A Christmas Carol ESL Lesson Plan [Free PDF]


The A Christmas Carol ESL Lesson Plan provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with classic literature while also improving their English language skills. This lesson plan aims to explore the timeless themes of compassion, redemption, and the spirit of giving found in Charles Dickens’ beloved novella. By delving into this rich narrative, students can enhance their vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical thinking abilities. Moreover, the lesson encourages cultural awareness and empathy by examining the transformation of the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge. This topic not only offers linguistic benefits but also fosters introspection and discussions about moral values in a festive context.

Vocabulary Building


The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
Extreme greed for wealth or material gain.
The quality of being kind and generous.
The state of feeling alone or disconnected from others.
Characteristic of a person who is unwilling to spend money; stingy.

Contextual Usage

1. The redemption of Scrooge is the central theme in ‘A Christmas Carol’.
2. Scrooge’s avarice led him to ignore the needs of others.
3. Ebenezer’s transformation showcases the power of generosity.
4. The isolation felt by Scrooge reflects the consequences of his actions.
5. Scrooge’s miserly ways alienated him from those around him.

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ESL Warm-up Activity

To kick off the A Christmas Carol ESL lesson, start with a thought-provoking activity. Begin by displaying pictures that represent various emotions such as joy, sadness, anger, and fear. Ask students to describe these emotions using adjectives and adverbs related to the holiday season. For instance, how would they describe “joy” during Christmas? Encourage them to think about how these emotions are portrayed in ‘A Christmas Carol’. This activity not only captures the students’ attention but also sets the tone for discussing the emotional aspects of the story.

Main ESL Lesson Activities

Vocabulary Activity: Word Scramble

Divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a set of jumbled words related to the story. Encourage them to unscramble the words within a time limit. After unscrambling, ask each group to create sentences using the vocabulary words and share them with the class for discussion.

Listening Exercise: Character Interviews

Assign each student a character from ‘A Christmas Carol’. Ask them to prepare interview questions based on their characters’ traits and experiences. Then conduct mock interviews in pairs, where students take turns being the interviewer and the character being interviewed. This activity encourages attentive listening and speaking skills.

Roleplay: Scene Recreation

Assign key scenes from the novella to small groups of students. Have each group reinterpret their scene, incorporating modern language or settings while keeping true to the original emotions and dialogue. This hands-on exercise promotes creativity, collaboration, and comprehension of significant moments in ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Reading and Writing Task: Letter Writing

Ask students to assume they are one of the characters (e.g., Scrooge) after their transformation. Instruct them to write a letter expressing their change of heart to another character—such as Bob Cratchit or Fred—in line with their role in the story. This task fosters understanding of character perspectives through expressive writing.

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ESL Homework Assignment

Ask students to select a theme from ‘A Christmas Carol’ and write a short reflective essay discussing how the chosen theme relates to their own lives or contemporary society. This task encourages critical thinking and personal expression while reinforcing comprehension of the lesson’s themes and vocabulary.



Through this A Christmas Carol ESL lesson plan, students have explored essential vocabulary related to compassion, redemption, and empathy. They have engaged in activities that enhanced their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills while gaining insight into the themes of the novella.


Encourage students to ponder on how understanding these timeless themes and language elements can aid in their overall language development. Prompt them to consider how the lessons learned from ‘A Christmas Carol’ can be applied in their daily communication and understanding of literature.

Why this topic is great for ESL learning

The A Christmas Carol ESL lesson plan offers a compelling way to enhance language skills by delving into rich vocabulary, diverse themes, and character dynamics. This topic provides a gateway for students to explore complex emotions and moral concepts while honing their linguistic abilities through engaging activities. It also encourages cultural awareness and empathy, making it an excellent choice for ESL learning as it goes beyond language proficiency to foster holistic development.