Secondary Smorgasbord: Teachers' Traditions

11 December 2014
I never realized just how many classroom holiday traditions I have, until I tried to settle on one to write about. Does that mean I honor traditions? Or does it mean that I'm stuck on repeat? Is my whole life Groundhog Day? Am I destined to be that teacher everyone rolls their eyes at? Poor thing, there she goes again with that project... 

Enough with my existential crisis. Truth is, I just happen to love so much about the holiday season. For several years we would read Dickens' original version of A Christmas Carol. I grew to know it so well that I could probably play every part on stage. It kills me every single time Scrooge tells Marley's ghost the rationale behind his appearance, "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” 
If you are lucky enough to be teaching A Christmas Carol, you are going to love this:

Created in 1901, it's the first known film adaptation of A Christmas Carol. The entire story is told in under five minutes, and it even has some impressive special effects for the time. By special effects, I mean that Marley's face is superimposed on the door knocker. Okay, this isn't a George Lucas film, but it's 1901 for goodness sake.

Let me know what you think!


  1. Existential crises aside, I bet the kids loved A Christmas Carol. It's such a good story. I had a principal who would come to my room every year and read it aloud to the 6th graders. It was a leftover from his days as a teacher that he was loathe to give up, and they loved it!

  2. Such a fun addition to "The Christmas Carol" -- students will love it!

  3. I am right there with you! I LOVE teaching "The Christmas Carol" this time of year. It's the perfect celebration of the season!

  4. I love some of the really early films for novels. They are often so true to the story. Their dramatic, and in this case, creepy, nature,, i.e. Marley on the doorknocker is fun. Terrific short short.

    Happy Holidays,

  5. What a great clip! Maybe you could make an assignment where the students need to make their own throw back video for you to enjoy!

  6. I haven't seen A Christmas Carol in years! Guess what I'll be doing tonight! ;)

  7. I love the clip you shared. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade. Can you imagine-- those people never knew they'd be on YouTube. You Who? It's definitely important to keep in touch with traditions, and these amazing stories and how they were portrayed. Thanks for sharing!