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Reading Fiction: A Christmas Carol (the Cratchits at Christmas)

In this worksheet, students read an extract about the characters in the Cratchit family preparing for Christmas and demonstrate their skills of extracting and interpreting information.

'Reading Fiction: A Christmas Carol (the Cratchits at Christmas)' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Meaning

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Read the following extract from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It describes the Cratchit family getting ready for Christmas dinner. 

 

 

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Then up rose Mrs Cratchit, Cratchit's wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence; and she laid the cloth, assisted by Belinda Cratchit, second of her daughters, also brave in ribbons; while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes, and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob's private property, conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth, rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired, and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. And now two smaller Cratchits, boy and girl, came tearing in, screaming that outside the baker's they had smelt the goose, and known it for their own; and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion, these young Cratchits danced about the table, and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies, while he (not proud, although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire, until the slow potatoes bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled.

 

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Read and answer the following questions about what is happening in the text.

If you need to read the extract again as you work through the worksheet, you can click on the Help button above the question.

What does this quotation tell us about Mrs Cratchit?

 

"Cratchit's wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence"

 

That she is poor and unhappy.

That she she is well-dressed.

That she is poor but has tried hard to look nice.

What does Dickens mean when he describes Peter Cratchit's "monstrous shirt collar"?

 

The shirt is too big for him.

The shirt is ugly.

The shirt is a monster.

The shirt Peter is wearing was his father's "private property, conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day".

 

What does this mean?

 

That Peter will inherit his Dad's clothes when he dies.

That it is Peter's dad's shirt but he let him wear it because it was Christmas.

That it is Peter's wedding day.

Dickens writes that Peter... "yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks."

 

What does this mean?

 

That Peter wanted to sell the shirt.

That Peter wanted to wear the shirt so people would see him.

That Peter was embarassed of the shirt.

Match up the victorian language with a modern-day word.

Column A

Column B

conferred
enjoying
exalted
given to
attired
praised
basking
dressed

From reading this extract we know that Mr and Mrs Cratchit have at least ____ children. Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

5

4

6

Which characters act out the following verbs? Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

 

 The two smaller CratchitsPeterBelinda
Plunged
Assisted
Screamed

Which items of food are mentioned in the extract, and which are not? Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

 

 From the extractNot in the extract
Goose
Pork
Potatoes
Sage
Onion
Pasta

Mrs Cratchit is wearing a "twice turned gown". What does this actually mean?

 

That she only has two dresses.

That she has already mended the dress twice.

That she can turn around in it twice.

The smaller Cratchits had "known" the goose "for their own". What does this mean?

 

They had a pet goose.

They wanted chicken instead.

They knew the goose cooking was meant for their family.

  • Question 1

What does this quotation tell us about Mrs Cratchit?

 

"Cratchit's wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence"

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That she is poor but has tried hard to look nice.
  • Question 2

What does Dickens mean when he describes Peter Cratchit's "monstrous shirt collar"?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The shirt is too big for him.
  • Question 3

The shirt Peter is wearing was his father's "private property, conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day".

 

What does this mean?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That it is Peter's dad's shirt but he let him wear it because it was Christmas.
  • Question 4

Dickens writes that Peter... "yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks."

 

What does this mean?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That Peter wanted to wear the shirt so people would see him.
  • Question 5

Match up the victorian language with a modern-day word.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

conferred
given to
exalted
praised
attired
dressed
basking
enjoying
  • Question 6

From reading this extract we know that Mr and Mrs Cratchit have at least ____ children. Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

CORRECT ANSWER
5
EDDIE SAYS
Four children are mentioned, but Belinda is called "second of her daughters", so we know they have at least five children.
  • Question 7

Which characters act out the following verbs? Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 The two smaller CratchitsPeterBelinda
Plunged
Assisted
Screamed
  • Question 8

Which items of food are mentioned in the extract, and which are not? Remember, you can click on the Help button to read the extract again.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 From the extractNot in the extract
Goose
Pork
Potatoes
Sage
Onion
Pasta
  • Question 9

Mrs Cratchit is wearing a "twice turned gown". What does this actually mean?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That she has already mended the dress twice.
  • Question 10

The smaller Cratchits had "known" the goose "for their own". What does this mean?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
They knew the goose cooking was meant for their family.
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