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Monday, December 19, 2016

ESL: Charlie Brown Christmas Listening Speaking Activities

50 years after it was created, the animated cartoon  "A Charlie Brown Christmas continues to be one of the most beloved Christmas holiday TV specials.  

Why is it so special? According to Robert Loyd, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, " it isn't about any invented crisis in the life of an imaginary  creature. There are no elves, no reindeer, no Santa. It's just about us. 

The Spirit of Christmas 
 Charles Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts"  wrote a little fable  about how a meaningful  holiday such as Christmas has become so commercialized that it has  lost any meaning. 

The only magic Christmas now allows is the kind we create ourselves when we pay attention to someone besides ourselves.  

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" remains true to both the spirit of Christmas and to the spirit of "Peanuts."

Although it t emphasizes the need for hope and love, it still reminds us that  the Christmas season can bring anxiety and a feeling of being alone and unloved for many people

 "I know nobody likes me," sighs Charlie Brown in the animated special.  "Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?"

The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree 
The sad little Christmas tree Charlie buys for the school play represents all the world's underfed, unseen, unloved, ( trees, animals, people...) .However, it can still be rescued. 

In fact, with a little love, care and attention, it can truly become something special and even magic. 

Watch the special and learn about one of the most popular idioms about Christmas that comes from the story: "A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. " 

Can you figure out what it means?



How Well did you Understand? 

Watch the film as many times as you need to. Then see how  many questions you can answer in the quiz below. 




Now, can you answer the question: What is a Charlie Brown Christmas tree?
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VIDEOS: New

The Making of a Charlie Brown Christmas  a 15 minute documentary on the story behind the making of A Charlie Brown Christmas featuring interviews with the people involved in the special.  
       
Celebrating 50 Years Canadian jazz musician Jerry Granelli opens up about recording the now-iconic score to the beloved TV special

It's Your 50th Birthday Charlie Brown  In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the beloved tale, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Kristen Bell will hosts a 30 minute TV special. which includes live performances, from the memorable music of Vince Guaraldi, to Kristen Chenoweth singing “Happiness” from the “Peanuts” Broadway hit, and a performance from Matthew Morrison of an original song, “Just Like Me.” Other guests are Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men, Pentatonix, David Benoit and The All-American Boys Chorus. D

ABC Celebrates 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown Christmas radio
National Public Radio ( NPR) explores what makes this ageless special endure in interviews with experts. 

READING: NEW 
Find out more about the history and little known facts about Charlie Brown's Christmas. Read opinions for its success as well as about recent controversies surrounding its "religious" tone. 

Discussion Questions

   1    What did you enjoy most about the special?

   2.    Why is it that Charlie Brown as well as ourselves feel like we should have a certain 
          type of feeling at Christmas? 

   3.   Why  is there more pressure on us to feel happy during the Christmas season than 
        at other time of year? Why is it we feel that there is something wrong  with us if we 
        don't  feel this way? 

  4.    Studies show that a lot of people get depressed during or just after holidays like

          Christmas ? Why do you think this happens?  

  5.  What should depressed people do about this " depression" or sadness?

  6.  According to Charlie Browns' friend Linus, what is Christmas all about? 

   7.  Do you think Christmas has become too commercial? Explain. How could they make

         it more  meaningful? 

   8.  Charlie Brown refused to "go along  with" ( agree with what everyone else thought
        was  normal when he was sure there was something better or more meaningful 
        available. When is it good to go "along"  with everyone  around you and when is it
        better to make your own way? 






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