Academic Reason to show this movie

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by ImaSuperTeacher, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. ImaSuperTeacher

    ImaSuperTeacher Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2010

    I want to show my 5th grade classes "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" on Tuesday the 23rd before we get out for Thanksgiving Break. I teach English Language Arts and Reading. I need to have an academic reason to show this movie in my classroom. How can I use this for reading? I can't think of anything other than I want to show how an author's work can come to life. I feel like I NEED more than just that...Help!!!!



    ETA: I feel like all we do in my class is grammar, spelling, and reading workshops. I work at a charter school that is college prep. When I'm not teaching them the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills they need, we are taking Mock TAKS and Benchmarks. I feel like these 5th graders are tested to death and need something fun once in a while.
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 17, 2010


    If you can't think of an academic reason to show the movie, maybe that tells you something?
     
  4. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Compare and contrast Pilgrim's Thanksgiving and modern Thanksgiving = )
     
  5. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    You can do lots of history and social studies with it. Like TeacherApr said, you could do a compare and contrast--Venn diagram--for literacy. If I remember correctly, didn't he serve toast, jelly beans, etc? You could do math--Example--if 22 students come to dinner, 1/2 of them bring a guest, and each person gets 8 jelly beans, how many bags of 25 jelly beans would you need? And so on!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Or it's how the "real"/original story gets changed for TV... kind of like when they've watched a movie adaptation of their favorite book and you wonder why stuff's been left out!
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sequencing? Plot development? Irony? Satire? Character? Setting? Perspective? Critical thinking skills?

    I don't remember enough about this particular Charlie Brown, but these are things I've taught using movies before...
     
  8. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Don't see it working, sorry. In today's environment of performance and test results, I would hate to see what would happen if those scores end up falling short and there is an indication you've 'wasted' a day on a movie.

    Do mad libs with them, die cut paper into leaves and have kids write out what they are thankful for and make a tree- read Silverstein's Giving Tree; with a little creativity you can do something academically relevant but still fun and a bit of a break. Kids can veg in front of a tv at home.
     
  9. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    lol wow......there is NOTHING wrong with showing a movie. What ever happened to having fun while learning?!
     
  10. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    I'm quite sure my students have fun while learning, and it's not by watching Charlie Brown all day. A variety of activities and experiences, including appropriate videos, is definitely justified.

    Show the movie, fine, take a break and enjoy. But trying to justify it with an academic reason? Seems hokey to me!
     
  11. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Watching Charlie Brown all day? hardly! It's a 30 min movie for crying out loud! RELAX!!!!!
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I must be a terrible teacher. On Friday, my speech students are going to watch My Fair Lady and write about enunciation, posture, etc. from the unit we are covering right now.

    In my other elective, after we do a group activity about different fantasy subgenres, they will watch probably an episode of a TV show so that they don't have to finish it after break.

    My students are learning. They have fun. We do a variety of activities each week. Sometimes one of those activities is watching a movie, then doing some sort of academic activity to follow up.

    If anyone's interested, I have a really good folk-tale lesson for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (the old one) that takes about an hour period.
     
  13. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    They are still kids! They should be allowed to enjoy an occassional movie every once in a while. I know we aren't going to get anything accomplished on the half day before our break... the kids are too wild!

    I don't know the movie, so I can't offer any ideas, but I hope that your kids have fun!
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I would love this!
     
  15. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    I would use the movie, and I am going to show it. Use it for the ideas posted, they are great.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2010

    Charles M. Schultz has created a virtual world using pen and paper (rather than a computer program) filled with characters all of us can identify with.

    Charlie Brown represents the average person and (by proxy) the reader. While there are many sub-plots, the main storylines in the Peanut's world revolve around Charlie Brown, his hopes and dreams (the little red-haired girl), his frustrations (always losing his baseball games, Lucy pulling the football away every single time he tries to kick it, etc) and his everyday experiences with other characters.

    Each character in the Peanut's world has a well-established and well-developed personality. And each one represents a type of person we encounter in our own daily lives. Charlie Brown shows us acceptable ways to handle different situations that come up when dealing with these people.

    So, on one level, the cartoon addresses how each character interacts with different personalities on a daily basis - which is a good lesson for the students to learn and emulate.

    On another level, this particular movie illustrates how writers and filmmakers will often use their created-worlds to address real-world issues. The movie illustrates what Thanksgiving has become (a family get-together that centers around a large meal, but may also include expressing thanks for different things), but it also explains the historical context of the holiday. WHY the Pilgrims held the dinner in the first place and that the event didn't just include meeting with family, but also promoted tolerance and acceptance of other races and cultures.

    So the program addresses several great lessons for the kids: illustrating how to interact with different personalities and acceptable ways to handle conflict that often comes up, providing a historical context for a holiday that (like many others) has become commercialized over the years, and promoting tolerance and acceptance of those different from ourselves.

    Any ONE of those is a legitimate reason for showing it to your kids.
     
