Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why You Should Read Charlotte's Web to Your Class

Why?  Is Charlotte's Web a Good Book Choice for Read Aloud At School and At Home

 Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White, is  a universal story.  It has entertained hundreds of readers and children for decades. The book  teaches kindness and love.  Charlotte's Web is and has been a 
best-selling children's paperback of all time.  E.B. White describes his book as a story of friendship and life on a farm.  E. B. White himself was a true friend to animals and writes from his own experiences. 

As every writer knows, research, research and more research is very important to even fiction writers. 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 experience and farm color shows on every page.  The habits of the animals are characteristic and believable.  Charlotte, the heroic spider girl, is quite sophisticated.  This is a great opportunity for White to teach new words to children.  Gaining an extensive vocabulary benefits the child learning to read.  As you read, Charlotte's Web, or any book of children's literature, you are giving opportunity for children to understand story elements and grow their vocabulary.

Wilbur is our friend throughout the story. He expresses deep emotions, but he is still a pig and he likes to lie around in manure.   And his immediate and very dangerous plight is ...pigs go to slaughter. And thus, Charlotte and Wilbur become friends.  White tried in real life to save a pig, but he failed. This experience gives power to his writing as  he shows so much compassion for Wilbur.  White tells his mixed feelings about pigs destined for the butcher in his story.  The children can feel the sadness and quickly become involved in this story of friendship and love.
And Charlotte, the heroine of this book, was also born in White's barn.  His many observations of spiders in the barn impressed him.  He found them weaving.  He found them clever.... and even clever enough to weave words!  and a writer for children would absolutely know this would grab their attention.   And he was right, because it certainly does.  This is a favorite part every time I read this book aloud.  
Thank You, E.B. White, for your wonderful books.  You wrote a masterpiece!  I learned from my research that White wrote his novels on an old typewriter in his boathouse.  When he was not writing or doing chores on his farm; he liked to ride his bike long distances, even in bad weather.   When reading aloud to your class, tell them all you know about the author.  This makes the right connection between readers and writers.  Many times readers choose the next book to read by the same author as they find they know something about the writer as this is a happening in the reading community. 

And to answer the question I started with, Why Charlotte's Web?  Because it:
  • teaches friendship, kindness and love
  • the author writes masterpieces, every time!
  • theme is universal and it has lasted decades
  • a great springboard for class discussion
  • poses real-life problems in an imaginary setting
  • because your children will listen from page one to the end
  • reading aloud in school should be back in your lesson plans
  • children will learn new vocabulary
  • children will sympathize with the characters
  • it's a GREAT book!! 



Life of Imagination

In a letter to a young reader, White wrote:
"in real life, a spider doesn't spin words in her web ... But real life is only one kind of life --there is also the life of the imagination.  And although my stories are imaginary, I like to think that there is some truth in them, too -- truth about the way people and animals feel and think and act. " 







Find Reader Pages for Charlotte's Web HERE

 Here are some reader response pages for the emergent reader.  Appropriate for Grades K-1 and Homeschoolers. 

Download Your Printables  HERE


And You Might want to read Trumpet of the Swan.  It is very entertaining and E.B. White writes another masterpiece for children.


Download Your Printables for Trumpet of the Swan HERE


Thank you for stopping by...until next time... enjoy your teaching day!