The Power of Friendship: Charlotte's Web

Students explore the meaning of true friendship by reading E.B. White's classic novel Charlotte's Web, examining its themes, setting, character and language, and learning to develop empathy for others.

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ELA

Unit 5

3rd Grade

Unit Summary


In this unit, students will explore the meaning of true friendship by reading Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Charlotte’s Web, a classic novel written in 1952, clearly illustrates how difficult and scary it can be to make a friend, yet how rewarding a true friendship really is. Over the course of the novel, students will consider what it means to be a good friend, whether or not friendship is always easy, and whether or not conflicts and struggle really are an important part of strengthening friendships. By deeply connecting with the characters, students will learn about the power of helping others, how creativity and determination can help solve problems, and that people can and do change. Students will also begin to understand the cycle of life and beauty, and the emotional responses that come with death through the eyes of Wilbur. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with other units, will provide the foundation for developing empathy and understanding about true friendship and life.

Charlotte’s Web was chosen not only because of the strong theme of friendship and life, but because it is a classic in children’s literature. Charlotte’s Web was written in the early 1950s and contains themes and language that are more archaic than other texts from the year. Therefore, students will learn how to analyze themes, settings, characters and language that are less familiar and relatable.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

  • Book: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (HarperCollins Publishers, 2012)   —  680L

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • What are the characteristics of a strong friendship?
  • What can death teach us about how to live? 

Vocabulary

Text-based

admiration amused anxiety appeal/lure appalled arose bloodthirsty boast brutal cautiously clever commotion complimentary conspiracy dazed decency detested disgust dreary dud envy enchanted endure fibs frantic gloomy gullible humble hysterics injustice listless loathed modest neglected objectionable praise radiant relieved runt salutations scheming sedentary shamelessly shrieked slogan sociable triumphantly triumph unbearable vanish vaguely versatile wearily wondrous

Root/Affix

-able -less -ly -ous -tion in- un-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 5, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.3.1
L.3.1.h
L.3.1.i
L.3.2
RL.3.2
RL.3.3
RL.3.4
SL.3.1
SL.3.1.c
SL.3.1.d
SL.3.3
W.3.1
W.3.1.a
W.3.1.b
W.3.1.d

Supporting Standards

L.3.4
L.3.4.b
L.3.6
RF.3.3
RF.3.4
RL.3.1
RL.3.5
RL.3.6
RL.3.7
RL.3.10
SL.3.1.b
SL.3.6
W.3.4
W.3.5
W.3.10
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Unit 4

Defining Identity: Dyamonde Daniel and My Name is María Isabel

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