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Charles Dickens

Celebrate Charles Dickens with These Curriculum Resources

Found In: Literature & Language Arts, 6-8, 9-12

David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page is an old curiosity shop of a website filled with many resources and links to still more sources to celebrate the novels and short stories of Charles Dickens.

A color-coded Timeline shows where he lived, when the novels were serialized, when he edited the weekly magazines, what happened in history, and who was monarch.

A novels page provides links to online print editions and their accompanying illustrations. A list of major characters in each novel is cross-linked to the Dickens Characters page.

If you want to read the novels as they originally appeared in serial form, Victorian Serial Novels provides The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, and Little Dorrit. The site indicates which chapters were grouped together so that print editions can be more easily used.

Many of the novels have been filmed or recorded. Local libraries can often provide DVDs and audiotapes. Web-based sources of recordings are available as well. For example, a free dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol can be downloaded at LibroVox. Other Dickens works currently available or projected are listed on the site.

Dickens filled his novels with unusual characters with equally unusual names like Sweedlepipe, Honeythunder, Bumble, Pumblechook, and M'Choakumchild. David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page has an alphabetical cross-linked glossary of more than 400.

Recommended Lessons

David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page can furnish information and leads to more for the following lessons.

Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party
Students in grades 6-8 attend a 19th Century party as a character from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. To prepare for their roles, students must understand the values and customs Dickens' characters represented in Victorian society. Students collaboratively research the life and times of Charles Dickens as it relates to a character and individually write and present first-person character analyses.

There Are No Small Parts: Minor Characters in David Copperfield
Students in grades 9-12 "fill in the gaps" of the life story of a minor character from David Copperfield. Small groups choose a minor character from the novel and determine everything they already know about him or her. They then use Web research and imaginative thinking to create a "back story" for the character.



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