"Charlotte's Web" is a classic children's story that follows the adventures of a young girl named Fern and her pig, Wilbur. She saves this pig from slaughter as a young piglet because she knows he is special. With the help of Charlotte, a spider who lives in Wilbur's barn, they keep Fern's father happy by winning a blue ribbon at the local fair. There are a variety of literature projects you can use with this story to promote its themes and messages.
Read "Charlotte's Web" with your class and watch the animated version of the story. After doing so, create a Venn Diagram comparing the two stories. Draw two circles, with the two overlapping to create a center oval. This is the place students write the similarities between the book and the movie. The other two non-overlapping circles should be used to record the differences between the stories.
The book is written from the perspective of a narrator, but you can evaluate the students' comprehension of various parts of the book by asking them to retell a section of the book from one of the other character's perspective. Assign students different sections of the book, and at the end of the story, bring all the students together and ask them to share their re-written versions with the class. Discuss the differences between your students' chapters versus the ones in the original story.
Charlotte the spider spins special words in her web throughout the story. Create your own vocabulary word web out of string. Glue the string to a poster board in any pattern that looks like a typical spider web. Each day, choose a vocabulary word from the section of the story you are reading and record it on a sentence strip. Using Velcro, attach the strip to the center of the web and ask students to define the word. Have them record the word and its definition each day to create their own "Charlotte's Web" dictionary.
Comprehension is vitally important and rewriting literature in a script format is one way to teaching this. After reading "Charlotte's Web" with your class, divide students into groups and assign them specific chapters of the book. Ask them to write a script based on their chapter with appropriate dialogue. Allow students to choose their own roles, and present their group plays to the class.
- "Charlotte's Web"; E. B. White, Edith Goodkind Rosenwald, Garth Williams, Garth Williams; 1974
- Enchanted Learning: Venn Diagram
- "Teaching Children to Read Putting the Pieces Together Third Edition"; D. Ray Reutzel and Robert B. Cooter, Jr.; 2000
- Photo Credit Jeff Randall/Lifesize/Getty Images
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