What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
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Author E.B. White was born on this day in 1899.
|Grades||K – 5|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
After spending many years writing for The New Yorker, E.B. White turned his hand to fiction when his first children’s book, Stuart Little, was published in 1945. White’s most famous children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, followed in 1952. Both went on to receive high acclaim and in 1970 jointly won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, a major prize in the field of children's literature. That same year, White published his third children's novel, The Trumpet of the Swan. In 1973, that book received the William Allen White Award from Kansas and the Sequoyah Award from Oklahoma, both of which were awarded by students voting for their favorite book of the year.
In honor of White’s love for children’s books about animals, have a class discussion about the ways that animals are portrayed in different fictional novels (both those by White and others). Have students do one or more of the following activities to further examine farms and farm animals, such as those in Charlotte’s Web:
- Take a class field trip to a local farm. Have students take pictures and write down the sights and sounds of the farm. After returning to the classroom, have students compile a class scrapbook that highlights the different animals at the farms and the most important things learned on the field trip.
- Students can create Acrostic Poems about a farm animal of their choice, share their poems with the class, and then create a classroom bulletin board showcasing all of the students’ favorite farm animals and information about each one.
- Have students create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the farm with the city, farm life with city life, or two different farm animals. This activity can also be followed up by writing a Compare and Contrast Essay as a part of a longer activity.
- Compare the book version of Charlotte’s Web to the movie version. Then, use the Compare and Contrast Map or Venn Diagram to discuss the similarities and differences between the two.
- E.B. White - Life, Stories, Books, and Links
This site includes stories about E.B. White's life and Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Elements of Style, and Trumpet of the Swan.
- E.B. White Biography
Read about E.B. White, author of the cherished children's classic Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan.
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Find out information about E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web, and take part in some “fun and games” related to the book and movie.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students find examples of adjectives in a shared reading. Then students "become" major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using powerful adjectives.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan
Students compare a book to its film adaptation, and then perform readers theater of a scene from the book that they feel was not well represented in the movie version.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students explore the distinction between the fiction story Bear Snores On and the nonfiction book Every Autumn Comes the Bear.