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Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Dickens!

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

February 7 marks Charles Dickens' 200th birthday. An English author from the Victorian period, Dickens continues to be widely popular for his iconic novels and characters. His great works were not written merely as a hobby for entertainment, but were also a social commentary on the working conditions and status of the poor. Thus, Dickens as a historical figure can be used across subject areas in the classroom.

For example, using the "Factory Work" segment from The Industrial Revolution (1750-1915) in the GPB Digital Portal, students can explore reasons that society moved from individual merchants to enormous factory compounds and some of the consequences of that change. You may also cross platforms using the writing prompt depicting an illustration from Oliver Twist and follow-up questions to explore the relationship between fiction and social commentary.

This type of cross platform instruction has been encouraged during the Common Core training sessions over the past couple of weeks. You can see the schedule for upcoming Common Core sessions in our latest GPB Education Worth Sharing newsletter.

Regardless of what we’re teaching, we can keep in mind the subjects and tools – from reading and writing to technology integration – that can give the material more fullness and application.