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Teaching Literacy and Life Lessons with Charlotte's Web

#MrsQuimbyReads, Charlotte's Web, book companion, teaching resources
Book Companion
for Charlotte's Web
Reach high! Reach high up!  Up to the top! 
To Life Lessons! It is the very reason we read.  Open a children's book and open a window to the world of wisdom. Bringing the literary world to your students in the early years nourishes them in ways that they will hunger for more pages of worldly advice and admirable characters as they grow older. Talented authors teach life lessons that apply to childhood years and reach out to grown-up life, too.

Reading children's literature should be a hallmarked place in your plan book because that practice alone goes straight to the heart of why we teach reading and writing.  

Why did the author write the book? What is his message? How does this book's message make us smarter? How does this book's lesson make us a more caring and kind person?   What does the book teach?

Select a time during your day that is dedicated to reading and talking about good books. Find, establish and create a comfortable book corner or space. Young children are happy to sit on a carpet; older students do better in a circle of chairs.  Center stage is the book. After a short while, you will find that your students look forward to this time of day. They will be attentive to your book choices.  They will be inquisitive and talkative about what the book teaches.  What does the 'reader-life' look like and feel like in your classroom?  What life lessons will you talk about today? Read on to learn what life lessons can be learned by reading Charlotte's Web.  
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was written in 1952 and maintains it's honorable place in Children's Literature... a must read!  This book is one of those books that stay with you when you grow up.  It is a story that resonates with everyone on a profound and intrinsic level.  E. B. White  weaves a beautiful story of farm life that teaches the reader about big life lessons of love, friendship, loyalty and death.   All the farm animals...and especially, a pig and a spider, show us what perhaps exactly "it's all about".  The opening page is dramatic and nothing short of masterful. White hooks the reader in the first chapter.  Mr. Arable tells Fern that Wilbur is, "very small and weak, and will never amount to anything."  Fern is distraught at the thought of killing an innocent being just because he is small.  She doesn't understand and she fights for solace and change for Wilbur with all her heart.  The reader quickly becomes immersed and feels compassion for both Wilbur and Fern.  This author gains our respect as we can imagine the awful plight of these characters and want resolution early in the story.  We read on to learn more. We laugh and we learn as we are introduced to the many characters on the farm.   There are many places to stop and talk about this book. There are many springboards for class discussions.  You can find discussion task cards and  'book talk' questions here for Charlotte's Web
When autumn leaves begin to fall, there is a need to read and re-read this classic story.  Everything in this book seems to make us aware of the many changes and new adventures in our lives.  White uses the mundane and the ordinary to show us the inexplicable and the tragic. There is great learning in simple things.   As the story unfolds, the reader becomes aware of the many important issues and puzzlements we share as human beings.  Matters such as animal rights, the innocence of being a child, the corrupt nature of human beings, and at the same time, the pure wonderment and joy of being human.  But most importantly, in my opinion, White teaches us how to become better adults by holding on to all the endearing moments we lived in childhood.  
Charlotte's Web is a universal story.  It has entertained thousands of readers for decades.  It teaches important life lessons about kindness and love.  Charlotte's Web is an all time best-selling children's paperback.  E.B. White describes his book as a story of friendship and life on a farm; yet it is so much more. The story plot and character situations show the reader how to be a good friend, how to appreciate diversity, how to embrace change, how to appreciate farm life, how to cope with loss and how to reach out to others.  E.B. White lived as a true friend to animals and he writes from his own experiences.   
As every writer knows, research, research and more research is essential to even fiction writers. Readers need to believe that what they are reading is the truth...even when the story is imaginative.  The need to immerse oneself in the book world is crucial to a reader's enjoyment of a book, and thorough research is how a writer makes that so.  You must get the right moon in the night sky.   White researched every detail for his three books for children.  Stuart Little was written in 1945, Charlotte's Web in 1952 and The Trumpet of the Swan was written in 1970.  For Charlotte's Web, his research was close to home as in lived on a farm in Maine. His farm experience and color shows on every page.  The habits of the animals are characteristic and believable. It is the best realistic-fiction for any child's bookshelf. 
Charlotte's Web  by E. B. White
Where Magic Happens

