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Great Pumpkin Room Transformation

Watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a tradition in my family that I was so excited to share with my students. This is a fun Kindergarten activity that I do every year to review the skills we have learning including, counting to 20, making numbers 5-10 and labeling pictures. Read below for the FREE Resources. But you can do with any grade.

What does our Great Pumpkin Day Look like:

Morning Seat Work: Coloring Making a Hat

I am all about simple and cheap room transformations. When arrive in the morning I put plastic table clothes on each table along with the hat that they are going to make, (which is in included the FREE Resource). Doing a simple change such as adding table clothes and playing the song Linus and Lucy as they walk in, can make a large impact. My kindergarteners were SO excited when they walked in. The students colored the hat and I stapled it to a sentence strip. The table clothes are from the Dollar Tree.

Social Studies and Reading: Teaching the History of the Peanuts Comic and Reading "It's A Great Pumpkin

We learned about the history of Charlie Brown and his friends. In the FREE powerpoint I created, we discussed the influence of the "Peanuts" Comic Strip and the importance of the introduction of Franklin "Peanuts" is a beloved and influential American comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz. It features a group of child characters, the most iconic of whom is Charlie Brown.

Here's an overview of the history of the "Peanuts" comic strip:

1. Creation and Early Years (1950-1959):

  • "Peanuts" was created by Charles M. Schulz and first appeared on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers.

  • The central character, Charlie Brown, debuted as a young boy who often faced challenges and insecurities.

  • Over the years, more characters were introduced, including Snoopy (Charlie Brown's imaginative beagle), Lucy, Linus, Franklin and others.

2. Rise to Popularity (1960s):

  • "Peanuts" gained immense popularity during the 1960s, becoming one of the most widely read comic strips in the world.

  • The animated TV specials, starting with "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in 1965, further propelled the popularity of the characters and the franchise.

3. Legacy and Cultural Impact:

  • "Peanuts" became a cultural phenomenon, with Schulz being hailed as one of the most influential cartoonists of the 20th century.

  • The comic strip was syndicated in thousands of newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and spawned a wide range of merchandise, including books, toys, and clothing.

4. Final Years and Conclusion:

  • Charles M. Schulz continued to draw "Peanuts" until his health deteriorated.

  • The final original "Peanuts" strip was published on February 13, 2000, the day after Schulz passed away

5. Franklin

Franklin is one of the notable characters in the Peanuts known for being the first Black character to appear regularly in a mainstream comic strip.

Franklin made his first appearance in the Peanuts comic strip on July 31, 1968. He was introduced by Charles M. Schulz in response to a letter from a schoolteacher, Harriet Glickman, who suggested that the Peanuts strip could benefit from more racial diversity. Harriet was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr to write to Charles M. Schulz. Incorporating Franklin into the Peanuts gang was a significant step toward diversity and inclusion in comic strips at the time.

Franklin's introduction was met with both praise and criticism, reflecting the ongoing social and cultural discussions around race and representation. Franklin became an integral part of the Peanuts universe, contributing to the strip's ongoing legacy of addressing important societal issues through the lens of relatable and endearing characters.

Writing: Students Draw them as a Peanuts character and label their picture

I model for the students how to draw and label on an anchor chart using Charlie Brown as the example. I model how I used sounds to sound out words and I show the correct spelling for some words such as "eye". The students can come help you fill out the chart as well. Then we make a list describing things about Charlie Brown.

Then, the students learn to draw themselves as a "Peanuts" Character, learning about different illustrators is a great way to inspire your students as illustrators.

Math: Making Numbers 5-10 Starting with a 5 group

For math, I using masking tape or painters tape I make a giant 5 frame (5 squares in a row on the floor). We use pumpkins to make the different numbers 5-10 starting with a group of 5. This is getting students ready for teen numbers and beyond. The students love each having a turn making the number using the 5 frame and the pumpkins and making the equation. The other students are writing the equation on their whiteboards.

Math Centers: Making pumpkin patches with play dough and candy pumpkins

At the table, each student got a play dough and the table shares the candy pumpkins. I also put a bag that I decorated to look like different peanuts characters with the number cards 1-20 on each table. The students pull out a card and count out the pumpkins and making them into an arrangement on the play dough creating different pumpkin patches. It is a great way to working on counting numbers 1-20 and to work on one to one correspondence. Number cards are included in the free resource.

STEM Challenge: Making a trap to catch the Great Pumpkin

This is my students favorite activity from the day! It is a great way to end the day. I reuse the candy pumpkins from the counting math activity and provide popsicle sticks students have to build a trap to catch the Great Pumpkin. I do not recommend using tooth picks. They do not work, the candy pumpkins are too hard.


Happy Great Pumpkin Day!


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