Literary Study: Charlotte's Web

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 
 

 

We had so much fun reading and studying Charlotte's Web. Is there anything better than a classic that has inspired children for decades?  I think not... 

What a beautiful, captivating piece of children's literature.  We studied this book through August, so we were able to bring it along to family getaways, festivals, and long car rides.  We really enjoyed a special time together with this book and made many memories.  One of my favorite times was sitting around the camp fire together, reading.
 
Because we were studying and learning all over the place and at various times, I didn't capture everything with the camera, but will try to summarize and give ideas as best I can!




A family that reads together... stays together.  :)


 
 

Going on a Spider Hunt

The very first thing we did for our study of Charlotte's Web was go on a Spider Hunt.  This was just a nature walk to see what we could find in our local area.  There are tons of large water spiders (yuck) to be found near a local river.  We collected some, but let them go pretty quickly.  I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of spiders on the kitchen table.  Toads, yes.  Spiders - no.
 


 

Farm Animals, Factory Farming and Ethics

Charlotte's Web offers a GREAT opportunity to speak to children about the realities of the modern day 'farm'.  We talked a lot about the traditional farms (like in Charlotte's Web) vs. the kinds of Factory Farms we see today.
 
Because we are Vegan and have only in the past 4 months made this switch, this was the perfect time to really delve into the 'why' of our choices.  What an amazing time of Discussion Studies with the children.
 
We also looked at several videos and read some great books.
 
Recommended Resources:
 
 

Charlotte's Web Craft Ideas

 
 

Spiders and Webs:

This is our version of a popsicle stick web.  These were harder to do than I thought, but still a fun and really reasonable craft with easy to find supplies. 


Simon's version of the web...


We made pipe cleaner spiders and just hung them for fun in the kitchen.


Here is the link to the pipe cleaner spider craft.



Paper Mache Pigs!

 
These took a bit of time... but it was a fun project.  I don't really have a link because I just looked at several images of different pigs and created my own design.  I simply used balloons for the paper mache base, and for the ears, we cut pieces of cardstock and shaped them.  For the noses and legs, we used old egg carton bottoms from ages ago.  Audrey decided to paint hers.   
 
 

Spider Snacks! 

 

Chocolate Pretzel Spider Webs

You know those blog posts that show pictures of Pinterest 'fails'?  Yep, I could likely start one of those... haha!  We tried to make these really neat Chocolate Spider Webs but I think we used the wrong kind of chocolate... so, it didn't quite work out.  Still yummy though!!!
 

These were supposed to have rings around to show a web, but we ended up with just a blob in the middle... oh well...



Apple Spiders

These were much easier (and healthier!).  The kids really enjoyed eating these apple snacks.  It just takes an apple, pretzels, a bit of peanut or almond butter, and some raisins!  Yum!



Alex's spider


 

Enjoying 'Pig Fest'

So, the coolest thing happened in the middle of our study - we found out about a great little grassroots organization that exists for the sake of protecting the rights of pigs here in Ontario.  They put on "Pig Fest" at the end of August to celebrate pigs.  I thought it was fun because of the tongue and cheek spirit of it, since it was held on the same day as RibFest as a bit of a rebellion.  Our kids had fun being involved!

Promoting Vegan literature - LOVE this book!


Audrey, getting a pig painted on her hand.  They had readings of Charlotte's Web later in the day, too!


Guelph PIG SAVE, the organization putting on the event.


Vegan cupcakes?  YES, PLEASE!  The kids loved these yummies from a local small bakery.

 

Enjoying the scenery of this beautiful little town and checking out a bridge made completely with no nails or screws!  And... yes, looking for spider webs!

 
 

Our Charlotte Lapbooks and Worksheets








"Draw a scene from Charlotte's Web..."






 
 

Science- learning about Spiders: 

I can't possibly write about everything we learned with regard to spiders.  We did a lot of projects, read countless books, and spent hours observing and looking for spider friends.  Much of this was done in the woods, at the beach, at the trailer - you name it.  We did, however, do some worksheets to tie in some of the information we gained through our 'field studies'.  I have a new respect for spiders after this study - now, every time I see a spider, I think about all the amazing skills she has!  God makes amazing creatures...
 
 

Waiting for a spider to come out of her web...


How strong is a web?  Testing with paper insects.

 

What kind of silk can a spider spin?


Spider life-cycle



Spider Anatomy

 

Spider or Insect? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading~
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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8 comments:

  1. Terrific! Radiant! You are SOME MOM! ♥ What a beautiful study! Love how it all worked out for you, right down to the pig fest. While we are not vegan, we do eat Biblically clean meats - which excludes pig! So, we loved this part about the book. ♥ So glad you are off to a wonderful start with Core B!

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    1. Ha... you're awesome. :) Thanks - that comment made my husband and I giggle. It's fun when it all works out so well, isn't it? That's neat about the meat... I've never heard of that, actually! Yes, we're LOVING Core B! We're in week 7 now. xo

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  2. What a wonderful study! I want to study spiders with the kids. Maybe we'll include this book too. Love this book. I especially love the lapbooks. They are so original, and sweet!

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    1. Thank you. I just put the lapbooks together with recycled paper envelops!

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  3. Love Charlotte's Web (although I always get choked up at the end!)...this looks like a great literary study! Great paper maiche pig, too! For the spider web craft, what kind of string did you use?

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    1. Oh, I know!!!! I was actually gulping and crying through our reading of it and the kids were just staring at me, concerned. They're used to it - I'm a cry baby, I cry over so many books. Haha. For the web craft, we used just a 'frayable' yarn from the dollarstore. It was ok, but it was a little hard to work with. It did, however, look a bit like spider silk. :)

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  4. I love your comment about "toads on the table. Yes. Spiders, no!" I'm the same way! Right now we have a couple of aquariums in the kitchen with a salamander, crickets and earthworms, but definitely NO spiders! Thank you for sharing this! Charlotte's web is on my list of books I want to read to the kids soon. I pinned your post to my Charlotte's Web board on Pinterest :)

    I found your post on the Hip Homeschool Hop.

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  5. any chance you know where the lap book came from? We are doing this in the spring and your plan looks perfect!

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