One little girl, Fern, sets out to right an injustice in the world. She bonds with the many farm animals and wonders at the simplistic routines of farm life.   This book is clever, resourceful, sad, funny, surprising and inspiring... and teaches many life lessons.  

reader response pages, Charlotte's Web, book companion
Find Reader Response Pages HERE
for Charlotte's Web

Life Lesson #1
Never underestimate small things. 
Wilbur is the runt of the litter.  Fern is just a small child. Yet each have big goals to make things right in the world.  And Charlotte, is the smallest yet, but oh, so very wise.  All the animals learn to trust Fern because she is true.  She is friendly and quiet but the animals can sense her altruistic nature.  

Life Lesson #2
Doing nothing can sometimes be pretty amazing!
Wilbur stands perfectly still and thinks of what it is like to be alive." Taking time to immerse yourself into deep thought and contemplate your existence isn't such a bad way to spend your time, really.  

Life Lesson #3
Life Is Everywhere 
Take time to notice the trees and the immense beauty they bring to our earth and habitat.  Be thankful for each plate of food that nourishes your body.  Be amazed at the intricate and delicate web a spider weaves after a rain...think of the insects you never see.  Realize that no matter how sad or grim things might be for you, the beauty in all things will never cease.   

Life Lesson #4
Show Compassion Whenever Possible
Charlotte shows compassion by insisting that her victims are sleeping before eating them.  She doesn't want them to feel or know pain. This small act of compassion in the story makes the reader think about our actions and choices.  People may be just as fragile as flies; or maybe more so. 
Life Lesson #5
Spiders Are Amazing 
"Spiders can produce several kinds of thread.  They use a dry, tough thread for foundation lines, and a sticky thread for snare lines — the ones that catch and hold insects."  The study of nature and animals is fantastic, interesting and profound!

Charlotte's Web ends with a 'light-bulb moment'!  Yes! most certainly, out of an egg the many baby spiders hatch!  Life continues. The magic of children's literature embraced by life lessons!  What could be better?!

Back to School Teaching Resources - Sale

Back-to-School Resources that 
engage your students in meaningful learning and 
save YOU time.   
Browse below to see just some of the back to school resources that will brighten your room and get your students off to an amazing start of this new school year.  Return for more resources throughout the school year. 
#bookcompanions #children'sLiterature #reading #teacherresources teaching resources to use with children's books
See More Book Companions
All the book companions for your favorite read alouds for the first week of school. Set the tone of your classroom with children's literature. 
Find your favorite:

click book companions to find the entire list
there are many more there...just go and see; be sure to follow as all new teaching resources listed are 
50% off for the 
children's literature, picture books for first week of school
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books
first 24 hours; follow to receive notifications of new listings, sales and updates... I am creating new resources all the time
thank you followers

Start out your school year with a reading challenge for your students.  Everyone loves a challenge and this is no exception.  Children want to complete every directive... and they do!  
Reading Log for September too!

You're Finally Here!  This book is difficult to find and if you do find it, it's very expensive.  It's a great book for the first day of school. If you don't have a copy head over to my youtube channel to hear me read this story.  Then grab the book companion!  Children love this book by Melanie Watt.  and you will love this first day of school read aloud and activity. 

Teaching respect everyday!
motivational posters for back to school
These classroom posters remind your students of the important classroom behaviors we admire and adhere to... colorful and whimsical clip art with important messages.

back to school, meet the teacher night, teacher resources
Meet the Teacher NightBrochure
Your students create this editable printable brochure for "Meet the Teacher Night" or Open House.   There are 3 different styles to choose from... add your own specific information to create a unique brochure for your classroom.  Parents love these! 

