tiny Tim needs, he’ll have it. 

Cratchit: Thank you, sir!

Scrooge: Merry Christmas! Let’s put more coal on the fire.

N2: From this point forward, Scrooge’s heart is full of light and laughter. 

N1: If any man knows how to celebrate Christmas, it is Ebenezer Scrooge. •

ACTIVITY

Making an Inference

You’ve just read “A Christmas Carol.” Now it’s time to try this activity.

TipAn inference is something that isn’t stated but can be figured out from clues in the text.

What to do: Imagine that you are Ebenezer Scrooge. Your nephew Fred has some questions about your experiences on Christmas Eve 1843. Make inferences to answer each question below with at least one complete sentence.

When I stopped by on Christmas Eve to wish you a Merry Christmas, I said that many things do us good without making us rich. What did you think about that at the time?

Ghost 1 said that as a young man, you chose wealth instead of love. How did you feel when you heard that?

When Ghost 2 showed you the Cratchits’ home, why were you surprised that Tiny Tim was excited?

Why did you decide to change after Ghost 3 showed you your funeral?

Now you seem to agree that some things can do us good without making us rich. Give an example of one of those things.

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Lesson Plan (2)