Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Carol Vocabulary Activity - Capacious Amounts of Coal

I'm not usually a big fan of handing out candy in the classroom.  It can set a bad precedent, and often backfires.  However, while reading A Christmas Carol this week, with my small reading groups, I made an exception. First off, because it was the last week before Christmas break, and everyone was handing out goodies. And secondly, those little bags of candy coal on the end aisles of all the grocery stores, at this time of year, are perfect for Dickens' classic.

I used them in our classroom as incentive for close reading.  The word capacious, meaning ample, roomy, and generous - was one of our Stave 2 vocabulary words, from when Fezziwig adjusts his "capacious waistcoat".  But, the word is used twice in Stave 3, as well, in connection with the Ghost of Christmas Present.

This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. 

How it bared its breadth of breast, and opened its capacious palm, and floated on, outpouring, with a generous hand, its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach!

So, as we read Stave 3 aloud, I had the students on the lookout for the word.  When they spotted it, all they had to do was raise their hand, and point it out on the page, and they could receive a piece of coal - for a total of two pieces of coal each for the chapter.  Not exactly a capacious amount, but enough to keep the students engaged, and following along while their classmates took their turns reading.

1 comment:

Ticia said...

It always pays to keep them paying attention.