Click  TPT store for many teaching resources that save YOU time. 
You can find teaching resources for teaching citizenship and respect, classroom management,  and classroom organization!  

Teach literacy and life lessons with children's literature and use my book companions for many favorite books for the first weeks of school.  

Encourage Excellent Hallway Behavior with these bright and colorful posters.  Posters measure 8.5" x 11".  Place them at your doorway and refer to them when lined up and going out to the hallway.  Quick and easy!
teaching resources, hall sign, elementary school
Hallway Sign for Excellent Hallway Behavior

Click here  TPT store to browse the many teacher created resources... all with the learner in mind.  You can find teaching resources for teaching citizenship and respect, classroom management,  and classroom organization!  
Teach literacy and life lessons with children's literature and use my book companions for many  favorite books.  

teacher toolbox labels, teaching resources, elementary school
Teacher Toolbox Labels
You may also need some help in organizing all your teaching 'stuff' ... these labels are many!
There is also a set of 'editable' labels if needed.  Organize your classroom and make it beautiful. Less clutter reduces stress and increases creativity and saves Time !
Colorful, bright art designs... easy to read, nice to look at! 
Download, print, cut and laminate. These labels will help children and teacher find supplies and put them back in the right place.

Have a bright and beautiful SY 2019 -2020

Movement Activities | Brain Breaks | Fitness Stations for Primary Grades

Grab Yours Now
Can you walk like a careful crocodile? Twist like a wild monkey? or walk backwards like a crab?
This teaching resource provides your students with a unique opportunity in movement in the classroom, at recess or in gym class. 

This is more than a “brain break”...
students listen to and engage in poetry and rhyme as they learn the movement of these animal characters.

fitness activities, kindergarten, first grade, classroom activities

Display these posters in your classroom for colorful and inviting decor and refer to them often to provide movement for your students.
Also, make your “brain break” circles and keep them on your desk to use whenever you need to move around a bit.
Physical Education Teachers :   Set up your Mother Nature’s Adventure Trail indoors or out. These can easily become your parcours for fitness. Ideal for PreK- 1.

Improve students' listening skills and fitness and at the same time
engage them in poetry and reading.

movement activities for small childrenThere are a total of 15 posters ready to download and print. Each poster measures 8.5" x 11" and shows a bird or an animal. The title names the movement and the poem describes how to do it. 
It's fun! It's educational! It's fitness!
Make a colorful bulletin board and refer to it often for movement activities. You can also make a 'brain break' jar with the included circle sticks. 

Mother Nature's Fitness Adventure was created by
Dr. Tom Quimby, Ed.D. Adventure and Physical Education. This is a unique curriculum for movement for small children. It provides an opportunity for fitness and fun and is proven to be effective in teaching basic movement skills for balance, agility, strength and endurance with repetition. Mother Nature's Fitness Adventure can be set up as a parcours in a recreational park, in a school gym as fitness stations, in the classroom for ready and accessible movement activities, and as brain breaks when children need movement.  The teacher's ability to recite the poem with a fun and enthusiastic expectation of the movement to follow will help enhance the spontaneity of the children's experience.

fitness activity, kindergarten, preschool, movement , brain breaks
fitness activities, brain breaksbrain breaks for the classroom

You can create your 'brain break' box for 
Mother Nature's Adventure In Movement.  
Everything you need to be ready for Movement!

