By: E. B. White
Sixty years ago on October 15, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web was published. It has gone on to become one of the most beloved children's novels of all time.
Charlotte's Web tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer who owned him, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never does anything for anybody unless there is something in it for him, and by a clever plan of her own, Charlotte does everything she can to save Wilbur's life.
- Wilbur wins his owner Mr. Zuckerman a special prize for being a radiant, terrific and humble pig. You and your family can take a trip to the fair, too! There are many county fairs taking place in Tennessee this month. Visit this website to find the county fair closest to you: http://www.picktnproducts.org/fairs/index.html.
- Charlotte shows that Wilbur is no ordinary pig by spinning special words into her web. What words would you use to describe your family and friends to let them know how they are special? As a family, write down the words you chose and talk about what each word means.
- Charlotte gives her full name as "Charlotte A. Cavatica," revealing herself as a barn spider, with the scientific name Araneus cavaticus. The scientific names of some of our most common insects are listed below. See if you can match each insect's scientific name with its common name. You can post your answers on my Facebook page or wait for me to email you the answers!
- Coccinella septempunctata - Monarch butterfly
- Stagmomantis carolina - Firefly
- Melanoplus differentialis - Ladybug
- Danaus plexippus - Grasshopper
- Photinus pyralis - Praying mantus
- Wilbur and Charlotte have a special and unusual friendship. Think about a friend of yours and answer these questions with your family: When did you meet? What things do you and your friend have in common? What does your friendship with this person mean to you? What things can you do to be a good friend? I am interested to hear your answers, so be sure to let me know what you think on my Facebook page.
- Do you like to play games on the computer? Visit Scholastic's interactive website based on the story of Charlotte's Web: http://www.scholastic.com/charlottesweb/perfectword.htm. If you do not have a computer in your home, stop by your local library to use one of theirs! This website will help you find the library closest to you: http://www.publiclibraries.com/tennessee.htm.