So I came up with my own plan.
It's nothing fancy, but it worked. My daughter was captivated from start to finish. Maybe some of these ideas will inspire you as you read this classic with your young child.
1- Find a stuffed pig (or spider). We found this beauty at a local book store for $2.99. Having a little Wilbur to snuggle with while reading gave my daughter something tactile to hold while soaking in this classic piece of literature.
|feeding Wilbur became a nightly job|
3. During the first chapter you are introduced to the vocaublary word "runt". After explaining it to my daughter, we went to the store and bought a box of Runts candy and talked about why they are called that (because they are super small fruit). During some of the chapters I would pull out the box of Runts and everytime I would read the word "Wilbur" (or another word) she would get to eat one candy. She had to hear me say the word though... it kept her listening!
4. Make stick puppets. I did a quick google search for barnyard animals and easily able to find pictures of the characters. During some of the chapters I would pull out the stick puppets. They came in handy during the barnyard scenes when there was a lot of character conversation.
5. Take advantage of Youtube! We were able to see little videos of baby pigs, spiders spinning webs and making egg sacs, baby spiders hatching... kind of gross but it strengthened our mental images of the story.
6. Crafts! There are so many different preschool craft ideas that would go perfectly with this book. (think pigs, spiders,...any farm craft!) My daughter prefers acting over making, so we didn't make any crafts... we are sticking with her interests!
7. In one of the chapters the author tells us Wilbur's schedule for the day. After reading about his schedule, my daughter and I sat down and wrote our schedule. From the pic you can probably tell where I got input from her. :)
8. Make snacks! There are plenty of farm-related treats out there that you can snack on while reading. Due to time constraints we opted out of doing this...but it would be a fun, yummy activity!
9. Go to the play or watch the movie. We were fortunate enough to go see a live performance of Charlottes Web by a local childrens theatre company. It was SPECTACULAR. On the way home we talked about our favorite parts of the play, and any differences we noticed between the play and the book.
I absolutely love this children's classic. Take the time to read it to your little ones!