Sunday, October 6, 2013

It's A Good Life, Charlie Brown! - ESL Worksheet

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Today's article is on that famous comic strip, Peanuts. I grew up with Peanuts and still enjoy it tremendously, today. Peanuts has grown from a simple strip to a cartoon and icon that is used on everything from cupcakes to greeting cards. I hope your students enjoy the week's article.

Thank you for visiting and have a great week!

Charlie Brown
It's A Good Life, Charlie Brown!
Who hasn't heard of Peanuts? Peanuts is one of the most famous comic strips
in the world. It was started by Charles Schulz, in 1950. A comic tells a story using cartoon drawings and words. Peanuts' main character is that simple guy, Charlie Brown. It has been running since 1950, for more than 60 years!

Charles Schulz loved to draw cartoons as a child. He was also very good at it. 

In fact, Schulz was so good that his friends often asked him to make cartoons for them. 

Before starting Peanuts, Schulz drew single-panel cartoons for newspapers. Each strip was separate from others like it. He did a strip called Li'l Folks. Schulz tried to sell Li'l Folks to large newspapers, but no one was interested in it. He then reworked Li'l Folks into Peanuts as we know it today. United Feature Syndicate liked his Peanuts format and asked Schulz to do a weekly strip.

Peanuts was different from other comics of its day. Peanuts' comic strips were all about the same characters. Readers also liked that the strips continued from week to week. People loved the stories told in Peanuts comics. In fact, Peanuts became so popular that other people began to imitate it.

There are four main characters in Peanuts: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Lucy. 

1) Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown is the boy next door, a boy with a big round head. He is around 5-6 years old during most of his Peanuts life. Charlie Brown tried and tried to kick a football, but never really made it. However, he never, ever gave up

2) Snoopy

Snoopy is Charlie Brown's dog and perhaps more famous than his owner! Snoopy was spunky and successful at whatever he did. He was different from Charlie Brown in this way. 

3) Linus

Linus is Charlie Brown's best friend. Linus was caring and artistic. Schulz used Linus to reach out to the sensitive and artsy people in his audience

Charlie Brown tries to kick the football.

4) Lucy 

Lucy is Linus' bossy older sister. She was mostly selfish and cranky, but she could be kind to Linus. Lucy believed that she could do anything.

Charles Schulz achieved many things through his strip. 

Schulz made women feel that they could be powerful and demanding. He included an African American, Franklin, as a playmate. Franklin also attended school with white children. This was at a time when many people wanted African Americans to have their own schools.

Peanuts grew from a small idea to the most popular comic strip ever. Charles Schulz died in 2000, only days after his last strip. He will be missed by his fans around the world.


1. What is a comic strip?
2. What is a single-panel cartoon?
3. How was Peanuts different from other cartoons?
4. How did Peanuts first start out?
5. Who are Charlie Browns two best friends?
6. What is one way that Schulz influenced others, through his comic strip?
7. For exactly how many years did Charles Schulz do the Peanuts strip?


* Choose two Peanuts characters. Tell how they are similar and how they are alike.
* Choose a favorite Peanut strip and write about it.
* Draw your own comic strip and exchange with a classmate.
* What is your favorite comic strip? Describe it and explain what you like about it.

* THINK & WRITE Many artists believe that art has many purposes. What are some purposes that art fulfills? Art has been used to make a statement, be it religious, political, or social. In what ways did Schulz make a statement through his comic strip?

Thank you for visiting!
Faiza Raintree

To download the worksheet for this activity, please click below.

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