Be a Peanuts Character

There are steps to this one:

  1.  Form groups of 4-5. Explain that one of the reasons we love cartoon characters is that we kind of recognize something of ourself in them. That is, sometimes we are not neat, sometimes we are creative, sometimes we are hard working, sometimes we like to organize somethings, etc. We all have a little bit of each of the characters in ourselves.
  2. When I say, Go, you are going to select one character where you could tell a story about a time when you were like that. Whoever names that character first has it, and nobody else does…so be fast.
  3. Tell each other your story in one minute…that’s 5 minutes for your whole group.
  4. It’s important to state that everyone has each characteristic inside – because you don’t want to accidentally set up a bullying situation in your classroom, where one student is referred to all year as pigpen, for example.
  5. Give an example of the pigpen in you – it’s a story, not an announcement.Mine is that I’m really neat in almost all aspects of my life, except my car.  My car has boxes of materials from workshops not yet put away, bottles waiting to be taken to recycling, empty coke cans from eating in the car, etc. 
  6. Monitor the energy in the room, and close off sharing. 
  7. Now the writing.  Tell them to start with the story they just told, then add stories for other characteristics.  The Lucy in me is….
  8. If they run out of story before they reach the target number of words or time assigned, tell them to just select another character and keep going.  
  9.  It’s easy to just choose a set of 5 characters from any Pixar and Disney movie that are distinct. Generalize the characteristics to those all humans could have. (Don’t use The Simpsons though – I don’t want students talking about “the Homer in me”. )
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