Charlotte's Web Discussion Guide
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Here are a few strategies for introducing the book to the class.
Tell students that one of the characters is a spider. Ask students what they know about spiders. Start a K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learn) chart to tap prior knowledge. In the first column list what students already know or think they know. In the second column list what they would like to find out. After reading Charlotte's Web, revisit the chart and complete the third column.
|What We Know||What We Want to Know||What We Learned|
|They have 8 legs.|
|They make webs.|
|They eat flies.|
Charlotte's Web is a story about friendship and the commitment that helps it endure many trials and tests. Talk with students about some of the things that are pleasurable and difficult about friendships. Set up a chart like the one shown and list students' ideas. Use the ones given as examples to encourage students to contribute their own experiences.
|Fun Things||Difficult Things|
|telling secrets||not always agreeing|
|playing games||if your friend always wins|
Follow up by asking students to look for the ways that Charlotte is a friend to Wilbur in the story.
Explain that one of the things readers do before reading a book is to flip through it. Show students what you can glance at—table of contents, illustrations, bits of text—by flipping the pages of Charlotte's Web. Have students flip through the book then comment on what they think will happen in the story.