Charlotte’s Web Activities

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White is a wonderful book to study in the classroom. The following ideas for Charlotte’s Web activities will enhance any book study and make learning fun! 

Charlotte's Web activities and book

First, let’s look at the reasons to teach novel studies:

  • Student exposure to plot structure and new vocabulary, which has an enormous impact on their own language development and writing skills
  • Novel studies also allow students to experience things they wouldn’t have done otherwise
  • They help students to see events from others’ point of view
  • They allow students to develop understanding and skills to make sense of different situations
  • And, of course, for enjoyment and to promote their love of reading

The story of Charlotte’s Web, in which a spider tries to save the life of a young pig on a farm, covers many important themes including friendship, determination, teamwork and growing up.

Some key Charlotte’s Web activities that I like to use during the novel study include:

Character Studies

Character studies are a key element of a novel study. It is through the characters that the reader experiences the events of the story. I like to get my students to complete character profiles on the key characters including details on personality, relationships with others and how they change and develop as the story progresses. In addition, character comparisons are a great way to get students thinking about how different characters react to situations in the story.

Setting Activities

I love getting my student to use their senses to describe settings within a novel. I ask my students to imagine they are on the farm in Charlotte’s Web and to describe what they see, smell and hear. Charlotte’s Web is great for evoking these senses. This a key opportunity to develop descriptive vocabulary, so I have my students work in talk partners to describe the setting verbally before beginning their writing.

Reading Strategy Activities

During the novel study, it is important to develop those key reading strategies. My students think about and make connections between the novel and themselves. the world and also other novels. Thinking about cause and effect of key events is also important during the novel study. We also work in summarizing the key events in the chapters within the novel. 

Writing Tasks

This is where the students can really show their creativity and become fully immersed in the novel and really empathise with the characters. Some writing tasks I enjoy doing with Charlotte’s Web include letter writing to key characters, writing instructions on how to make a spider web, exploring dilemmas (should Wilbur continue with his escape or should he return to the barn?), describing how the characters show they are a good friend and writing a newspaper report on the writing in the web.

Vocabulary

In Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur learns many new words from Charlotte. This is a key opportunity for students to find out the definitions of new words they may not have come across before. This includes developing dictionary skills. I also like students to think about the words Charlotte has written in her web and why she has chosen those words to describe Wilbur.

Cross Curricular Charlotte’s Web Activities

A novel study is great opportunity to learn new facts about the subject of the book. In Charlotte’s web, some of my favorite cross curricular tasks include researching the spider life cycle, creating fact files on how to look after a pet and learning about farm animals.

The above are some of the activities that I incorporate into a novel study of Charlotte’s Web. If you’d like to try the activities mentioned, I have saved you the time and effort of creating them with this useful Charlotte’s Web Novel Study Unit.

Charlotte's Web activities preview

The unit includes full teaching instructions and ideas for implementing the activities. Also included are activities on character, setting, vocabulary work, reading activities and summarizing.

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The novel study also includes Charlotte’s Web activities by chapter. There are multiple choice comprehension quizzes on all chapters in the novel with answers included for you to assess your students’ understanding.

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You can grab Charlotte’s Web Novel Study here!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study

I hope the new school year is going well for all of you who have started back already. I’ve just done my first week and I am TIRED!! Sooo glad it’s the weekend! Next Saturday 13th September is Roald Dahl day and next week I will be teaching a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel study unit. I love using novels to teach across a range of different subject areas and this particular book is one of my favorites!

 

Here are some of my cross curricular ideas for using Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the classroom:

Literacy

I get my students to write newspaper articles based on Charlie finding the final Golden Ticket. This pushes the students to write formally and use the features of a report.

Charlie Bucket’s house and the Inventing Room in the factory are fantastic to use as a basis for setting descriptions. I read the passages to the children and get them to imagine they are in that setting and then discuss what each of their senses would be experiencing, i.e. the creaking door in Charlie’s house or the potions bubbling over in the factory. I get encourage them to use descriptive language and finally the students write a paragraph based on each sense.

Science

The novel is also great to use as a basis for a unit on plants. you could get your student to write about the life cycle of the cacao plant and study the part of a flower.

You could also discuss nutrient and making sure the students understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

Social Science

Students can study a country where the cacao plant grows. Students could produce fact files on the country and learn key facts, main cities, river, and what life is like for the people who live there.

Technology

There is so much scope here to develop students’ skills. I have had my students aim to be the next Willy Wonka by designing their own chocolate product. I got them explore different ingredients which could go in their product, think about packaging and create a persuasive poster advertising their product. We even made the new chocolate product – lots of fun!

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All the ideas above, plus many more are included in my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to save you the hassle and time when planning your novel study. What are your plans for Roald Dahl day?