Charlotte's Web

Lesson 1

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Defend an opinion about whether or not all members of the family have the same perspective about Wilbur.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White  — Ch. 1

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Target Task


Multiple Choice

Which statement would father most likely agree with?

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Writing Prompt

Do all members of the family have the same perspective about Wilbur? Explain why using the word injustice and runt. 

Sample Response


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Key Questions


  • What does the phrase "do away with it" mean? What is "being done away with"? How does Fern respond?
  • What descriptive words and details does the author use to show how angry Fern is feeling? (sobbed, yelled, pushed a chair and ran outdoors, shrieked, tears ran down her cheeks)
  • How does the image on page 2 help a reader better understand how Fern feels?
  • Read the sentence from page 3. "But it's unfair," cried Fern. "The pig couldn't help being born small, could it? If I had been very small at birth, would you have killed me?" Explain the significance of this statement. (A close read should be done of this moment and what follows.)
  • Read Mr. Arable's response. "'But this is different. A little girl is one thing, a little runty pig is another.'" Why do they have different perspectives?
  • What does the word injustice mean? How do you know? What does Fern think is "the most terrible case of injustice"?
  • What is a runt? Why does Mrs. Arable say this about the pig? 



injustice     (n.)

unfair treatment

runt     (n.)

the smallest animal in a litter

vanish     (v.)

to disappear

shrieked     (v.)

yelled in a high-pitched voice

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

Get recommendations on pacing and lesson structure, as well as suggestions for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Download Sample

Common Core Standards

  • RL.3.3 — Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

Spiral Standards