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Reading Fiction: A Christmas Carol (Scrooge Visits Poverty)

In this worksheet, students read an extract from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and analyse how the author presents ideas about poverty in this text.

'Reading Fiction: A Christmas Carol (Scrooge Visits Poverty)' 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 Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is lead by a ghost to a poor part of town.

 

 

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They left the busy scene, and went into an obscure part of the town, where Scrooge had never penetrated before, although he recognised its situation, and its bad repute. The ways were foul and narrow; the shops and houses wretched; the people half-naked, drunken, slipshod, ugly. Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery.

 

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You must now answer the following questions on this extract. If you need to read the extract again as you work through the questions, you can do so by clicking on the Help button.

Most of Charles Dickens' Victorian readers would have been wealthy, educated men (and some women) who lived in large houses in nice, clean and safe areas.

 

How would they react when they read the extract about the poor end of town? Choose THREE options below. 

Shock

Disbelief

Relief

Peacefulness

Horror

When Charles Dickens writes that Scrooge had "never" been there before, what does this tell us about him, as a character?

That he does not get out or travel much.

That he has not been confronted with poverty and only knows how rich people live.

Translate these Victorian words from the extract into modern-day English by matching up the words below.

Column A

Column B

Slipshod
Untidy
Cesspools
Miserable
Disgorged
Overflowing toilets
Wretched
Vomited

Charles Dickens uses the same literary device twice in this phrase:

"reeked with crime, with filth, and misery"

 

Which literary device is it?

Metaphor

Rhyme

Onomatopoeia

In the extract, is Charles Dickens blaming the poor people for their situation? Which of the following words seem to blame them, and which show sympathy towards them?

 BlameSympathy
Drunken
Ugly
Crime
Misery

Re-read the extract again closely. What is the tone towards poor people? Which of the following sentences best describes how Dickens wants us to feel towards them?

That they need to take care of themselves more.

That they are lazy and should work harder.

That they are hopeless and need help from rich people to have better lives.

Read this student's work:

Dickens even describes the buildings and streets as "foul" and "wretched". This makes us feel even more _______ for the people because they have to live in such a horrible place.

 

Which word is missing?

happy

sorry

angry

Read this student's work:

When the author describes the people as _______ it seems harsh, at first. However, the people are so poor that they probably have nowhere to wash and keep clean, they have old and dirty clothes on, no dentists or even a toothbrush. I'm not surprised he uses this word to describe them!

 

What is the missing word?

drunken

ugly

criminals

  • Question 1

Most of Charles Dickens' Victorian readers would have been wealthy, educated men (and some women) who lived in large houses in nice, clean and safe areas.

 

How would they react when they read the extract about the poor end of town? Choose THREE options below. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Shock
Disbelief
Horror
  • Question 2

When Charles Dickens writes that Scrooge had "never" been there before, what does this tell us about him, as a character?

CORRECT ANSWER
That he has not been confronted with poverty and only knows how rich people live.
  • Question 3

Translate these Victorian words from the extract into modern-day English by matching up the words below.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Slipshod
Untidy
Cesspools
Overflowing toilets
Disgorged
Vomited
Wretched
Miserable
  • Question 4

Charles Dickens uses the same literary device twice in this phrase:

"reeked with crime, with filth, and misery"

 

Which literary device is it?

CORRECT ANSWER
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
Crime and misery cannot really "reek" (smell bad), so he is using a metaphor here.
  • Question 5

In the extract, is Charles Dickens blaming the poor people for their situation? Which of the following words seem to blame them, and which show sympathy towards them?

CORRECT ANSWER
 BlameSympathy
Drunken
Ugly
Crime
Misery
  • Question 6

Re-read the extract again closely. What is the tone towards poor people? Which of the following sentences best describes how Dickens wants us to feel towards them?

CORRECT ANSWER
That they are hopeless and need help from rich people to have better lives.
  • Question 7

Read this student's work:

Dickens even describes the buildings and streets as "foul" and "wretched". This makes us feel even more _______ for the people because they have to live in such a horrible place.

 

Which word is missing?

CORRECT ANSWER
sorry
  • Question 8

Read this student's work:

When the author describes the people as _______ it seems harsh, at first. However, the people are so poor that they probably have nowhere to wash and keep clean, they have old and dirty clothes on, no dentists or even a toothbrush. I'm not surprised he uses this word to describe them!

 

What is the missing word?

CORRECT ANSWER
ugly
EDDIE SAYS
Dickens uses all three of the above words to describe the people but "ugly" is the only quotation which fits into the context of the point this student is making.
---- OR ----

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