This unit can be used as a whole class book study, literature circle or small group study or an independent study packet. There are comprehension questions for each chapter requiring written answers, or the questions can be used as discussion questions. The questions include a variety of comprehension skills such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, making text-to-self connections, sequencing, factual recall, comparing and contrasting, citing evidence in the text and vocabulary. The questions have an accompanying answer key. We have also included a list of sentence starters for students to reference when citing the text in their answers. Also included are activities such as vocabulary study, character clusters, adjective and adverb searches, a Venn diagram character comparison, and an event-sequencing flow chart, which can be used at any time during the book study. There is also an end of the book comprehension assessment with answer key. In addition there is a Spider Anatomy worksheet, which students read and use the information to label the body parts on an illustrated spider.
Three open-ended writing activities are also included. One asks students to act as one of Charlotte’s babies and write a postcard to Wilbur telling about his/her adventures since leaving the farm. Another asks the students to create a farm newspaper and write articles to tell about the exciting events that have been happening on the Zuckerman farm throughout the course of the story. The third writing activity is an opportunity for students to write a sequel to the book. Also included are directions for a response to literature letter writing activity.
Another item included is an independent book study tic-tac-toe template to extend the learning experience to more of E.B. White’s books or to other books with similar settings and plots. The tic-tac-toe has 12 book study and culminating activities for students to choose from. This is a nice and easy way to differentiate the unit for those who are able to finish the main novel study quickly and need additional challenge.
We have also included a worksheet designed for students to do research on a type of spider of their choosing. The information that they gather can then be made into a Spider Poster to be shared with classmates. This is an opportunity to allow students to do both on-line and book-centered research. It is also a great opportunity for your students to share their information and posters in an oral report. When short on time I have skipped the oral reports and hung the posters for a “read the room” activity.
Also included are directions for students to design a Charlotte’s Web board game. This can be done independently for early finishers or table groups can work together to design a game when they have finished the book. I usually have each table group design and make a game together. Students don’t get to work on the game until all of their comprehension questions and other book activities are complete. That is usually very motivating.