  17. TeachingHistory

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    I would use it, even if its just to reinforce a concept already covered (plot, sequencing, theme, written story vs. movie, social studies....). I know a elem. music teacher who uses A Charlie Brown Christmas every year because of the music in it. She has the kids pick out instraments, how the music adds to the show, the type of music used, etc.
     
  18. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    :yeahthat: :)
     
  19. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    "So the program addresses several great lessons for the kids: illustrating how to interact with different personalities and acceptable ways to handle conflict that often comes up, providing a historical context for a holiday that (like many others) has become commercialized over the years, and promoting tolerance and acceptance of those different from ourselves."

    Well said Cerek! :)
     
  20. Ellensmom

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    Nov 21, 2010

    Exactly! In fact it is probably closer to 20 without the commercials! Anyway, if you MUST prove academic connection, you can compare and contrast it with their own personal traditions. Also, I think there is a lesson in there about manners- do we REALLY invite ourselves over to someone's house on a FAMILY holiday?
    Good luck. BTW- I will probably show it to my class as well. ;)
     
  21. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    Most films can provide an opportunity for writing assignments (changing the ending, adding to the story, writing a diary entry for a character, etc), or analyzing story elements. You can probably make an anticipation chart for some elements of the story, make predictions about what will happen, and then use the film's story to have questions about character, setting, plot elements, and other things just as you would for a book.

    You can also tie the Thanksgiving story to something else the class may have read with a similar topic (compare/contrast the characters from the film and something you've read).

    Mock interviews with characters from the film, etc.
     
  22. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    I agree. Watching TV and films can really give your brain a lot of exercise. Contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary to watch a film/show with your brain turned "off." If you take the script from these films or shows, they are essentially exactly like a written story or reader's theater play that you can use for analysis. Watching the story can be a great motivator for students, and there are so many ways to incorporate essential skills into what they're viewing.

    As long as it's tied to something academic, I don't think there is anything wrong with it. In fact, I plan on incorporating media into academic lessons as much as possible. :)
     
  23. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    The music alone makes it relavent...
     
  24. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Sometimes good learning can come from unlikely places. I use nail polish to teach my kids about minerals. I have girls rooting through their makeup trying to identify minerals they have seen in class and boys looking up to the stuff to impress their girlfriends.

    I don't remember anything about this movie, so can't comment on whether or not it can be a part of a fun academic experience, but since it is only 30 minutes, if it can be followed up with a suite of valid learning activities, it sounds good to me.

    Also, though I am not in favor of randomly showing movies/videos to kids, there is a place for them in the classroom when used judiciously. It helps kids develop methods of thinking critically about the media that they consume--not at all useless.

    I once showed The Core to an elective class. That is an almost completely worthless movie from a scientific standard, however it gave us a really great springboard to talk about mantle composition, the Earth's magnetic field, and how movies play fast and loose with science and how to spot fallacies. There is no way that I can think of that those kids would have dived into pretty complex and abstract geophysics topics without that introduction. We went really deep! I was so amazed and impressed. Since it was an elective, I extended the unit with a few more days of activities just because they got so into it. We ended up veering off into a little tangent about polar expeditions.

    (I wouldn't have done that in a regular non-elective course simply because I feel the 2 hours devoted to the movie needs to be compensated for with significant class time devoted to the activities so that the movie itself is a small percentage of the lesson material.)
     
  25. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    It is such a shame that the thought of showing a movie-for 30 minutes-can cause such a dilemma. I use movies and videos to reinforce concepts taught. My kids LOVE Bill Nye the Science guy. We watch and stop the movie to talk about how his experiments show the concept we have learned in action.
    Showing Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a great idea, for all the reasons stated.
     
  26. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I would love a copy of this if you could PM it to me! thanks!
     
  27. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Me too! Me too! Please :)
     
  28. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I don't understand why some administrators and teachers have vilified television and movies. Are there poorly made programs and shows out there? Absolutely. There are trashy novels, too. The medium itself is not the problem!

    You've been given lots of great ideas here for why and how you can use the film, and I think you should!

    To think that a child making a turkey hand is somehow more educationally valuable than watching Charlie Brown is laughable to me. Both activities could be meaningless and both could be used productively. Again, it's the lesson, not the medium.
     
  29. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Where do you get Bill Nye the Science Guy to show in class? I am planning on showing Magic School bus videos this year. Whatever engages them and teaches them a few standards is fine with me, in moderation. Have you looked up Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to see if there are any lessons/standards that go with it?
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have a full set in our school library (probably 50 or more).

    Check here to watch.
     
  31. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    check out billnye.com too for supplements and segments of videos
     
  32. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Our school has the entire Bill Nye series. I choose the ones that cover the standards I teach. He is great!
     
  33. juliechsa

    juliechsa Rookie

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    Do you get to have a little Thanksgiving treat or celebration? Could you show the movie then? Is there any "dead" time in the day that you could use? My school doesn't have any specials on the day before Thanksgiving because it is a half day. I end up with LOTS of extra time with my kids that day - a movie seems like a fine idea.
     

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