1. the Goose’s challenge – Early in the book, the Goose dares Wilbur to escape his comfortable home in the barn. She offers a resounding message of Carpe Diem: “Root up everything! Eat grass! Look for corn! Look for oats! Run all over! Skip and dance, jump and prance! …stroll in the woods!” I’d encourage you to encourage students to find a way to celebrate Wilbur’s sense of freedom and escape (however short-lived). Ask them to describe what they would do if they had newfound freedom? Perhaps some may even want to write about it – elaborately. Beyond this, though – think hard and ask yourself – is there something you can do in school to capture Wilbur’s sense of abandon? Some let-it-all-hang-out loosening of inhibition. It can be in class, in school, or outdoors. But something to invite students to let their hair down. “Root up everything…!”
10. the County Fair – Everyone has a County Fair. And many schools organize field trips to them. Use Charlotte’s Web as a guide and enable students to explore and find and experience everything at the Fair that Fern and Avery – and Wilbur and Templeton – do. Make a checklist and give every student a handy copy.