Summer Writing Journal for Beginning Writers

    writing, literacy instruction, end of year activities, teaching resources for elementary school
    Summer Writing Pages and Graphic Organizers
    Before leaving for summer vacation, ink into your plan book some summer writing activities.  Write about upcoming summer goals and activities using these writing prompts that promote thinking and reflection before writing.  A valid writing experience in your classroom for the end of the school year! which can lead into a worthwhile summer writing assignment, Keeping a Summer Journal.  
    During the last few weeks of school, students and teachers talk about keeping a summer writing journal using a composition notebook or using a teacher created summer writing journal booklet.  NO PREP for you... just download, print and handout!  Talking about your expectations for the summer writing journal is all you need to do after handing out the summer journal pages. 
    Students will engage in authentic writing experiences all summer long.  They are encouraged to write in their journal each day but it is important to remember that this is a self-directed activity and some students might even write in their journals twice a day!!  Writing Ideas and topics are provided to initiate the first spark in writing about their summer days. 
    writing resources, elementary school, writing about summer
    Summer Writing Journal
    Finding and creating personal topics and ideas is encouraged.  Teachers can collaborate with colleagues who teach one grade below or above; in this way the summer journals can become one of those first week activities when starting in a new grade and classroom.  Be sure to tell students that you are excited and look forward to seeing their journals after summer.  Encourage children to add drawings and photos, ticket stubs, book lists, and any other summer 'clips' that will fit in their journal.  Students will share more readily when they have completed pages before them to talk with new friends.  These writing pages include: organization of the page, writing about specific topics, using illustrations to explain, remembering facts, writing in sequential order, and finding noteworthy topics to write about.  Sharing their summer-long writing project can be a positive way to meet new classmates and build friendships for the upcoming school year.  
    If you and teacher friends think keeping a 'summer writing journal' will keep your students growing in literacy then start now... preview the summer writing journal for beginning writers.  Talk with teacher friends and include this writing assignment in your summer assignment packet.  And be sure to get your students excited about writing this summer by sharing their summer journal assignment before leaving for summer fun! 

Teaching Resources That Save Teacher Time

End of School Year can be so busy!  You can save time with NO PREP teaching resources.  Find these and more at my TPT store

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression 

and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

reader response pages, Charlotte's Web, graphic organizers, children's literature
Charlotte's Web Book Companion
Everybody Loves Charlotte's Web!
This book companion for Charlotte's Web  includes comprehension questions for each chapter, character study pages, graphic organizers, compare and contrast, problem and solution, poetry pages, and visualizing activity, setting and theme pages, vocabulary cards for classroom display, vocabulary bookmarks, question cards for discussion groups, and even create an interactive literacy flip book for the story elements.

writing prompts for end of year, memory book, teaching resource
Memory Book for 2018-2019 School Year

Create a Memory Book
It's easy!   Easy to assemble; just download and print. This memory book is an authentic and engaging writing activity for end of school year activities.  Your students will love completing the pages.  Parents love reading this memory book, too!  It's a keepsake. 

Pages include:
self-portrait . birthday page. friends. field trips. field day events. favorite subjects. what I learned. best books read. summer reading. technology. special holidays. seasonal pages. autographs. six different covers.

weekly planner for teachers, teacher binder, teacher resources
Editable Teacher Binder
An editable teacher binder and weekly lesson planner will help you be organized and ready for your teaching day.  This teacher binder has everything you need:  weekly lesson planner, monthly calendars, important school forms, grading sheets, monthly newsletter templates,  50 cover designs.  FREE Updates for Life and a BONUS FREE Substitute Notebook.  

7 Activities Classroom Children Want to Do for Earth Day

Writing Prompts for Earth Day
    1.  Recycle   Here is a wonderful opportunity to talk about recycling and re-purposing AND using paper from your scrap box.   Students can make cards, books, bookmarks, and creative art projects.  See what ideas your students have about recycling and re-purposing right in the classroom.  
2.  Make an Earth Day Snack that is Healthy and fun to make. 

MrsQuimbyReads, Earth Day, healthy snacksGather these healthy food items: celery, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, grapes, apple slices, peanut butter, oranges, etc.  Talk about the different bugs and insects that live in the earth.  How do they help the earth? How do they help us?  What size are they? What colors? What work do they do? After your class discussion, start to make your little creatures with the food items for snack.  More questions: Is this a healthy snack? Why do you think so? Why should we eat healthy?