Recreating A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving November 24 2009

[caption id="attachment_3890" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Photo by moonjuice"]Photo by moonjuice[/caption]

Charlie Brown movies are the greatest in existence, especially for use in the classroom. They are timeless. They are unoffensive. They are funny. And there's one for every celebrated holiday, Thanksgiving included!

I show A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving every year around this time, and it's highly anticipated no matter what age group I'm teaching (yep, even 6th graders love it). The older kids invariably pick up that at the end, Woodstock is eating turkey, and I even have to admit that it's...well...gross. And also funny.

And while you won't be eating a turkey dinner in your classroom with your kids, you can celebrate Thanksgiving by recreating the dinner served in this timeless classic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

The Film

You must show the movie. It is usually sold in a three-pack that includes Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas - consider it an investment in Holiday Sanity in the Classroom. The three-pack will cost between $20 and $30, which makes each individual disc about $10; plus, each disc now includes a bonus special so there are two movies on each one.

I usually show the movie on a Friday afternoon, or the last day before Thanksgiving break. Make time, however, for the food part of your classroom Thanksgiving celebration.

The Food

Cooking a turkey in the classroom is just a bit complicated. Recreating the Thanksgiving meal from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is much easier, and a lot more fun for your kids!

First, work out the popcorn details. Snoopy cooks it the old-fashioned way, in a pot on the stove. If you can get away with it, grab a single burner, plug it in, and pop the popcorn Snoopy style - the kids will love it! If you want to avoid bringing in all the materials, Jiffy Pop is a good alternative. And, of course, there is always microwave popcorn (you might need help with this option if the nearest microwave is in a staff room).

Next, there's the toast. You might want to recruit parent helpers for this part, asking them to bring in their own toasters. Provide Wonder Bread (Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was in the 1960's after all, the heyday of white bread) and butter. If you want to save on supplies, have your parent helpers or students limit each person to one piece of toast or cut the pieces in half. Also, if you can, you must collect the finished pieces on a metal kabob, which is also Snoopy Style.

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving SceneThe third part of the food preparation are the ice cream sundaes seen on the table. They are, of course, absent from this particular image; but trust me, they're there. The cups have whipped cream and a cherry on top, and if you don't want to use clear cups and also cut down on supplies, use small dixie cups.

The rest of the meal is easy - jelly beans and pretzel sticks! Hand out a small serving to each student's paper plate, and your meal is complete.

The Fun

In the movie, Peppermint Patty is quite the grouch, complaining about the meal that Snoopy and Co. have provided for Thanksgiving. Later, she apologizes and practices a bit of gratefulness about the whole affair. While your class is eating this recreating Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal, it might be a fun idea to discuss with your students what they're thankful for, and their favorite Thanksgiving traditions that might be a little different from other families.

This time of year can be challenging, especially when dealing with overexcited kids. Take a break with Charlie Brown, and celebrate your own Thanksgiving celebration with your classroom!