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.

icon/ela/white

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.

Fishtank Plus for ELA

Unlock features to optimize your prep time, plan engaging lessons, and monitor student progress.

Texts and Materials


Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which supports our non-profit mission.

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.

Unit Prep


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

Root/Affix

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

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

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

Spiral Standards

L.3.4
L.3.4.b
L.3.6
RF.3.3
RF.3.4
RL.3.1
RL.3.10
RL.3.5
RL.3.6
RL.3.7
SL.3.1.b
SL.3.6
W.3.10
W.3.4
W.3.5
icon/arrow/right/large copy

Unit 4

Defining Identity: Dyamonde Daniel and My Name is María Isabel