Pumpkin Patrol: Celebrating "The Great Pumpkin" October 28 2009
I have collected Snoopy and Peanuts stuff for several years now, and I've filled a few totes when I've had to pack it all up. Finally I decided I wanted it all out so I could see it, and my office and classroom are decorated with Snoopy stuff.
Kids love it too, and as the year progresses, we watch what I consider the main holiday movies that feature the Peanuts gang. The first one of the year?
The Great Pumpkin!
The Great Pumpkin is reserved for the afternoon of Halloween - or the last weekday before Halloween, should it fall on a weekend - usually at the end of the day. We've spent the day doing a variety of pumpkin activities, and I've bribed the kids with a viewing of The Great Pumpkin if they make good choices throughout the day. The program is only about a half hour long, so keep that in mind if you want to do any activities with the viewing, or if you just want to use it as a fun community activity at the end of the day!
There are questions that arise with each Peanuts holiday program, and The Great Pumpkin is no exception. Use these questions for discussion after the program:
Why does Charlie Brown only get "a rock" while trick-or-treating?
Why does Charlie Brown have so little hair?
What is the Red Baron? What is Snoopy pretending to do on his dog house?
What does Linus believe in despite other people trying to change his mind?
Do you believe in something even though others make fun of you?
Maybe some of your students believe that Linus was justified in believing in the existence of The Great Pumpkin. If some students agree or others disagree, have each side write down their reasons why they think they're right. Moderate a discussion between both sides.
Another activity is to have your students compare and contrast another figure - such as Santa or the Easter Bunny - with The Great Pumpkin using a Venn Diagram. Then they can write a paragraph about their observations, declaring whether or not they would believe in the Great Pumpkin as well.
Everyone Sing Along!
Carols aren't just for Christmas! To help celebrate, I've provided some Great Pumpkin songs that I found on the Flickr photostream of Deadicated.
Using Snoopy in the classroom is a great way to bring some fun into learning, and to give hardworking kids a chance to celebrate the season.